Manchester United are the latest team to make the Champions League list for next term after winning the Europa League game against Ajax in Stockholm on Wednesday.
Coach Jose Mourinho’s name is being sung to the high heavens after the feat in the Friends Arena. He has won four of his European finals that he has been involved in.
Pundits praised Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba for their strong display against the Dutch side. An excited Juan Mata said he was happy to lift the European title with the Red Devils. He said it was special after the Manchester Arena bombings.
This means five Premier League teams would appear in the Champions League next season. Chelsea, Spurs, Man City and Liverpool already qualified before United now join them.
“We did it. We are very proud. Nobody can talk. They said we had a bad season but we have three trophies,” Pogba said after the game.
United won the Community Shield before the EFL Cup glory and then the Europa League title. The four minutes added were not enough for the Dutch side to cause an upset after goals from Pogba and HenrikhMkhitaryan.
United’s appearance in the Champions League draw pot means only two English sides will play next season’s Europa League: Arsenal and Everton. Arsenal would go straight to the group stage while Everton will play from the third qualifying round.
Man United are expected to make the Pot 2 at the group stage draw for the tournament in august based on their UEFA coefficient ranking points.
Manchester United secured their ticket into the quarter-finals of the Europa League after having defeated FC Rostov.
The Premier League club is scheduled to face-off with Anderlecht on April 13 for Game 1 of these upcoming quarter-final stages.
According to the Manchester United icon Sir. Alex Ferguson believes that the Premier League club should focus on winning the Europa League for the fact that it can allow them to qualify and compete in the UEFA Champions League of the next season.
“The thing is, we’ve never won the Europa League. We never won the UEFA Cup, what it used to be and we’ve got a great draw. I’m not saying it’s a certainty, but they’ve got a great chance. It’s still a European trophy and if you win it, you get into the Champions League. The incentive is greater to do that.”Sir. Alex Ferguson said as he suggested to Jose Mourinho and his squad to focus on the Europa League and to make it their priority.
Another possible way that Manchester United can qualify for the upcoming season of the UEFA Champions League is by snatching a top 5 spot in the Premier League but this path is probably the more difficult one as Jose Mourinho and his squad will have to consistently win match and earn points while the UEFA Europa League can be defined by far fewer amount of games.
The last time that Manchester United won the Champions League was back during the season of 2007-08 when they overcame Chelsea in an intense penalty session.
Even though it’s been over 9 years since Manchester United won the prestigious European title, it’s probably not in their list of priorities as the Premier League club has recently been switching managers and struggling to secure a top 3 spot in the top tier English League.
During the 2013-14 season, United finished in the 7th spot, in the 2014-15 season United snapped the 4th position and in the 2015-16 season, United had to settle with the 5th position.
It’s clear that Manchester United aren’t going through the best of times and trying to qualify as well as compete in the UEFA Champions League is not what they should be focusing on.
Darren Fletcher says that Sir Alex Ferguson always had an idea of what the Red Devils boys were up to when he was the manager of the squad.
As per Fletcher, the geographical area of Manchester is not that much. So, Ferguson had his acquaintances spread in every corner of the city and he would gather all the information from them.
And it was not as if he had to ring people up to gather the information. There was no need for him to do that. People themselves wanted to talk to him because he was such a famous individual, a kind of a superstar in his own right and passing on the information was one way of reaching him or talking to him.
So, whenever someone had that opportunity, they wouldn’t miss it and would dial his number immediately and let him know which disco or pub any particular player went to and for how long he remained there and then the next morning the coach would catch the lad in a complete state of shock by asking him how his outing in the night was.
Fletcher reckons that ten or fifteen years back, the players could go over the top in discos or places like that because there was no social media back in that time and things didn’t tend to go viral. So, they might think that whatever they do, the coach wouldn’t be able to know about it.
But, once they realized that the coach’s eyes were actually watching them everywhere, there was always going to be a second thought in their minds before they would cross the line anywhere. So, in that sense, it was a great way to sort of stop the players from breaching the discipline.
Former Manchester United player Jaap Stam is set to reunite with former manager Alex Ferguson when he leads Reading in a visit to Old Trafford in the third round of the FA Cup next month.
The Dutchman is poised for a return to a club he won three Premier League title and a Champions League.
The 44-year old is one of Fergie’s players that followed his footsteps in soccer management. He is set to receive an ovation when he arrives at old Trafford. He was one of the standout players at United then he left in 2001 to play in the Serie A. He stayed at Lazio where he enjoyed five successful seasons before switching again to Ajax where he ended his career.
