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169 "Just keep swimming"

About EvilDave

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  1. December 28th Premier League 20/38: Manchester United (9th) vs Chelsea (5th) Romero; Wan-Bissaka (Dalot 62); Tuanzebe, Maguire (Jones 86), Shaw; James, Pogba, Mata, Townsend; Dzyuba, Rashford (Greenwood 71) An improved Manchester United were the stronger team at home to Chelsea, but could not force the winner in a hard-fought draw at Old Trafford. With Mark Wilson making several changes to his line-up just 48 hours after a draw at Leicester, United were the dominant side in the opening stages, and deservedly took the lead when an Andros Townsend free-kick deflected off the Chels
  2. We had quickly moved one from Los Angeles up the West Coast to Portland, where a bumper crowd came out to watch us take on the native Timbers. My old Sounders rivals put in a decent showing against a slightly stronger team than the one which had brushed off the Galaxy, but were no match for my side and ended up conceding twice in the dying minutes, allowing us to put some gloss on the scoreline with a 3-0 win. Richard Boakye made his debut and played all 90 minutes, grabbing the first goal in the process, and the Ghanaian international looked like he would fit in nicely with the rest of our fo
  3. December 26th Premier League 19/38: Leicester City (6th) vs Manchester United (9th) Romero; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Kolarov; James (Townsend 50), Fernandes, McTominay (Pogba 66), Martial; Rashford (Ighalo 81), Greenwood Manchester United conceded late again at the King Power Stadium as their winless streak in the Premier League extended to five games against a determined Leicester side. With both teams making changes to cope with the hectic festive schedule, it was the visitors who struck earliest with Marcus Rashford firing home, but the lead was short-lived courtesy of
  4. “Boss? Can I have a word?” I had told my players that even though we were away across the Atlantic my door was open during the day – the evenings were strictly family time, and I expected my men to need that as much as I did – but I had not really expected anything serious on a pre-season tour. However, Luke Shaw looked troubled, and so I ushered him in. “I’ll get straight to the point, because I can’t figure out how else to say it. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, and I think this is going to be my last season.” I sat quietly, motioning for him to unleash the torrent o
  5. December 21st Premier League 18/38: Brighton and Hove Albion (11th) vs Manchester United (9th) Romero; Dalot (Laird 80), Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; James, Pogba, Fred, Townsend (Lingard 55); Dzyuba, Rashford (Martial 70) Two more points went begging for Manchester United after a failure to finish allowed Brighton a late equaliser at the Amex. After an even and largely uneventful first half, United looked to have made the decisive move when Dan James wormed his way into the box and beat Mat Ryan low at his near post. However, their inability to kill off the game – Marcus Rashford i
  6. That's enough, let's call it there. It seems everyone gets into AFCoN, but that's besides the point - I've achieved something in one of these saves!
  7. It wasn’t often that Rachel and the girls were particularly interested in a football match outside of Southampton or whichever team I happened to be managing at the time, but on this occasion all four of us were glued to the television for the big game. With England having won the right to host the 2030 World Cup, some 74 years after their 1966 triumph, the Confederations Cup had been taking place over the summer break, culminating in the final between the host nation and European champions Italy. Although both Rachel and I had drummed their Welsh identity into Bethan and Rebecca from an early
  8. I think I preferred this result... -- December 16th Manchester United will play German side VfL Wolfsburg in the last 32 of the Europa League, with the first leg to be played at Old Trafford. Wolfsberg are currently struggling in the Bundesliga, sitting 16th in the table. Elsewhere, Lyon play Bayern Munich in the highest-profile clash of the round, while Celtic and Arsenal meet in a highly-anticipated all-British tie. December 17th Carabao Cup Quarter Final: Arsenal (PL) vs Manchester United (PL) De Gea; Laird (Dalot 45), Tuanzebe, Jones, Williams; Mata (James 57), McTo
  9. “Terry, you’ve seen all the footage, you know how we play, you watch the lads train every day. You’re the best person to help me make the call, don’t do yourself down.” I’d enlisted the aid of my assistant to make the decision, and yet Terry McPhillips was not convinced of his credentials. He was no scout, he told me, and yet he was by far the best person other than myself to judge whether a player would fit in with the current crop of players and style of play. The dilemma I had was that I had three strikers lined up to sign – all with personal details ready to go – and yet with Si
  10. December 15th Premier League 17/38: Manchester United (8th) vs Liverpool (1st) Romero; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Kolarov; Townsend (Mata 60), Fred, Pogba (Fernandes 60), James; Rashford (Ighalo 77), Martial Manchester United suffered a narrow loss to arch-rivals Liverpool in game the visitors could have won by several goals. When Joel Matip headed Liverpool in front from a corner after just 95 seconds, the Old Trafford faithful must have feared the worst, however some solid defending and excellent goalkeeping from Sergio Romero kept their side in the game, allowing Martial
  11. In the grand scheme of things, the Lavergnes' latest move continued their theme of never moving too far in one go. So far they been based in Geneva, Stuttgart, Geneva once more, and Munich. Whilst this would be their first venture outside of a German-speaking nation, they were hardly heading to the back of beyond. They were both confident that Milan would very quickly feel like home. Besides which, the Swiss expat community was hardly hard to find. The pair were taken in quickly by their fellow countrymen, and combined with Raphael’s footballing contacts, got them set up in no time with a
  12. Our initial flurry of transfer business did little to attract media attention, which was just the way I liked it. The social media universe no doubt poured out thousands of words on our capture of five youngsters from around the world, but they were not household names to the average football fan – not yet anyway. Diogenes, an 18-year-old Brazilian stolen away from Gremio for just £400,000, 17-year-old Dutch playmaking prodigy Hajrudin Kunic from the Ajax academy for £3m, Racing Club of Argentina’s teenage centre-back Claudio Funes for two-thirds of the price, fellow centre-back Soren Retov –
  13. December 10th Reports coming out of Manchester United this evening have suggested something of a falling out between manager Mark Wilson and star goalkeeper David de Gea. Spanish international De Gea, who has seen Sergio Romero start ahead of him on several occasions this season, is said to be unhappy with his limited playing time – something his manager is believed to have put down to a number of high-profile errors. With neither side backing down, De Gea is not said to be taking further action at this stage, but with the transfer window soon to open this could well be one to watch in Janua
  14. I'm happy with a fairly hipster selection in Angola, I'm even happier with a giant, endangered antelope giving us our nickname! I'm less happy being a group with Mali, but if the top two go through we should be OK? I'm also hopeful of low-ish expectations, so cautiously optimistic...
  15. After lengthy conversations that lasted long into several nights, the Lavergnes decided that no, he didn’t. Bayern no longer presented a challenge, and while Raphael was more than ready to continue working, no seemed as good a time as any to take a step back and recharge before jumping back in. He had done so for a few months after the World Cup, a genuine sabbatical felt long overdue. Managers of old may have mocked a man of merely 50 for wanting a year out, but a man of his standing in the game had no worries about his image and so, expressing his thanks and his apologies to Bayern president
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