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Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay responds to criticism

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Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay responds to criticism

Scott McTominay has recently responded to the criticism he has faced as a Manchester United player.

Scott McTominay responds to criticism

For some time now, the biggest weak point in Manchester United’s star-studded squad has, on paper, been their midfield.

With Nemanja Matic now well past his prime, the Red Devils have been lacking a proper no.6 figure to protect their often-shaky backline and also, when needed, prove a suitable partner for the currently injured Paul Pogba.

However, Man United have not had this, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer instead often relying on the midfield pivot of Scott McTominay and Fred.

Neither player had really covered themselves in glory under the Norwegian, which would often lead to criticism of the pair.

Now though, when asked about criticism recently, McTominay had this to say:

“Every time I wear the Manchester United shirt, for sure, I’m giving my utmost best.

“I’ve prepared the best I could possibly prepare to be on that pitch. Sometimes games are difficult, we’ve had difficult moments this season as a squad, and as individuals.

“That’s part and parcel of the game, and I’ve got nothing else to say other than I give absolutely everything, I’m trying my best to improve, to learn, new coaches are coming in and I’m doing everything I can possibly do.

“You’ve just got to get on with it and be thick-skinned. People can say what they want, but ultimately it’s me who’s in my own head, and I know what I’m doing behind closed doors is the best thing.”

Quotes via the Manchester Evening News.

A new lease of life for McFred?

But whilst McTominay and Fred were often the weakest point of United’s team under Solskjaer, they looked much more impressive under Ralf Rangnick vs Crystal Palace.

Fred was especially bright and had begun to improve over the last several weeks before Rangnick arrived.

And, when speaking post-Palace, Rangnick actually labelled several aspects of McFred’s display as almost perfect.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 15 23 35
2 Liverpool FC 15 32 34
3 Chelsea FC 15 26 33
4 West Ham United 15 9 27
5 Tottenham Hotspur 14 -1 25
6 Manchester United 15 1 24
7 Arsenal FC 15 -4 23
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 15 -1 21
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 15 -2 20
10 Aston Villa 15 -3 19
11 Leicester City 15 -4 19
12 Everton FC 15 -6 18
13 Brentford FC 15 -2 17
14 Crystal Palace 15 -2 16
15 Leeds United 15 -7 16
16 Southampton FC 15 -7 16
17 Watford FC 15 -9 13
18 Burnley FC 14 -7 10
19 Newcastle United 15 -13 10
20 Norwich City 15 -23 10
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 13
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 6
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 6
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 6
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 6
Raphinha Leeds United 6
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United 6
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 6
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 5
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 5
King, Joshua Watford FC 5
Gray, Demarai Everton FC 5
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 5
Pukki, Teemu Norwich City 5
Cornet, Maxwel Burnley FC 5
Sarr, Ismaila Watford FC 5



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Benitez’s Liverpool allegiance too big an obstacle to overcome

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Rafa Benitez lost his job at Everton on Sunday night

Rafa Benitez at Everton always seemed destined to end this way.

The Spanish coach took over from the popular Carlo Ancelotti last summer despite his obvious connections to the red side of Liverpool, and it’s fair to say he only underwhelmed from there.

First of all he was hamstrung in the transfer market with Demarai Gray the only player to join for a fee, and despite an initial good start on the pitch, things went downhill rapidly.

Benitez faced an uphill task to convince Evertonians that he was the right person for the job at Goodison right from the start, and a haul of 19 points from 19 games – along with a miserable style of play – did nothing to convince the Toffees faithful that he could turn things around.

Inevitably, the latest chapter in what has been a glittering managerial career came to an end on Sunday as Benitez lost his job, and former midfielder Olivier Dacourt admitted it was always a bridge too far.

Speaking to 101 Great Goals, Dacourt said: “When you speak about Rafa Benitez, you think of Liverpool. He won them the biggest trophy in club football! [The Champions League]

“What do you expect from the Everton fans? Even though he came here years after being at Liverpool, it’s still Liverpool and the success that he brought them that he’s known for.”

The Frenchman knows all about the inner-city rivalry having scored in the Merseyside Derby, and admits he could never have braved the trip across the river.

“It reminds me of the situation I had at Everton,” he said. “Gerard Houllier asked me: ‘Would I sign for Liverpool? I said, ‘No way!! It’s not possible, I cannot’, because even though it’s a job, you cannot cross that boundary – it’s not right.”

“Maybe I’m too romantic, but my point of view is, him being at Everton after managing Liverpool is too big an obstacle to overcome for the fans.”

The Frenchman was also quick to make his opinion on Lucas Digne’s public spat with Benitez known, with his compatriot now having joined Aston Villa.

Digne took to Instagram to confirm his move, as well as take a parting swipe at Rafa Benitez, in a heartfelt message to the Everton faithful.

And Dacourt, no stranger to player and manager spats himself, believes that the club should have backed their defender over Benitez.

Speaking before the transfer to Villa Park was confirmed, Dacourt said: “Lucas Digne has been at Everton for three/four years now? The fans know what he brings, he’s a good player, he’s professional and sometimes when a new manager joins, he’ll stay for just six months or one year and he’ll stop the career of someone who loves the club!

“In any work environment, you can make somebody or break somebody. I’m not saying the motive behind it is purely personal, but it could be so simple as they don’t like each other or have a connection.”