After the player left, Ferguson disclosed that letting the player leave was his biggest mistake.
“Jaap Stam was the one. Without a question, I made a mistake there,” he confessed. He blamed his error on the fitness report he received then.
“He’d been out for months end and, when he came back, Steve McClaren [United’s then assistant manager], and I thought he had lost a yard of pace. We played Fulham and he didn’t have a good game and at that moment Lazio come in and offer £16.5 million.
“So then Jaap goes to Lazio and he played fantastic. So it was a bad decision. I should maybe have waited a bit longer,” Ferguson disclosed.
Staam has had coaching spells at Zwolle and Ajax before helping Reading to a third place finish in the Championship. Ahead of his return to Old Trafford he said it would be “nice” to talk with Ferguson.
“I haven’t heard from Sir Alex since I came here but I do think it would be nice to talk to him. Now as a manager, I think of the way he spoke to the group, how he affected the team at certain moments,” Stam said.
It seems things have not been very easy for the Red Devils since the exit of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Could it be that he took with him all his good luck and shine? Since Ferguson’s exit in 2013, United have been unable to confidently challenge for the coveted Premier League crown with each passing season.
Juan Mata has come out to say that Manchester United are finding it quite difficult to cope since the highly respected coach left the club. However, Mata who was signed onto the club by David Moyes all the way from rival giants, Chelsea in January 2014, is hopeful that they would soon overcome the present challenges and start fighting for the title once more.
After Alex Ferguson’s exit, there have been other coaches, David Moyes and Louis Van Gal. Next and current manager of the Manchester United squad is Jose Mourinho who took over the mantle of leadership after the dismissal of Van Gaal following his dismal performance and inability to come off with something meaningful in the championship.
So far, Mourinho has done anything but convince the club that he is one who can turn their woes around. Yet still, Mata remains hopeful that there is a brighter future ahead. Speaking to reporters, he said:
“It is difficult to start a new era after the time Sir Alex was here. But I would tell people that this club sooner or later will be fighting for trophies again and hopefully this season.
“We are bringing players every year trying to get that and, sooner or later, we are going to get that because, as I said before, we have a great squad and also an unbelievable support behind us.We know we can do better in some ways and that we need to get points.”
The former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes that JurgenKlopp and Liverpool are the perfect match as the German coach is what the Premier League club needs in order to start winning major pieces of silverware, which is something that they have not been able to do in the past decade.
In the debut season of JurgenKlopp as the head coach of Liverpool, he managed to push the team to the finals of the Capital One Cup and of the Europa League as well. This is an impressive thing to accomplish for any manager, especially for one that was going through his 1rst season as the manager
Even though it has not even been 1 year since JurgenKlopp took over Liverpool, Sir. Alex Ferguson can feel the impact that the German coach has already made at Anfield as the former Manchester United manager said:
“He’s bought into the fans and the support have taken to him because he’s shown that enthusiasm on the touchline, with his energy and his personality when he’s jumping out there. I think the combination of both suits each other.”
Sir. Alex Ferguson supports JurgenKlopp and is certain that he can do good things with Liverpool but this doesn’t stop the Scottish tactician in criticizing Klopp as Ferguson blasted the tactics that JurgenKlopp utilized during the finals of the Europa League.
During the finals of the 2015-16 season of the Europa League, Liverpool faced off with Sevilla and the Premier League club had the upper hand after scoring the first goal at the 35th minute through Daniel Sturridge but Sevilla came back and scored 3 goals as the final scoreboard displayed 3-1 in favor of the Spanish club and Sir. Alex Ferguson stated that Liverpool was just exhausted in the 2nd half and this was one of the main reasons of why they lost.
“In the second half Liverpool had no energy, they could not get to the ball. The space in midfield became bigger. I never had a team who could press a ball all season.” Sir. Alex Ferguson added on.
Wayne Rooney appears to have made up his differences with former manager Sir Alex Ferguson after the Scot claimed that the England international would be a great player in any period.
Rooney came close to leaving United twice during his decade at Old Trafford. The club persuaded him a lot to ensure that he stayed at the club. Rooney’s stock, though, has fallen in recent times with the striker being criticised for his low return in front of goal. Even though it has been done to former manager Louis van Gaal playing him in a number of positions, Rooney has certainly not been at his best.
