Manchester United have been the inform team in the Premier League since Bruno Fernandes made his debut against Wolves on the 1st of February.
Since the midfielder’s addition to the side, Manchester United has picked up 72 points, more than current champions Liverpool, Manchester City, and the chasing pack.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hit back defiantly when United beat Everton 3-1 back in November in a match that could have seen the Norwegian lose his job after getting knocked out in the Champions league that week.
“Top, absolutely Top. Fantastic after Wednesday night, Thursday morning coming back.
“I just go back to that one all the time, and they’ve shown that today.
“We’ve spoken about it. They’re not going to have the pleasure of seeing us lose again.” Said Solskjaer.
Manchester United Rise
Since then, United have drawn three times and won the rest. The win midweek against Fulham sent the Red Devils two points clear and equaled the club record of 17 Premier League away games without defeat set by the treble-winning side of 1999.
United’s rise from mediocrity to the Premier League’s summit at the halfway point in the season is remarkable. Last year, at this stage, 19 games played United had a 30 point deficit on eventual league winners Liverpool. The gap currently lies at 6 points in United’s favour.
They have clawed back the gap that nobody in their right mind would have envisaged happening at the beginning of the year. Solskjaer’s side has been unbeaten away since starting their current 16-game run at Stamford Bridge back in February when they won 2-0 thanks to Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire’s goals.
Their run is now over a year old with their last away defeat coming at Liverpool when Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah took the Reds one step closer to the Premier League title last January.
It’s dishonest to think a lot of improvement is only down to Bruno Fernandes’ signing. He is a significant reason, but Manchester United’s ascent to the summit is down to other factors. Here are some of the reasons behind United’s rise.
United has never been short of quality. The problem for Manchester United was that they prioritized reputation over quality and hunger. Under Alex Ferguson, United had two players for every position throughout his tenure such as Cole, Sheringham, Keane, Butt, Tevez Rooney, et al.
Solskjær for the first time in his Manchester United managerial career can call upon quality players from the bench when in other seasons it wouldn’t have been the case. On the 26th of December 2020, Manchester United played Leicester City with a bench having Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood, Edison Cavani, and Donny van de Beek. The year before the bench, Daniel James, Phil Jones, and Ashley Young in a 4-1 win against Newcastle.
United can go week to week playing different teams and remain strong without upsetting the balance. Manchester United has navigated the Christmas period brilliantly, and that can only be thanks to Ole’s rotation. Having Mctominay and Fred replaced by Matic and Pogba, and vice versa will come in very handy when the Europa League comes back.
Coronavirus has disrupted the season schedule, and it’s made the league season more compact because of the later start. Games are coming far quicker than usual. Squad depth is vital, and clubs with inadequate squad depth have and will suffer as a result.
It’s fair to say Paul Pogba’s Manchester United career has been a turbulent one. On the eve of United’s biggest game of the season. Mino Raiola told Tuttosport he intended for Pogba to leave United by not signing a new contract.
“Paul is unhappy with Man Utd as he is no longer able to express himself in the way that he would like and as he is expected to. Paul needs a new team, a change of air,” said Riola
The comments were ill-timed and were not ideal preparation for the game against RB Leipzig. Manchester United or any club dealing with Mino Raiola knows he’s capable of throwing bombshells for his players.
Ole’s man-management of Pogba since then has been nothing short of excellent. Every manager that’s managed Pogba has never been able to find consistency with the Frenchman.
Under Ole, the World cup winner has a new lease of life. Pogba has become undroppable, and if United are to win the league they’ll need a focused Pogba, they look to have that for now. Winners against Burnley and Fulham have put Raiola’s comments to bed, for the summer at least.
United’s recruitment was an embarrassment under previous managers. The club was heading down a Real Madrid style galactico process. Enormous fees for Di Maria and the likes of Sanchez were not signings that allowed the club to progress.
Now the signings have pushed players to a different level. The prime example is Luke Shaw, a player much maligned for most of his Manchester United career. Alex Telles’s introduction to the team has pushed the left-back to heights fans haven’t seen since the days before his leg break.
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United have also signed grafters. Edison Cavani is a brilliant footballer but is also very snide. He’s not the only one. United players like Bruno Fernandes and Edison Cavani are both super footballers, but they are also very snide and will moan about everything,
The added experience of these players with youth signings is a welcome concoction. United refuse to be beaten and have won 21 points from losing positions. The experience of the likes of Cavani can only push Manchester United forward.
