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SAF after final defeat: ''Great teams go in cycles and the cycle they (Barcelona) are in at the moment is the best in Europe, there's no question of that. But how long it lasts, whether they can replace that team at another point...they certainly have the philosophy. Can you find players like Xavi and Iniesta and Messi all the time? Probably not. But they are enjoying the moment that they have just now.''

The man is a visionary. I think it is RM cycle now. Just look at their team. So much talent and depth that even players like James, Morata can't make it.
+5
Barca seem to be in quite the pickle atm.

Sell Neymar...buy Paulinho. Insanity
Paulinho for 40 mil, Spurs reject, crazy shiit
+2
RM will come on top again next season,even without ronaldo they have depth in most positions.
If Barca gets coutinho and dembele they are back on track. maybe not this year but for the remaining seasons. 2 amazing talents.
There midfield is complete s**t. If you want to know what a team plays like with a s**t midfield but without Messi carrying them just look at our past few seasons
I could easily name 5-10 clubs who have a stronger midfield than us lol kinda sad tbh
Will real madrid find another Kroos and Modric??
Kroos is only 27 and he doesn't rely on pace so he got plenty of time to play
They have Kovacic, Ceballos, and Isco. Zidane is already building the future squad
Real Madrid are stacked for at least another generation. All you gotta do is watch Isco play - he is something else.

Currently, Modric has developed in possibly the best midfielder in the world (when not injured).

And even without those players (or Bale or Roaldo) they brushed aside full-strength Barca with ease.
Madrid is in the same situation as Barca were in that final with lots of potential young players.Xavi was 29-30 in the finals and Iniesta too was 26-27 at that time just like Modric and Kroos are now atm.Have they managed to find a replacement for xavi in last 3-4 years?? Have they found a solid replacement for the ageing Iniesta yet? No.

Next 3-4 years is a long long time. All those promising players might leave or get sold and Madrid might just get left with some deadwoods just like Barca are.

So, time will tell.
All this talk about real Madrid minutes and no mention of casemiro. He is just as responsible for all the good at Madrid as are kroos and modric in my opinion. He wasn't a mainstay at real until zidane came in and he found a spot for him. Madrid has been a Juggernaut ever since.
+4
I think it's because you can find other players of Casemiro's calibre but it's not easy to find some one like Modric.
Plus he always delivers the big-game goals
Madrid could 3-peat
The Kroos-Modric midfield too strong

Just wait till paulinho is ready for them.
+1
madrid are miles ahead of all the other teams in europe. too much depth and talent in that team.
+1
Swansea sold their best player to Everton ahead of Saturday's game. Gylfi always found a way to score against us.
+1
It's ok. I'll take a 4-1 win. Not every game needs to be a clean sheet.

#PartlyJoking #PartlySerious #WishfulThinking
He wasn't going to be played anyway if he was not sold till later on. He missed the opening game because of the transfer
They used to be our bogey team until last season when we eased past them away from home. The only issue was when we drew against them later that season it cost us our top 4 spot
^That free kick though!!
http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/40954441

Don't you dare Jonny
+2
another 50 M incoming
Evans + Otamendi + Mangala + Stones lol 120m and counting

A CB a year seems like City's spending policy.

Like Pep's boss screaming "I dont care who you sign, just give me a CB by the end of the window!"
yup. the legendary "spending strategy" 50m cap
F u all lol if this happens I will trade my Silva picture for a Jonny Evans one
^ i really hope you buy him now :P
Also, note that if we do buy him, he will suddenly become a 'great ball playing defender' in my eyes. Not to mention his FIFA ratings will rise. So again, screw you all. This is win win for me (i think)
Definitely win win, dude :D
Stones-Otamendi-Evans. It's win win win
+1
Really? Thats f**king jokes , hide your center backs quick everyone
City are gonna have an impenetrable defense with Lord Evans at the helm.
But as they say, give me 10 good men and i'll impregnate the bitch
+2
lol brilliant
Long time guys. Did not have a chance to talk about last week's games. Massive statement from United (obviously early days but I loved what I saw). Also good to see Hart and Zabman plying their trade.

