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Updated: 24 min 5 sec ago

Manchester United look for ways to improve Old Trafford atmosphere

12 hours 2 min ago
  • Club consulting with fans via survey after Mourinho criticism
  • ‘Our view is that ideally initiatives should be fan-driven’

Manchester United are consulting with supporters over how to improve the atmosphere at Old Trafford.

United are planning to canvass the views of supporters via a survey following criticism from manager José Mourinho about a lack of noise during matches at Old Trafford.

Related: Paul Pogba ‘cannot be happy’ with treatment at Manchester United – Deschamps

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Luke Shaw can be one of the world’s best left-backs, says Ashley Young

Tue, 03/20/2018 - 18:42
• Young says Manchester United team-mate must work hard
• ‘He is a fantastic player. He can be one of the best in the world’

Ashley Young believes Luke Shaw can become one of the best left-backs in the world but warned his Manchester United team-mate this status will come only through hard work.

Young has become United’s first-choice left-back for José Mourinho, with Shaw enduring a torrid time under the manager. The 22-year-old was taken off at half-time of United’s 2-0 FA Cup win over Brighton at Old Trafford on Saturday, with Mourinho criticising Shaw after the quarter-final.

Related: Shaw may play long game despite his perplexing treatment by Mourinho | Jamie Jackson

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Paul Pogba ‘cannot be happy’ with treatment at Manchester United – Deschamps

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 20:36
• France coach says midfielder has plenty to offer
• Pogba has been left on the bench by José Mourinho

The France coach, Didier Deschamps, says Paul Pogba “cannot be happy” with his treatment at Manchester United.

Pogba, who has been called up by Deschamps for France’s forthcoming friendlies against Colombia and Russia, has missed a number of pivotal games for United in recent weeks after a largely underwhelming season at Old Trafford.

Related: Shaw may play long game despite his perplexing treatment by Mourinho | Jamie Jackson

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Shaw may play long game despite his perplexing treatment by Mourinho | Jamie Jackson

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 20:00
The 22-year-old is in no hurry to leave Manchester United despite public criticism by the manager, whose history does not guarantee he will be in the post for all of next season

José Mourinho’s handling of Luke Shaw is a head-scratcher even for seasoned watchers of the Manchester United manager.

Shaw should not be immune from criticism, as no footballer is. The point is that Mourinho, as a manager trying to get the best from players for the benefit of the side, can be over the top and counterproductive with his public assessments of the 22-year-old.

Related: Luke Shaw unhappy at Mourinho criticism but will not be forced out

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Luke Shaw unhappy at Mourinho criticism but will not be forced out

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 13:43
• Player may see out last year of Manchester United contract
• Manager lambasted defender again over FA Cup display

Luke Shaw has been left unhappy at José Mourinho’s pubic criticism of him but the left-back will not be forced out of Manchester United this summer against his wishes.

Shaw is understood not to have made a final decision on his future and may choose to see out the final season of his contract and leave on a free in summer 2019. He could then expect a wider pool of clubs to choose from and be able to agree a lucrative signing-on fee.

Related: Football transfer rumours: Luke Shaw to leave Manchester United?

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FA Cup and Premier League: talking points from the weekend

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 08:32

Álvaro Morata needs to play regularly, rusty Manolo Gabbiadini can solve Southampton’s problems, and Stoke are in big trouble

Related: Chelsea’s Morata tries to run his way into Antonio Conte’s good books | Barney Ronay

Related: Mohamed Salah will get even better before the season is out, says Jürgen Klopp

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FA Cup semi-final draw: United face Tottenham, Chelsea versus Southampton

Sun, 03/18/2018 - 19:54

7.54pm GMT

Manchester United have been drawn to face Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-final of this season’s FA Cup. In the other tie set to be played over the weekend of April 21 and 22, Chelsea, last season’s losing finalists, will face Southampton.

After overcoming Brighton 2-0 in Saturday evening’s quarter-final, Jose Mourinho’s team will meet Mauricio Pochettino’s side at their temporary Wembley home. Spurs earlier overcame Swansea in a 3–0 victory on Saturday lunchtime. The clubs’ previous meeting came on January 31 at Wembley when Tottenham breezed to a 2-0 victory.

7.24pm GMT

Thanks for joining us for that brief encounter....full story to follow soon.