United more than likely won’t win the league, they can, but it would be tough to stop Pep’s Manchester City. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has set United a foundation they can finally build on.
He may not be the man to reach the summit, but he’s made the job easier for whoever comes in, whoever that may be.
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere
The English Premier League has welcomed some of the best players in the history of football. Players from different continents have made a huge impact on the league with impressive performances. There are others who failed to impress and can be termed as flops.
The League is quite unique from other European leagues. It is more competitive, fierce, physically challenging in nature. Needless to say, a player who isn’t mentally and physically geared up for this will stumble under the pressure.
Established stars can fall by the wayside with their former successes and triumphs becoming nothing more than a footnote in the EPL. Impressively, some of these players put in impressive performances when they moved to other leagues.
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big In Other Leagues
Following the impending sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Tottenham bought several players, one of the players they bought was Paulinho.
Paulinho was signed from Corinthians in Brazil where he helped them win the Copa Libertadores, Brasileirao, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
They defeated Chelsea in the latter to lift the trophy. Importantly, he had just won the FIFA Confederations Cup with Brazil and was voted as the third-best player at the tournament.
He joined Tottenham as the club’s record signing in 2013, so a lot was expected of him. However, his performance was not as impressive as the club had envisaged. He was later sold to Guangzhou Evergrande in China at a loss.
The Brazilian’s transfer to the Chinese league resulted in a change of fortunes, as helped the club claim the Chinese league and the AFC Champions League title in his first season.
In the second, he was voted into the Chinese League team of the year in recognition of his performance. Also, he won the league, FA Cup, and Super Cup.
Although critics downplayed his performance, citing the standard of the Chinese league compared to the English league, Paulinho impressed in Spain too following a €40 million move to Barcelona.
Paulinho helped the club claim the league and the Copa del Rey trophy. His performance in his only season with Barcelona impressed Ronaldinho who said: “He really stood out.”
- Iago Aspas
Most Premier League fan remembers Aspas only as a Liverpool flop with the number 9 jersey. Aspas moved from boyhood club Celta Vigo to Liverpool for a deal estimated to be around £7.7 m, with Liverpool hoping to have unearthed a gem. However, that gem turns dregs, failing to score in any of his 14 league appearances.
After just one season, Liverpool decided that they have seen enough so they sent him on a season-long loan to Sevilla with an obligation to buy. In his season-long loan at the club, he was the joint top scorer in the Copa del Rey alongside Neymar with 7 goals and won the UEFA Europa League.
At the end of his season-long loan at Sevilla, the club signed him from Liverpool but sold him to Celta Vigo in the same transfer window. In every of his first 5 seasons at Celta Vigo, he scored in double digits.
In fact, in three of the 5 seasons, he won the Zarra Trophy awarded to the Spanish player with the most league goals in a season. As of December 2020, Aspas had won La Liga player of the month four times.
- Diego Forlan
Perhaps, the most notable and interesting English Premier League flop who became a star in another League. He was not just impressive in another league; he was extraordinary with his National team Uruguay.
Sir Alex Ferguson signed Forlan in 2001 following the attacker’s impressive form at Independiente in Argentina. In his first season in England, Forlan made 18 appearances but failed to score a single goal. The two seasons after were not impressive either, hence his transfer to Villarreal.
Impressively, Forlan scored 25 league goals in his first season with Villarreal and won the league’s top scorers award (2004/05). Also, he was awarded the European Golden Shoe award alongside Thierry Henry the same year. He left the club two seasons later for Atletico with 59 goals scored in 128 matches.
In his second season with Atletico Madrid (2008/09), Forlan beat Samuel Eto’o to the Spanish league’s top scorer’s award. He scored 32 league goals in 33 league appearances that season which earned him the Pichichi trophy. Again, he won the European Golden Shoe but this time it was not shared with anyone.
The next season (2009/10), Forlan played a key role as Atletico won the Europa League. He scored six times in the tournament, including two in the 2-1 win over Fulham in the final. He was voted as the man of the match in the final.
With his national team, he was just as impressive; he scored the most goals at the 2010 FIFA World Cup alongside Thomas Muller, Wesley Sneijder, and David Villa.
Furthermore, he was voted into the FIFA World Cup dream team and won the Golden Ball and goal of the tournament title. By the time he retired, he was Uruguay’s highest goal scorer in history, a record which has since been broken by Luis Suarez.