If nothing else, Pogba seems like he will be taking charge this year. Matic was very impressive. You either love Mou or hate him, and I think Matic seems the kind who will run through a wall for him.

Also, Lukaku's touch can be that of an ostrich at times :P but not when he is trying to score with that touch. That pass from Rashford was delicious and the finish even better, followed by the all too familiar despair on Hart's face.

+1
Do us a favor and don't win the league again, Tomi :)

The best thing about Lukaku is that even if his touch isn't stellar at all times, he's such a decisive finisher that it hardly matters when he's in on goal.
We winning the treble this year. #yolo
I say we go with the three man midfield for Swansea away. I really want to see Pogba in that system.
that will likely be our default away system to give stability and control to our play
Wouldn't mind but that would mean dropping Mata or Mikhi
Or Rashford
So one more signing? It would take us to the next level hopefully. We look like a complete squad but we are missing an out and out winger. There arent many options though if Perisic is not coming.
the whole griezman situation is such a shame he could have totally elevated this squad to the next level but hopefully we can get him next summer or maybe costa joins atletico in january and we can get him then.
Griezman release clause is £170 M , I doubt you would of signed Lukaku if you got Griezman
It was €100m this summer and Utd could have signed him but he didnt want to turn his back on AM during their ban. It is now increased but only until next summer. Hopefully he will be a red then
Griezman buy out clause is still the same it hasnt changed
We already have Rashford and Martial on the left. Where are you guys expecting Perisic or Greizman to play? Doesn't make a lot of sense in my opinion unless we are changing the formation fundamentally. RW or LB is probably the position we can improve if Shaw is not getting back to form.
He has a buy out clause near 89 mil pounds or euros.. that is cheap for a world class player. I will be very disappointed if we don't get him next summer.

Greizmann can play on the wings or behind the striker or as a striker. We need more goals in this team.

We were at our best when we had players like Rooney, Ronaldo, Tevez, Berba, Nani, Giggs, Park. People tend to forget how many world class players we used to have. We need that competition and yes some of your favorite player might not play week in and week out but that competition improves the team and first 11. We are still nowhere near good enough compared to our best.
If the club has to become a European power again we should have a world class player for each position and then some on the bench. Look at RM, Bayern, Psg squads they are stacked. For 89m Griezmann is a steal, I thought AM wanted 150m for him
+1
dunno if i would say we have super strong options at fullback and we possibly need another winger
+1
Greizmann has a release clause.
I see your point about having a great bench but that also creates uneasiness among players. Mikhi is playing behind the striker and in big games, Pogba would probably play there with Herrera to support Matic. The way Rashford and Martial are playing at this age is extremely good, it's only going to get better. I just can't think of a way to accommodate all our best players if more player in the same position join that will significantly improve our squad.
We will have 50-60 games a season, that's enough games to rotate the squad.
The best part of Rashford and Martial is that they can play just about anywhere in the front third - as wide forward on either flanks or even as a classic CF.
although Martial I feel is best deployed on the left flank.
Seems to me that he has upped his game, he is keen to drive at defenders and has the skill /pace to beat them
Hope it continues
+2
Fergie-era teams always had a quartet of options basically for each position. And, usually, he had high-octane options up front. He made it his job to keep them happy, vested in the squad and they found a way to deliver and play their parts.