7.12pm GMT

Two great ties there, though Chelsea will fancy they have the easiest draw there. The widespread demands for Pochettino to win a trophy have Mourinho in the way, though United have bitter memories of facing Tottenham at Wembley, having lost 2-0 there in January, a night when the Pogba/Mourinho dynamic took a distinct turn for the worst.

7.07pm GMT

Mark Hughes will face his old club.

7.07pm GMT

That’s Jose Mourinho versus the young pretender, Mauricio Pochettino.

7.06pm GMT

The balls are in....

7.06pm GMT

Petr Cech and Gianfranco Zola, a little and large combination from Chelsea’s glorious past, will be doing the honours. They have seven FA Cups between them.

7.04pm GMT

So, that’s Chelsea, Southampton, Manchester United and Spurs in the hat. With a nation kept waiting for Countryfile, we must assume the draw will be made swiftly.

7.03pm GMT

Antonio Conte, then, fights on at Chelsea. He’s never won a cup competition in his managerial career, and wants to right the wrong of last season’s bewilderingly slack performance in losing to Arsenal in last season’s final.

7.01pm GMT

After Pedro’s winner for Chelsea a rather unlucky Leicester have been denied a first semi-final since 1982, when a tight-shorted Gary Lineker was their pacy young striker. Southampton, in beating Wigan earlier, reached the last four for the first time since 2003, when Wee Gordon Strachan was manager and they reached the final, only to lose to Arsenal in Cardiff. New manager Mark Hughes was an FA Cup warrior in the competition’s glory days, scoring in semi-final matches in 1985 and 1994 against Liverpool and Oldham for Manchester United, and in 1997 for Chelsea, when scoring twice against Wimbledon.

Chelsea are old hands, and Tottenham will probably want to avoid them, having lost in their last two visits to this stage to their old friends from west London, last season’s 4-2 defeat and an even more painful 5-1 thrashing in 2012. They also lost to Chelsea at Wembley in a Premier League game in August.

And the happy house of Manchester United, going for their twelfth FA Cup, reached this stage two years ago, when they went on to beat hip groover Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace and sack Louis van Gaal all in one day.

6.29pm GMT

Leicester and Chelsea kept us waiting but the draw for the last four will be swiftly upon us.

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How did Mourinho turn £89m Pogba into the anti-Scott McTominay?

Sun, 03/18/2018 - 12:38

The inexperienced McTominay is currently seen as being a more reliable choice than Pogba for Manchester United

In theory, it ought to have been a fine day for the brand. “Glory, glory Man United” echoed around Old Trafford as Manchester United closed in on a record-equalling 13th FA Cup. The marketing department could savour the sight of two of José Mourinho’s bigger buys on the scoresheets.

Yet two more languished unused on the bench even before the sense “United” appeared an inappropriate suffix when the manager eviscerated his team. If there was one thing worse than being castigated in public by the Portuguese, it was presumably being spared censure only by virtue of being omitted. If Saturday’s scorers Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic seem Mourinho’s disciples, two who he stated on Friday would form part of his legacy, Paul Pogba and Alexis Sánchez represent recent disappointments. They formed a contrast, a pair who are delivering and a duo who were dropped.

Related: José Mourinho launches attack on Manchester United players despite win

Related: José Mourinho launches 12-minute defence of his Manchester United record

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José Mourinho claims Manchester United are scared to play – video

Sun, 03/18/2018 - 11:29

The Manchester United manager says his players are in a bad moment and don’t have the confidence or personality to play at the moment as the ‘sun is not shining’ for them

Mourinho criticises players saying they lack ‘class’.

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José Mourinho launches attack on Manchester United players despite win

Sat, 03/17/2018 - 22:46
• Brighton beaten 2-0 in FA Cup quarter-final but manager unhappy
• ‘There was a lack of personality, a lack of class, and a lack of desire’

José Mourinho admitted he could risk losing those Manchester United players he criticised again following the 2-0 win over Brighton but believed there was nothing to lose in doing so.

Goals from Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic on 37 and 83 minutes at Old Trafford on Saturday night secured United’s passage to the FA Cup semi-finals. Yet the manager said there was “a lack of personality, a lack of class, and a lack of desire” from many of his team, which followed scathing remarks about many of his squad on Friday, in the aftermath of Tuesday’s Champions League exit at the hands of Sevilla.