Forlan eventually became so good that some Football fans think he is the caliber of player that could have won the Ballon d’Or.
There are several reasons why players struggle when they change clubs, especially to other countries. Culture, language, teammates, family are some factors that can affect their performances.
These 3 cases show that a player may fail to perform in one league but go on to become a star in another league.
Top 10 Football Dribblers Of All Time
The beautiful game of football is arguably the only sport that entertains its fans with the opportunity to witness a genuine instance of sheer genius with a series of beautiful nutmegs. The display of skills, footwork, eye-catching dribbles by different players makes the game more entertaining.
A lot of players around the world can dribble, go past a defender with a single flick and pace. However, good dribblers can be considered as one of the most important key players of a team, as they can unlock any kind of defense.
There are tons of Football dribblers, but only the best have made it onto the CheapGoals list.
10. Roberto Rivelino
Rivelino’s magic with the ball was unbelievable, doing things nobody ever has or will do on a football pitch, and also had a quality of certainty about himself when he was on the ball.
He would not only wind past his opponents but also mortify them and smash defenders’ confidence. Sudden speeding up, various body bluffs would see him outfox defenders on numerous occasions, as some would say Garrincha made the ball talk to his feet.
Other than being authoritatively one of the best footballers to ever graced the beautiful game and lived with three World Cup medals, this iconic Brazilian player was incredible at dribbling. Being able to control the ball in front of defenders and going past them with ease and confidence is something an aspiring footballer would dream of.
8. George Best
Undoubtedly one of England’s greatest players, having scored 137 goals in 361 appearances for Manchester United in a career that spread over more than a decade for the Red Devils. He had the confidence to make use of the ball within and outside of his boot so well that he could cut around players quickly and easily.
De Lima is known for dribbling past defenders and after that going ahead to score a goal. only a few players have aced the popular ‘step over’ dribble as Ronaldo always proved to be a match-winner time over time with his solo dribbles.
6. Johan Cruyff
One of Cruyff’s best abilities was that he had the ability to recognize any weakness and shortcoming in a defender. Like De-lima, he had a move named after him called “The Cruyff Turn”. It would appear as though he was passing the ball to a teammate but instead to kick the ball, he would turn 90 degrees and drag the ball within his foot behind his back leg. This sudden 90-degree move always left the opponent over to the cleaners.
Talking about football dribblers, Garrincha compared to Pele was generally viewed as the best dribbler ever. His extraordinary speed combined with his stunning ball control always leaves defenders powerless, and unfit to deal with his mesmerizing dribbles. At just 5ft 6inches Garrincha’s low center of gravity helped him weave around opponents effortlessly.
4. Diego Maradona
Maradona uses a style of dribbling called “Gambetta” in which he would use his body position to trick into going the wrong way.
Maradona is an impudent, supreme football dribbler – who uses his small stature to make an extraordinary impact which made him one of the best dribblers in football. His strength and control made it difficult to knock him off the ball.
Considered by many as a standout amongst one of the most skillful players in football, he was commended for his abilities and inventiveness. only if his prime had lasted longer, he may very well have been crowned with Ballon d’Or but Okocha is one of the best football dribblers. Be that as it may, it always a joy to watch the Nigerian dazzle on the football pitch.
The former PSG forward and Brazil legend came into the limelight amid his time with Barcelona scoring 70 goals in 145 caps for the club. Dinho brought his mesmerizing pattern of football from the streets of Brazil onto the world stage, and defenders couldn’t deal with his skills and frills.
Every little thing about him appeared to be so superb. From his sly bluffs to his sudden change in increasing speed, all that he did was accompanied by a smile all over his face. His most popular trick was ‘Snake Bite’ where he would trick defenders by pushing the ball sideways, however, all of a sudden pulling the ball back the other way. He is considered one of the best football dribblers.
Having for all intents and purposes wins everything minus a World Cup, the four-time Balon d’Or winner is magnificently unstoppable on his day. The Barcelona forward has scored lots of stunning goals, beating three, four, even five players before firing it in the back of the net.
Mathias Sindelar, Zinedine Zidane, Micheal Laudrup, Adama Toure, Magico Gonzalez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar Jr, Ariel Ortega, Eden Hazard,Dennis Bergkamp.
This is CheapGoal’s top 10 football dribblers, if any of our loving readers feel otherwise or have their preferred special list, pls don’t hesitate to drop and comment…