No reason why that couldn't work in today's day and age. It is difficult to pull off but that is why you pay a premium to get the high profile manager.
Maybe you can make a case for Griezman but I just don't get how we would accommodate Perisic without affecting Rashford and Martial's growth. Mind you he is not cheap and I am not convinced that he is significantly better than the other two, if at all.
+1
Griezzman release clause is 200m only for this summer. it goes back to 100m in january, which when Athelticos ban ends
Lukaku should be the first United player since Van Persie to break the the 20 goals mark in the premier league. It's shocking how we haven't had a striker score that much since RVP. That's one of the reasons we failed to even mount a title challenge since Fergie left.
+3
ibra probably would have if he didnt get injured, but yeah that's one of the main reasons we've been nowhere near competing for the league title. not enough goals.
+1
http://www.bbc.com/sport/football/40911363

OMG Paulinho is only £36.4m??? We definitely got robbed for Matic
+1
Sarcasm right ?
+1
Paulo dybala + phillipe coutinho = paulinho.
+2
this is there 4th most expensive player
lol what do you think Drog?
I expect better from Barca though
@Ttk86 i hope you are :)
Matic the best EPL signing this season. what a performance that was. We definitely challenging for the Title this season.
+2
It only west ham guys,u guys will see different thing against top6.coughh coughh;..
+5
Yes Huddersfield could be tough. They did score 3 away from home
+5
If I'm not mistaken, unit€d struggles last season were against sides outside of top 6 at home. Not a big deal if he doesnt perform against top 6. Besides thats just some of our salty cry baby fans whinging because we lost him. Brilliant signing for you guys...we f**ked up
+10
Against top 6 I expect a 3 man midfield. Its more likely that Mou will use Herera to control the middle against fast and technical players.
Mou had Slaven Bilic's number all along so he went with an attacking side but against top sides it should be a more conservative approach.

After Matic's signing the midfield looks really solid. It has been forever since Man Utd had a stable CM pairing and thats a welcome change
+2
Pogba, Matic, Herrera. We've got ourselves a great group of midfielders. Took us long enough to assemble the unit. Prior to Herrera, we let the midfield deteriorate with aging Carrick alone.
+2
Matic may very well turn out to be the signing of the season, only time will tell.

One thing for certain is that Pogba is going to shine a hell of a lot more having Matic doing (some of) the dirty work for him. Also...paying 40 million for a veteran that played a massive role in two successful title campaigns is a bargain. People don't suddenly become shite after they turn 30, he's going to be performing at a top level for some time to come.

I am sure Conte regrets not being able to establish a better relationship with Matic. Big loss for Chelsea.

IMO, you guys finally have the perfect midfield for a Mourinho team now. The muscle, the engine, and the creativity are all present in Matic, Herrera and Pogba. Hell, even Fellaini is useful for when one of the three need to be rested. Mou loves these types of players.
+2
Seems Conte is real bad at managing players. No wonder that Matic's form dropped terribly last season, he seems to be the kind of player who would 110% for the manager who trusts him.
At Chelsea he was asked to train alone.
Conte also banished a player like Costa who was single handedly responsible for their last 2 titles through a text message and asked to play with reserves.
+4
What i wanna know is why was Schneiderlin such a failure? I thought he was bought for the same reason Matic was, as they are essentially the same type of player
^^For me that was lvg failure,he still got little chance under mou but did not perform,then get dropped again,thats when he decide to gain more game time somewhere else rather then stay n fight for his place..
Maybe he cant play or handle pressure at top level? Some players are only amazing for mid table clubs. Matic is different, he played for Chelsea at top level, so he is proven in PL and at top level.

This was also my concern for Lukaku at first. He might be PL proven but not top club proven. He's doing fine so far. Players are always hit and miss afterall.
+1
"At Chelsea he was asked to train alone.
Conte also banished a player like Costa"

Better not talk when you dont know about something. I know you guys are too excited with his performance. Good enjoy it. But do proper background check about what you speak because coming with lose remarks.

Why was he training alone and from when? Please do some research and then talk. He said he wanted to leave and was not willing to sign contract. So club decided to put him on sale. Conte recently confessed that its a big lose and he wish he could keep him. Matic literally forced this move and we sold him to United because nobody else would overpay for him.


Conte banished Costa? Assh*le has been pushing to move to AM even before Conte came and Costa himself accepted he stayed for another season only because Chelsea could not find replacement for him. He then tried to leave in Jan last year when we were table toppers.