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 22 41 56
2 Liverpool FC 21 37 45
3 Chelsea FC 22 28 43
4 West Ham United 22 11 37
5 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 3 33
7 Manchester United 20 3 32
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 20 2 31
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 20 0 28
10 Leicester City 18 -2 25
11 Crystal Palace 21 -1 24
12 Southampton FC 21 -8 24
13 Aston Villa 20 -5 23
14 Brentford FC 21 -9 23
15 Leeds United 20 -15 22
16 Everton FC 19 -10 19
17 Watford FC 19 -14 14
18 Norwich City 21 -35 13
19 Newcastle United 20 -23 12
20 Burnley FC 17 -11 11
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 7
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 6
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Ward Prowse, James Southampton FC 6





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Why Manchester United or Newcastle are unlikely to land Amadou Haidara in January

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Why Manchester United or Newcastle are unlikely to land Amadou Haidara in January

Manchester United & Newcastle linked with Haidara

Manchester United have been pretty heavily linked with RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara of late.

After being appointed as Manchester United’s interim manager, it was reported that Ralf Rangnick informed club chiefs that they needed to strengthen in midfield, and should take a closer look at Haidara.

It was also claimed that Haidara was set to become the German’s first signing as Man United boss, provided the Red Devils coughed up his release clause, which was believed to stand at £32m.

Then, on Sunday, it was claimed that Manchester United and RB Leipzig had opened up a dialogue regarding Haidara:

A separate report over the weekend, meanwhile, suggested Newcastle were looking to muscle in on the Red Devils’ move for Haidara.

Haidara staying put?

All of this seemed to suggest that Haidara is a wanted man and could be on the move this month.

Now though, Sport 1’s Patrick Berger has provided some information that suggests the RB Leipzig man will not be moving anywhere this month.

Firstly, Berger does acknowledge that Newcastle and Manchester United are interested in Haidar, before adding that the latter was the 23-year-old’s favourite club as a child.

However, Berger goes on to explain that Leipzig have no interest in selling Haidara in the winter window and, most importantly of all, his release clause, which is put at €40m, does not activate until the summer.

So, with Leipzig not wanting to sell and no release clause in place, it does look as though Haidara will be staying put for the time being:

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 22 41 56
2 Liverpool FC 21 37 45
3 Chelsea FC 22 28 43
4 West Ham United 22 11 37
5 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 3 33
7 Manchester United 20 3 32
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 20 2 31
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 20 0 28
10 Leicester City 18 -2 25
11 Crystal Palace 21 -1 24
12 Southampton FC 21 -8 24
13 Aston Villa 20 -5 23
14 Brentford FC 21 -9 23
15 Leeds United 20 -15 22
16 Everton FC 19 -10 19
17 Watford FC 19 -14 14
18 Norwich City 21 -35 13
19 Newcastle United 20 -23 12
20 Burnley FC 17 -11 11
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 7
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 6
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Ward Prowse, James Southampton FC 6





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Arsenal eye potential January switch for Middlesbrough right-back

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Arsenal eye potential January switch for Middlesbrough right-back

Arsenal are interested in the services of Middlesbrough right-back Djed Spence, according to reports.

Djed Spence impressing on loan

Middlesbrough would sign Djed Spence from Fulham in July of 2018.

The young right-back would spend some time with Middlesbrough’s under-23s, before eventually being handed his senior debut in December of 2019.

Spence had fantastic start to life at the Riverside and would be named as the EFL Young Player of the Month for December of 2019.

However, Boro’s form then tailed off in the second half of that season, with Jonathan Woodgate eventually being replaced by Neil Warnock.

Warnock, a more defensive manager, was not too keen on Spence – who can be somewhat lackluster in his defensive duties – and would allow the 21-year-old to be loaned out to Nottingham Forest for the 2021/22 campaign.

Spence has since excelled with Nottingham Forest, including in the 3rd round of the FA Cup when he spent an afternoon terrorizing Arsenal’s left-flank.

Arsenal eye Djed Spence

Now, after seeing Spence up close, the Gunners appear to be keen on a move.

The Mirror report that Arsenal are eyeing a potential January move for Spence, with Italian giants AS Roma and Inter Milan also watching developments closely.

Given how impressive he has been this season, new Middlesbrough boss Chris Wilder may not be too keen to let the wing-back go without getting a close look at him.

However, Wilder’s stance on keeping Spence could be more relaxed due to the starring displays Isaiah Jones has been putting in for Boro at right-wing-back of late, but that is not clear right now.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 22 41 56
2 Liverpool FC 21 37 45
3 Chelsea FC 22 28 43
4 West Ham United 22 11 37
5 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 3 33
7 Manchester United 20 3 32
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 20 2 31
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 20 0 28
10 Leicester City 18 -2 25
11 Crystal Palace 21 -1 24
12 Southampton FC 21 -8 24
13 Aston Villa 20 -5 23
14 Brentford FC 21 -9 23
15 Leeds United 20 -15 22
16 Everton FC 19 -10 19
17 Watford FC 19 -14 14
18 Norwich City 21 -35 13
19 Newcastle United 20 -23 12
20 Burnley FC 17 -11 11
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 7
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 6
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Ward Prowse, James Southampton FC 6



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