Can They Score? http://cantheyscore.com Manchester United Fan Site and Podcast Wed, 09 Dec 2015 10:56:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 #132 Pep Talk For Louis http://cantheyscore.com/2015/12/08/132-pep-talk-for-louis/ http://cantheyscore.com/2015/12/08/132-pep-talk-for-louis/#comments Tue, 08 Dec 2015 19:13:15 +0000 http://cantheyscore.com/?p=18330 1410881776583_wps_17_GUARDIOLA_AND_VAN_GAAL_F_-2After a lengthy hiatus, the Can They Score podcast is finally back in its new format with Tom, Frenchy and...]]> 1410881776583_wps_17_GUARDIOLA_AND_VAN_GAAL_F_-2
After a lengthy hiatus, the Can They Score podcast is finally back in its new format with Tom, Frenchy and James to talk about the past, the present and the future, with recaps of some of our favourite goals against our December opponents, the managerial situation, and, of course, the frustrating lack of goals. We hope you enjoy this month’s Can They Score podcast.

Join The Discussion

Want to get involved in the podcast debate and more? Join our official discussion page here!

Keep Updated With The Pod

Don’t forget to subscribe via iTunes here or simply search ‘Can They Score’ in the iTunes Store, where all reviews are very much welcome. Alternatively you can manually subscribe to the podcast’s RSS Feed which is here.

Subscribe to Can They Score on SoundCloud

]]>
http://cantheyscore.com/2015/12/08/132-pep-talk-for-louis/feed/ 1
#131 Be Like Mike http://cantheyscore.com/2015/10/02/131-be-like-mike/ http://cantheyscore.com/2015/10/02/131-be-like-mike/#comments Fri, 02 Oct 2015 17:28:08 +0000 http://cantheyscore.com/?p=18258 000b2e9b-642After a week’s hiatus, the Can They Score podcast is back with Tom, Frenchy and special guest Greg Johnson to...]]> 000b2e9b-642
After a week’s hiatus, the Can They Score podcast is back with Tom, Frenchy and special guest Greg Johnson to talk about the Sunderland and Wolfsburg games, as well as Chris Smalling’s evolution and Rooney’s ineptitude. We hope you enjoy this week’s Can They Score podcast.

Join The Discussion

Want to get involved in the podcast debate and more? Join our official discussion page here!

Keep Updated With The Pod

Don’t forget to subscribe via iTunes here or simply search ‘Can They Score’ in the iTunes Store, where all reviews are very much welcome. Alternatively you can manually subscribe to the podcast’s RSS Feed which is here.

Subscribe to Can They Score on SoundCloud

]]>
http://cantheyscore.com/2015/10/02/131-be-like-mike/feed/ 1
#130 Breaking Bad http://cantheyscore.com/2015/09/17/130-breaking-bad/ http://cantheyscore.com/2015/09/17/130-breaking-bad/#comments Thu, 17 Sep 2015 20:08:18 +0000 http://cantheyscore.com/?p=18238 PSV-Eindhoven-v-Manchester-United-FC-UEFA-Champions-League-2After a tedious and unexciting international break, the original trio are back to discuss Manchester United’s thrilling 3-1 victory over arch...]]> PSV-Eindhoven-v-Manchester-United-FC-UEFA-Champions-League-2
After a tedious and unexciting international break, the original trio are back to discuss Manchester United’s thrilling 3-1 victory over arch rivals Liverpool and the disappointing return to the Champions League. We hope you enjoy this week’s Can They Score podcast

Join The Discussion

Want to get involved in the podcast debate and more? Join our official discussion page here!

Keep Updated With The Pod

Don’t forget to subscribe via iTunes here or simply search ‘Can They Score’ in the iTunes Store, where all reviews are very much welcome. Alternatively you can manually subscribe to the podcast’s RSS Feed which is here.

Subscribe to Can They Score on SoundCloud

]]>
http://cantheyscore.com/2015/09/17/130-breaking-bad/feed/ 1
This Is Actually The Position Manchester United Needed To Strengthen The Most This Summer… Or Is It? http://cantheyscore.com/2015/09/16/manchester-united-no10-joel-downings/ http://cantheyscore.com/2015/09/16/manchester-united-no10-joel-downings/#respond Wed, 16 Sep 2015 11:02:27 +0000 http://cantheyscore.com/?p=18220 louis-van-gaal-man-utd-mystery-striker_3327786When the transfer window slammed shut two weeks ago you would have been forgiven for thinking it would spell the...]]> louis-van-gaal-man-utd-mystery-striker_3327786

When the transfer window slammed shut two weeks ago you would have been forgiven for thinking it would spell the end of the incessant rumours, round-ups and ‘Five Things We Learned’ articles but the truth is the transfer window never really shuts, ergo the constant stream of receptive ‘content’ never ends. With that said, here’s some more for you to absentmindedly scroll past on Twitter dot com while on the Tube.