Like i said do some research and talk instead of making lose comments and talking like UK media.

"Costa who was single handedly responsible for their last 2 titles"

Yeah that is why Hazard and Kante won POTY and not him..LOL! Yes Costa was one of the main man...but you using this to make sure Conte did a crime by letting someone who wanted leave even before Conte Joined Chelsea does not surprise me because it obviously lose talks to get some likes from revived united fans base. what can a club or manager do if a player wants to go to spain because he hates Eng.! LOL

If you guys really think Matic is signing of the season like you guys thought about Pogba last year , Depay year before etc...Good for you!
+3
@Bazinga

What research are you doing? You're looking at media just like the rest of everyone else, unless you personally know these players and/or are connected to the team. Judging from your comments, you surely don't

Are you on the inside of Chelsea's business deals? I don't even think that the media really is, so most of this information is spun and based off loose statements here and there. How do you know that he "literally forced this move"? He obviously had a falling out with Chelsea and Chelsea's management couldn't persuade him to stay, that's for sure. Maybe he had a problem with Conte that you don't know about, because you're not really in the know of a footballer's business?

We all watched Chelsea too last season, and I don't think he was that horrible for you. Maybe he was done like Costa before the season started? I also didn't like the way he and Kante played together. But yes, he really is the signing of the season for us, because he plays a lot like Carrick and provides a much needed physical presence in front of our back line and allows Pogba to get further up the field, which is where he needed to be all along to shine.

No one said Depay was the signing of the season or Pogba. I think as fans of the game that Zlatan was probably our most influential signing last season.

And yes Costa did win the title twice for you. :P
*CH€L$€A
Dude read Costa' interview. He clearly says he was willing to sign a contract in December but conte stopped it.
If he "wanted to leave before conte came" then why was he willing to sign a contract?
You are just seeing one side of the sepectrum and obviously biased for your club and conte (because he is still your manager )

Then Costa says he was punished and asked to sit out some games last season. But even after that he came back fighting.
To top it all off, there was the SMS which Costa says was embarrassing way to communicate.
Only after this he wanted to leave.
But without knowing the facts, all Chelsea fans are abusing him for wearing AM shirt when he was not even respected by conte
+2
Vaaz you're the one who hasn't seen most of our games. After the China situation in Jan, Costa was really bad, in no way did he 'come back fighting'. He himself admitted to wanting to leave before Conte arrived.

The only side of the story we know is Costa's, because he is freely dissing club and manager in the press. Conte hasn't and will not tell his side of the story because we don't need to know it. I'm not saying Conte is completely innocent - maybe he could've handled the text better - but we don't know the story about that either. However, this whole situation is on Costa for going public with it, and AM transfer ban spoiling his plans.

Him wearing the AM shirt was a big insult to the fans who had been singing his name through all his antics and really supporting him. There have been lots of players who fell out of favor with their clubs but they've all handled it well. And why would any club just randomly not want their best striker anymore? What does anyone have to gain from that? It reminds me of the Tevez situation, though I don't remember much about it

Matic wanted to move because we got Bakayoko. Whatever his reasons were, he kept quiet about it, trained alone (unlike Costa) and informed the club of his stance. It worked out, for better or worse.

As for signing of the season - could be Matic. Could also be Lukaku. Or Lacazette, or Morata. We'll have to see.

..Who are we kidding lol Willy Caballero for signing of the season!!
+3
Yaldho -Good try...but united fans lost the right of using $ when they spend 700m in just 5 transfer window and finished 6th with most expensive squad in football history a year ago.

Savage dont waste time explaining him.
+2
@Raj, United did struggle against the top 6. Weren't they the team with the least points against the top 6 sides out of the top 6?
+1
Yea i dont really know...i guess they struggled against everyone...i just remember they kept drawing against lower sides at home...
@sanchez arsenal were the worst. We got the same amount of points as Man City against the top 6


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