Related: Nemanaj Matic guides Manchester United past Brighton into FA Cup semis

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Nemanaj Matic guides Manchester United past Brighton into FA Cup semis

Sat, 03/17/2018 - 21:45

José Mourinho was first out before kick-off as promised during Friday’s extraordinary extended monologue in which Manchester United’s manager promised to face his responsibilities. Really required, though, was safe passage to the FA Cup semi-final, and this was duly secured.

Yet Mourinho’s team were tame again, this win due to Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic goals, the only two players named as consistently excellent during that 12-minute soliloquy in which he defended his record.

Related: José Mourinho launches attack on Manchester United players despite win

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Manchester United v Brighton: FA Cup quarter-final – live!

Sat, 03/17/2018 - 20:00

8.00pm GMT

14 min: There is certainly a great tempo to United tonight, not that it could be any slower than what the team offered against Sevilla. Mourinho is really wanting his team to attack Brighton, too.

7.58pm GMT

12 min: A few empty seats at Old Trafford but it is nothing more than you would expect on a cold Saturday night with many not expecting much from this tie.

7.56pm GMT

10 min: United are very much in control of this game now but they are yet to create a chance of note. Mata is doing some roaming in the final third as he looks to make the difference in quite a static side.

7.55pm GMT

8 min: McTominay is trying to use the ball from the middle of the park, something no one tried on Tuesday night for United. Lukaku is in need of a little more support, though, as he is the main target for the direct pass but there is rarely someone close enough to work with him when he gets possession.

7.52pm GMT

6 min: A white ball is in use, which seems a little odd, surely there must be a second choice in case of snow, nor have the lines been painted a colour different from white which is the norm in these conditions. Ian Darke has just confused Pascal Gross with Christian Gross, the poor guy.

7.50pm GMT

4 min: Martial creates the first bit of danger for United, as he cuts in from the left and eventually gets a shot away which is deflected wide for a corner, which comes to nothing.

7.48pm GMT

Another David wonders if Jose’s time as a top class manager is up...

He says: “Every player has a ‘past it’ date. Managers, too, I’d suggest. Mourinho’s bluster cannot hide his poor team selections, his lack of passion (which he has successfully transmitted to his players), lack of thought regarding how to integrate new players (Pogba, Sanchez), appalling man-management ((Shaw) and disgraceful behaviour (when at Chelsea) to a doctor who was correctly doing her job. Mourinho should be sacked.”

7.48pm GMT

2 min: With a little bit of snow sticking to the playing surface the ball is rolling a little slower than on pristine grass. Brighton have had the majority of possession in the opening couple of minutes.

7.46pm GMT

Peep! Peep! As players create trails in the snow, the whistle blows and we are off!!

7.44pm GMT

David emails in defence of Jose...

He states: “In a funny kind of way I do agree with mourn how, because he can choose a team to play and they may loose and he can choose the same side in the next match and they win, and it all boils down to player performance, they get to much protection and the manager suffers.”

7.43pm GMT

I do hope someone has brought an orange ball, otherwise this is going to be a tricky night for all involved. I hope it does not go to extra-time as it is very cold.

7.42pm GMT

The snow is back in Manchester, the mixture of swirling wind and a blizzard is really not going to help playing conditions. Jose Mourinho has back the snood and gillet combination.

7.41pm GMT

Nippy in Manchester...

It's snow joke ❄⛄ at Manchester United . #bbcfacup pic.twitter.com/WQ3n0A5M4G

7.36pm GMT

The chanting has begun at Old Trafford, one assumes just so the fans can keep warm in these conditions. Still plenty of people who have not taken their seats yet as they hide inside with a night pint or warm bovril.

7.33pm GMT

A throwback to the good old days when Giggs was flying down the wing.

1993 - Manchester United and Brighton last met in the FA Cup back in January 1993, with United winning 1-0 thanks to a Ryan Giggs goal. Throwback. #MUNBHA

7.33pm GMT

Robbie Savage is wearing a grey suit, a turtle neck, no socks and bright, white trainers. It is a bold move to go sockless on a freezing night in Manchester, nor do I think those trainers will last long in the snow.

7.29pm GMT

Arthur has been in touch...

“The last thing Mourinho is worried about is Salah and Liverpool. United neutered both in the two matches this season.”

7.27pm GMT

Nicholas has emailed in about Jose...

He asks: “Can someone explain how Mourinho is a media failure with 2nd in the League, victories over most of the Top 6, coached Young into the WC team and given major minutes to young players? It’s weird.”