If you are reading this, firstly thank you for not clicking that ‘Corbyn Didn’t Sing The National Anthem But You Won’t Believe What He Will Sing’ clickbait article your thumb hovered over, and secondly, you’re about to discover which position Manchester United should have actually strengthened this summer but didn’t really need to.

Despite having just five senior defenders following Luke Shaw’s devastating injury against PSV last night it’s not the defence and contrary to popular belief the club doesn’t necessarily need a striker. The position that really requires a shake-up is the No. 10.

So far this term Memphis Depay, Adnan Januzaj, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata have all auditioned for the gig but none have been particularly successful. Typified by Mata’s performance last night the role looks too big for anyone currently at club to handle, except maybe one man… Wayne Rooney.

Short of signing an experienced, top class player there are very few viable options who can fill the role to the standard Louis Van Gaal requires. In it’s simplest form the Dutchman is looking for a player creative enough to fashion chances, intelligent enough to sprint forward and join the attack as a second striker when needed and fit and willing enough to get back and defend.

Bizarrely, in a Van Gaal system the third requirement might be the most important. Not because the 64-year-old expects his attacking players to defend but because losing possession is the absolute cardinal sin. Anyone seen not working hard to retrieve the ball isn’t performing his duties to the expected standard.

When Adnan Januzaj was trialled there, before being shipped off on loan, he looked repressed. Almost as if he’d been told that moments of individual brilliance were forbidden, that said it was likely the players own apprehension which made him look so lost in the role not his manager’s. Being unsure of what to do should he lose the ball and knowing that if he lost it too many times he’d fail in Van Gaal’s eyes was perhaps too much for the young Belgian.

He’s not the only one though. Juan Mata looked a shadow of the player we saw play No. 10 at Chelsea last night and not for the first time. Memphis Depay was shifted out wide after his stint in the position proved fruitless and Ander Herrera, despite playing the role most effectively so far, looks miles off the quality needed to be a real success there.

I’m as bewildered as you are as to why I’d call for Louis van Gaal to restore a player to a role that he looked incapable of playing in last season. A player that is without a doubt finished at the top level but it just makes so much sense for Wayne Rooney fill the void behind the striker.

It has been glaringly obvious to everyone watching United this season that the England captain isn’t cutting it as a lone striker. Even those who haven’t watched him play there only need to look at the stats to see for themselves. If we’re being really honest, the player only ever looked comfortable as an out-and-out striker at Manchester United before his pace begun to leave him.

Now the club have Anthony Martial, and to a much lesser extent Marouane Fellaini, they aren’t relying on Rooney to carry the goalscoring burden. With Depay and Mata either side and Herrera behind him United’s current squad are fully capable of supporting Martial and chipping in with goals.

With Louis van Gaal’s possession obsession spiralling more and more out of control week-by-week eventually United will barely surrender the ball at all and therefore the need for a defensive No. 10 will diminish. Rooney will be allowed more freedom to express himself and hopefully this will help him build a successful relationship with Martial.

While at Ajax, Van Gaal didn’t trust Dennis Bergkamp in the role, instead preferring the more industrious Jari Litmanen. The latter was obviously a slight downgrade quality-wise but he didn’t exactly lack explosiveness and had the decisiveness to change games. But most crucially he had the trust of his manager.

I would wager Van Gaal trusts Rooney, a player he hailed as his “best ever captain” recently, more than anyone else currently under his management and this is why he should be given another chance.

]]>
http://cantheyscore.com/2015/09/16/manchester-united-no10-joel-downings/feed/ 0
#129 De Geadline Day http://cantheyscore.com/2015/09/04/129-de-geadline-day/ http://cantheyscore.com/2015/09/04/129-de-geadline-day/#comments Fri, 04 Sep 2015 14:21:25 +0000 http://cantheyscore.com/?p=18204 Anthony-Martial-602311Following the shambolic event that were the two transfer deadline days (Europe & UK), Jonas and newcomer Hayley discuss everything...]]> Anthony-Martial-602311
Following the shambolic event that were the two transfer deadline days (Europe & UK), Jonas and newcomer Hayley discuss everything that happened this week, including the De Gea mess and the purchase of a certain 19-year-old French striker. We hope you enjoy this week’s Can They Score podcast

Join The Discussion

Want to get involved in the podcast debate and more? Join our official discussion page here!