Ferguson ensured that he consistently got the best out of Rooney in nine of the 12 seasons the former Evertonian has spent at Old Trafford. Even then, the forward has been able to break through the 20 goal season barrier only four times. For all the talent that he has at his disposal, this is seen as a lower return especially considering that United have experienced even 40 or more goals per season by a single player – Cristiano Ronaldo. Ferguson was speaking ahead of Rooney’s testimonial just take ahead of the new Premier league season. Rooney will be giving away the entire proceeds of the testimonial between United and Everton to charity.
“He [Rooney] was an exciting signing [in 2004]. It was fairly shortly after I’d got rid of the idea of retiring and changed my mind, and I had to rethink about how we were going to take the club forward.When you make the decision to retire, you stop thinking, but once I decided to stay I started thinking again and it was really centred around bringing energy back into the team by looking at young players,” said Ferguson about one of his signings.
Among the different experts and influencers in the world of European football as Sir Alex Ferguson is one person whose opinion is usually sought out.
In the latest coach transfer case for Manchester United he has pointed out that Jose Mourinho should have thought twice before he decided to move back to Chelsea. Sir Alex is no stranger to Jose’s achievements and his career progression over the years. The Scot, who is currently 74 years of age, feels that Mourinho had considerable success when he was with Old Trafford and they have definitely seen much of each other in the previous years.
This season began with Jose been appointed as the new manager for Manchester United. Alex feels that he should not have come back for a second spell in this club. That is probably because he feels that his achievements had not been given proper credit. The west London club had sacked him even though they won the title in the Premier League of the previous season.
The start to the last season had been dreadful for the club. Mourinho has a lot of history with Chelsea. He helped the club to win two major league titles. The first spell of his tenure with the club had been from 2004 to 2007. He had then returned to Stamford Bridge in the year 2013. Sir Alex feels that Mourinho would have a tough time proving himself a second time. That is a case that is common in many instances. However, he does admit that Mourinho has the right credentials to help the club turn things around. As last season had been dreadful for the club, including being ousted from the Premier League, there is a lot on Mourinho’s shoulders in order to help turn things around for the team.
Current manager of The Red Devils, Jose Mourinho wants German midfielder, Toni Kroos to rejoin him at Old Trafford, according to reports.
The Portuguese tactician is believed to be preparing a dream signing of the player for £31m from the Spanish giant Real Madrid.
Mourinho is reported to be keen on adding the player to his midfield options, however likely the move would be for Kroos who has everything going for him at the Spanish outlet. Spanish news source Fichajes claims Manchester United are prepared to make an opening offer worth £31.2million for the German World Cup winner if he agrees to the move. Mourinho is reported to have told the board that he wants the player and that they should be prepared to do whatever it takes to land him this summer.
Manchester United missed out on signing the 26-year-old midfielder when he made the move to join Spain in 2014, despite being linked with a move to Old Trafford. Mourinho is looking at rewriting the story with the move to land the player this summer. His arrival would likely end Bastian Schweinsteiger’s short spell at United. The German has struggled with form and injuries since joining the club and is set to leave this summer with German clubs ready to pay for his services. The player is said to be taking home an astronomical £275,000 a week in wages and Mourinho is keen on offloading the ageing midfielder.
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane would prefer to keep Kroos at the Bernabeu as he has been decent in his role. However, Zidane is also keen on landing Juventus’ Paul Pogba so he would be willing to listen to offers of at least £35m. Pogba has been impressive for Juve but might join Madrid if the price is right.
Many speculate that Sir Alex Ferguson’s biggest regret at Manchester United may be failing to match Bob Paisley’s record of three European cups. Ferguson ended up with only two to his name.
The former United manager, though, has revealed that his biggest regret may be a surprising one for many since it involves the training ground. Ferguson said that once he made a trip to Barcelona that changed his view about the location of a gym. He feels that United should have had a gym overlooking the training pitches at Carrington. This, Ferguson says, is a great motivation to the players who are currently on the sidelines and trying to get back.
United moved to the new training ground based on Carrington back in 2000. Ferguson had a substantial amount of influence of the club back then, but not at the level he is right now. More importantly, Ferguson claimed that the visit to Barcelona came three years after United had constructed the Carrington training ground. Ferguson is one of the successful managers of all time after having led United to numerous titles in more than 25 years at the club. He retired from all forms of management in 2013 and is currently the club’s ambassador.
“One part I wish I’d done at United was that the gym is one floor up and you can see into the training ground.Three years after we’d built Carrington I went over to Barcelona and realised we’d made a mistake. Our gym at Carrington is enclosed.Looking out at the training ground makes the players hungry to get out there. So when a player is coming back from injury he can see the pitches it’s an incentive to get out there.So there are things I wish I’d thought about when Carrington was built that I see here,” said Ferguson.