7.23pm GMT

Arshavin’s current team FC Kairat did win in the Kazakhstani league today, though.

4 - Mo Salah today became the first player to score four goals from exactly four shots in a Premier League game since Andrey Arshavin for Arsenal at Liverpool in April 2009. Awesome. pic.twitter.com/Oxhp2k0vBN

7.22pm GMT

Liverpool have completed their 5-0 win over Watford, moving them up to third and just two points behind Manchester United, not that Mourinho will be worried about that right now.

7.20pm GMT

Luke Shaw has some competition for a place in the England World Cup squad, with the likes of club-mate Ashley Young, Danny Rose and Ryan Bertrand all above him in the pecking order but he looked good when given the opportunity to play in recent weeks so will see this as a chance to show he can play more before the end of the season but it is likely to come far too late to earn him a place in Russia, which might not be a bad thing.

7.15pm GMT

I am a huge fan of the caveat.

@Will_Unwin setting a new record for 'buts' in an MBM sentence at 19:01. Fully expect that fact to be more exciting than anything United offer today.

7.14pm GMT

Brighton’s very own Liam Rosenior has done some words for the Guardian this week on managers and the like.

Related: Winning is no longer enough for managers – they must do it with style | Liam Rosenior

7.11pm GMT

John has emailed in about Mourinho...

He says: “His 12 minute rant had nothing special about it or him, he’s losing his fragile grip on reality. He knows he’s made a ‘Special’ mistake by moving clubs for Money.”

7.10pm GMT

Naturally, you can email in and tweet me if you find wherever I might be and then I can include your comments in the MBM, allowing us to all feel like one, big, happy family.

7.08pm GMT

Mo Salah has just completed a hat-trick by scoring while falling over, which is new. Alexis Sanchez can only dream of such goals.

7.01pm GMT

There is a change of goalkeeper for Brighton as Tim Krul is brought in to keep him fresh. The Dutchman is the understudy to Mat Ryan who has looked every the inch the Premier League goalkeeper this season but Krul himself was once touted as being set for the top during his time at Newcastle but injuries have seen him struggle in recent seasons but it is great to see him in the line-up for a huge game.

6.57pm GMT

As my mother has repeatedly told me via text today, it is absolutely freezing in Manchester. She has complained of snow but that it is not really sticking, which will be a relief to those travelling to Old Trafford for a lovely night of football.

6.54pm GMT

The answer to United’s problems is to replace De Gea, Young, Fellaini, Sanchez and Rashford. Fellaini and Sanchez were incredibly underwhelming on Tuesday; the latter has not settled into the team since his January arrival while the big Belgian just looked off the pace against Sevilla. The more interesting thing is that McTominay is partnering Matic in midfield while Pogba is forced to sit on the bench once again - the Frenchman will not be happy with that.

6.49pm GMT

Mourinho’s response to United’s defeat against Sevilla was classic Mourinho as he turned up to his press conference and spoke for 12 minutes about something or other to distract from the fact his team were not very good.

Related: José Mourinho launches 12-minute defence of his Manchester United record

6.39pm GMT

Manchester United: Romero, Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Shaw, Matic, McTominay, Mata, Lingard, Martial, Lukaku

Subs: De Gea, Lindelof, Young, Fellaini, Pogba, Sanchez, Rashford

6.03pm GMT

Good evening! Welcome to Saturday Night Football!

After an atrocious week for Manchester United in which they were heavily criticised for an utterly woeful performance in their 2-1 defeat to Sevilla, Jose Mourinho and his team now have to focus on their only chance of palpable success. United need to win the FA Cup to avoid their season looking a bit mediocre. They are a distant second to City in the league and look set to see their rivals crowned champions when they face each other at the start of April.

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Manchester United v Brighton & Hove Albion: match preview

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 16:22

Manchester United’s and José Mourinho’s trophy-winning hopes come down to the FA Cup and so a Brighton side, beaten by a Lewis Dunk own goal in November’s league fixture, must be dispatched to keep the season alive. As Tuesday’s Champions League defeat to Sevilla showed, though, United are vulnerable in knockout games, meaning Chris Hughton may quietly fancy his chances of a shock. Jamie Jackson

Saturday 7.45pm BT Sport 2

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José Mourinho launches 12-minute defence of his Manchester United record

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 15:01
• United manager points to what he inherited at Old Trafford
• Mourinho reads statistics from recent years to make his case

José Mourinho has defended his Manchester United record in an extraordinary 12-minute monologue after being widely criticised in the wake of the team’s Champions League defeat by Sevilla.