Keep Updated With The Pod

Don’t forget to subscribe via iTunes here or simply search ‘Can They Score’ in the iTunes Store, where all reviews are very much welcome. Alternatively you can manually subscribe to the podcast’s RSS Feed which is here.

Subscribe to Can They Score on SoundCloud

]]>
http://cantheyscore.com/2015/09/04/129-de-geadline-day/feed/ 2
Preview: Swansea City v Manchester United http://cantheyscore.com/2015/08/30/preview-swansea-city-v-manchester-united/ http://cantheyscore.com/2015/08/30/preview-swansea-city-v-manchester-united/#comments Sun, 30 Aug 2015 10:00:16 +0000 http://cantheyscore.com/?p=18178 rooneySwansea v Manchester United | Liberty Stadium | 30/08/2015 KO 16:00 Swansea City did the double over Manchester United last...]]> rooney

Swansea v Manchester United | Liberty Stadium | 30/08/2015 KO 16:00

Swansea City did the double over Manchester United last season and the Red Devils will be out to ensure the same can’t happen again this term when they travel to Wales later today. 

Swansea have started the season very well, with Bafétimbi Gomis and Jefferson Montero particularly impressive. United have yet to concede a league goal but it looks as if tomorrow’s hosts will be the toughest test yet. Gomis has three in three, while Montero’s pace could cause United’s fullbacks some serious issues.

Ander Herrera scored his first United goal in this fixture last season, one which kick-started his career at Old Trafford. The 26-year-old was on the scoresheet against Brugge in midweek and his performance there should see him keep his place today.

With Herrera playing further forward United looked able to cut loose in Europe, something they’re yet to manage domestically. The much maligned Wayne Rooney even managed to bag himself a hat-trick and if he can replicate anything close to that today there are unlikely to be many complaints from the United faithful.


POSSIBLE STARTING XIs

Swansea: Fabianski; Naughton, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor; Cork, Shelvey, Ayew, Sigurddson, Montero; Gomis

United: Romero; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Shaw; Schweinsteiger, Schneiderlin, Mata, Depay, Herrera, Rooney


Adnan Januzaj is unavailable through injury and if you believe reports, it seems Javier Hernandez is on his way out after his penalty miss in Bruges. This could pave the way for James Wilson to make the bench for the first time this season. The young striker scored in a friendly against Ajax in midweek and is looking very sharp.

At the other end of the pitch Louis van Gaal will probably favour the same back five that have started all of United’s games so far. Interestingly, Anders Lindegaard has been named in the squad for the first time this term, something which could signal that Sam Johnstone is set to move elsewhere on loan.

Speaking of goalkeepers, this may be the last time United play with David De Gea still at the club as the Spaniard’s move to Real Madrid looks set to go ahead next week.

Prediction: United’s most tedious and predictable performance of the season coupled with a Romero howler means a first loss of the campaign. 3-1 Swansea

 

]]>
http://cantheyscore.com/2015/08/30/preview-swansea-city-v-manchester-united/feed/ 1
Marouane Fellaini: From Moyes Man to LVG’s Pillar of Pragmatism http://cantheyscore.com/2015/08/26/pragmaticfellaini/ http://cantheyscore.com/2015/08/26/pragmaticfellaini/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 08:22:39 +0000 http://cantheyscore.com/?p=18155 2673147_full-lndLouis van Gaal has admitted Marouane Fellaini will be utilised as a forward this season. While the manager’s admission doesn’t...]]> 2673147_full-lnd

Louis van Gaal has admitted Marouane Fellaini will be utilised as a forward this season. While the manager’s admission doesn’t exactly come as shock it’s not the news many Manchester United fans were hoping for.

For many, Fellaini is still a symbol of the David Moyes-era, ridiculed for his lack of technical footballing proficiency and held accountable for his current manager’s decision to switch to long-ball tactics. Used quite literally as a weapon against tougher opponents – it’s not pretty and it’s not the football the United faithful are used to. There’s no denying it’s effectiveness though, the big Belgian scored seven times last season and proved he could be a useful asset in both midfield and attack.

Many believe Van Gaal has reinvented David Moyes’s £27.5 million man but in truth he hasn’t. Ironically it is harnessing the player’s strengths from his days at Everton under David Moyes that have made him so effectual at United. It was Moyes who transitioned Fellaini from midfield battering-ram to ‘shadow striker’, however, the Scot’s crippling fear of failure at Old Trafford meant he was never likely to make the target man the focal point of the attack. Van Gaal on the other hand is self-assured enough to employ the tactic without fear of derision from United fans.

Sarcastic applause were reserved strictly for Fellaini at the start of last season but just a year on they’re far more likely to be directed towards Wayne Rooney. The Manchester United skipper has failed to score so far this season and is without a goal since April. Fellaini on the other-hand has a goal in just six minutes of football this term.

Coupled with Javier Hernandez, Fellaini gave United a new dimension when he was introduced against Club Brugge last week. The team looked more threatening when able to play direct football and Van Gaal’s plan came to fruition when Memphis Depay picked out Fellaini to grab United’s third.

It might seem bizarre to be advocating the 6ft4 Belgian leading the line this season, especially given United’s potential in the transfer market, but it’s exactly the kind of pragmatic decision Louis van Gaal would make. Fans may currently see Fellaini as symbolic to the terrible time their club spent under the stewardship of David Moyes but by the time this season is over he may well be a pillar of pragmatism, crucial to Louis van Gaal’s patient, possession based style of football.

Last season was all about results for van Gaal, it didn’t matter if the football was pretty, his side just had to pick up points to secure Champions League football. They did that and the Dutchman has already proclaimed his delight at the way his team are playing this season – retaining the ball and attempting to breakdown the opposition in a similar way to his league-winning Bayern Munich side.

Perhaps combining some of last season’s gritty football with this season’s possession-based style could hold the key to success at Old Trafford. Surrounding Marouane Fellaini with the likes of Juan Mata and Memphis Depay could provide a neat balance between the two. With Wayne Rooney spearheading the attack everything looks one dimensional however Fellaini is anything but, you only have to compare the two players’ hairstyles to see that. The Belgian offers variety – something United have lacked in spades so far this term – and that variety will no doubt prove a vital asset over the course of the season.

On the brink of a transfer to Napoli last summer, Fellaini has saved his United career and won over the manager who tried to sell him. Now he just needs to win over the fans who never wanted to buy him in the first place.

]]>
http://cantheyscore.com/2015/08/26/pragmaticfellaini/feed/ 1
Preview: Club Brugge v Manchester United http://cantheyscore.com/2015/08/25/cl-preview-club-brugge-a/ http://cantheyscore.com/2015/08/25/cl-preview-club-brugge-a/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 08:42:06 +0000 http://cantheyscore.com/?p=18130 marouane_fellaini-640x360Club Brugge v Manchester United | Jan Breydel Stadion | 26/08/2015 KO 19:45 Manchester United head into tomorrow’s game with Club...]]> marouane_fellaini-640x360

Club Brugge v Manchester United | Jan Breydel Stadion | 26/08/2015 KO 19:45

Manchester United head into tomorrow’s game with Club Brugge following an uninspiring goalless draw with Newcastle on Saturday. Players, pundits and fans alike have a habit of bemoaning midweek European fixtures but one major benefit is the chance to move on from poor results quickly and this is exactly what United need to do. A win guarantees Champions League football, something the club desperately need, the alternative is unthinkable.

Much has been made of United needing a new striker ahead of the transfer deadline next week but the side managed to bag three against Brugge in the first leg. Admittedly two of those goals were largely due to the individual brilliance of Memphis Depay but the fact any goals at all were scored bodes well. The Red Devils take a 3-1 lead to Bruges and a conservative, routine victory will suffice, even if it’s not what many supporters want to see.

While United looked in control in the home fixture there were signs of intent from the Belgian club, they played some decent attacking football at times and if it wasn’t for United’s, strangely, brilliant defensive unit may have had more than one goal. The hosts are unbeaten in 10 European home games and even managed to reach the Europa League quarter-finals last season, so a United victory is by no means a foregone conclusion.