He said the club’s “football heritage” of recent poor European performances meant there should be no surprise at Tuesday’s last-16 exit. The manager also said he was going nowhere and pointed out it was only 10 months since he won a trophy.

Related: José Mourinho or Donald Trump: who said it?

Related: José Mourinho is pretty much cooked as a Champions League force

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Winning is no longer enough for managers – they must do it with style | Liam Rosenior

Thu, 03/15/2018 - 12:30

Sam Allardyce has lifted Everton to ninth in the Premier League and José Mourinho’s Manchester United sit second but Pep Guardiola and others have altered fans’ expectations

After five minutes of our game at Goodison Park on Saturday with the score at 0-0, a passionate and extremely vocal Evertonian took the opportunity to run to within five yards of the dugout I was sitting in and vent his anger and frustration by screaming “Get out of my fucking club” directly at Sam Allardyce – the man who in my opinion has successfully done the job required and expected of him. He has stabilised a huge club who had lost their way to the point where relegation was a distinct possibility.

He has utilised his extensive experience and steadied a rocky ship by winning his home games with his organised, methodical and pragmatic style of play. Everton are in a mid-table position where only a catastrophe would see them in a relegation dogfight.

Related: Everton wear down Brighton to ease the pressure on Sam Allardyce

The fact Guardiola is winning with style is increasing the demands on Mourinho, Allardyce and many other managers in the Premier League

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José Mourinho is pretty much cooked as a Champions League force

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 15:52
Manchester United’s exit showed their manager’s methods, built around solidity and defensive control, no longer work against the best teams

There was a slightly ghostly moment in the second half at Old Trafford as Manchester United were euthanised from the Champions League knockout stages, a sense of worlds colliding, timelines crossed.

Wissam Ben Yedder had just eased the ball into the corner of David de Gea’s net to make the score 1-0 on the night. As the Sevilla players romped in front of their away support and the Spanish radio commentator broke out of his “gol, gol” chant to shout “ON FIRE ON FIRE” a wiry black-clad figure could be seen sprinting down the touchline, fists pumping.

Related: 'So much money, so poor' – Spanish press lays into Manchester United

You could make a case that Mourinho is the worst manager in the past 10 years of the Champions League knockout stages

The world has gone the other way. And the evidence suggests it is not possible to win a Champions League in this way now

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'So much money, so poor' – Spanish press lays into Manchester United

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 12:09

Sevilla’s ‘magical night’ was hailed by the Spanish media, who called United ‘a walking monument to mean spiritedness’

Wissam Ben Yedder felt like breaking into song, so he did. At the end of the game at Old Trafford, he and his Sevilla team-mates stood before the visiting fans and belted out the club’s anthem; not long after, he stood alone before the television cameras and did the same. The anthem opens on a line that roughly translates as “They used to tell the story” or “Legend has it”. And now, the headline in the sports newspaper Marca insisted: “They will tell the story.” The story of how they went to Old Trafford and beat Manchester United.

Related: 'This has happened at United before': José Mourinho plays down limp exit

Related: Banega outshines Fellaini and shows Mourinho what he’s missing | Barney Ronay

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José Mourinho: 'This is nothing new for Manchester United' – video

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 11:01

José Mourinho insisted Manchester United's exit from the Champions League was 'nothing new' and the he didn't want to make a drama out of it as they limped out of the tournament losing 2-1 to Sevilla at Old Trafford, failing to reach the quarter finals. 

The manager played down the significance of the result, arguing that he had no regrets and that the team had done their best.

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Manchester United: their top five worst Champions League displays | Daniel Harris

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 09:10

Following their last-16 defeat by Sevilla, we revisit five of Manchester United’s worst Champions League encounters

Manchester United’s return to the European Cup was fiercely anticipated – they had been away since 1969. After winning the Cup Winners’ Cup immediately after the return of English clubs to continental competition, in those crazy altruistic and naive days when that was what was done, they were expected to have a suitable go at the Champions League. But in place at the time was a rule limiting the number of foreigners that could be fielded by each club, and though United’s squad was largely British and Irish, the restriction applied to all who were either born outside of England, or were not considered “assimilated”.

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