POSSIBLE STARTING XIs

Brugge: Bruzzese; De fauw, Cools, Duarte, De Bock; Vormer, Claudemir, Dierckx, Vázquez; Bolingoli-Mbombo, Diaby

United: Romero; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Shaw; Schweinsteiger, Schneiderlin, Mata, Depay; Fellaini, Rooney


Brugge will be unable to call upon captain Timmy Simons who is out injured and of course Brandon Mechele after he was dismissed at Old Trafford. The Belgians head into the game after suffering their first domestic defeat of the season at the weekend and what better way to bounce back from that than a scalp against Manchester United? It’s a hard ask but anything is possible, especially if United continue to look poor in the final third.

Wayne Rooney did in fact score at the weekend but his strike was judged to be offside. The player has come in for much criticism so far this term and will be desperate to grab a goal and move on as soon as possible. That doesn’t look particularly likely based on current form but he’s sure to be leading the line anyway.

If Rooney doesn’t score he’ll probably be replaced by Marouane Fellaini who probably will score. Aside from that it’s hard to guess what changes Louis van Gaal will make to his side. The Dutchman has admitted his pleasure in the way his team have been performing so far this term and if they can couple their ability to retain possession with goals it’ll be a win-win for the manager and fans alike.

Prediction: Marouane Fellaini once again proves he is United’s most potent attacking threat, scoring two goals and grabbing an assist before literally attacking an opposition player with his elbows and being sent off.

 

 

]]> http://cantheyscore.com/2015/08/25/cl-preview-club-brugge-a/feed/ 1 Preview: Manchester United v Newcastle United http://cantheyscore.com/2015/08/21/pl-preview-newcastle-united-h/ http://cantheyscore.com/2015/08/21/pl-preview-newcastle-united-h/#comments Fri, 21 Aug 2015 20:58:54 +0000 http://cantheyscore.com/?p=18114 njnsajbsajbManchester United v Newcastle United | Old Trafford | 22/08/2015 KO 12:45 Wayne Rooney always scores against Newcastle, so when...]]> njnsajbsajb

Manchester United v Newcastle United | Old Trafford | 22/08/2015 KO 12:45

Wayne Rooney always scores against Newcastle, so when The Magpies descend upon Old Trafford tomorrow the United skipper is certain to kickstart his season… Right?

I wouldn’t bank on it. The striker – who is just 19 goals short of Sir Bobby Charlton’s all-time United record – always starts the season slowly but this year he’s looked particularly lethargic and off the pace. Many are suggesting the player is finished, while others are banging that same old drum and clamouring for him to dropped deeper as he enters the twilight of his career. Ultimately, it’s too early to tell what’s going to become of Rooney but he’s almost certain to start tomorrow.

Luckily, if the 29-year-old continues to flounder United can turn to the flourishing Memphis Depay, just as they did against Club Brugge in midweek. Depay will have seen how easy Swansea’s Jefferson Montero had it against the visitors last weekend and will no doubt be relishing the prospect of facing them tomorrow.


POSSIBLE STARTING XIs

United: Romero; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Shaw; Mata, Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger, Depay; Januzaj, Rooney

Newcastle: Krul; Mbemba, Coloccini, Taylor, Haidar; Anita, Tiote, Colback; Thuavin Wijnaldum, Cisse


Louis van Gaal has hinted that Bastian Schweinsteiger could be in-line for his first start. After three impressive, commanding substitute appearances many Reds will be eager to see what the German international can do from the off. His own-goal in the week, coupled with some middling performances so far this term, means Michael Carrick is likely to be the man to make way.

In front of the midfield, the no. 10 role is a tricky one to nail down. Adnan Januzaj played well against Aston Villa but was largely anonymous versus Brugge. Van Gaal is known to distrust inconsistent performers, so it is possible we could see someone else line-up there tomorrow. Ander Herrera has barely featured so far this season but it’s not totally inconceivable that we’ll see him behind Wayne Rooney tomorrow.

At the back, despite Sergio Romero looking shaky at times, United have looked a totally different side to that of last season. The defensive unit of Matteo Darmian, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind and Luke Shaw  has been solid and cohesive, Smalling in particular thriving as a leader, and it’s unlikely van Gaal will seek to change that.

Prediction: Van Gaal decides he doesn’t want to play the fixture so United make a last minute trip to Southampton instead.

]]>
http://cantheyscore.com/2015/08/21/pl-preview-newcastle-united-h/feed/ 2
We All Want to Kiss Memphis Depay http://cantheyscore.com/2015/08/20/we-all-want-to-kiss-memphis-depay/ http://cantheyscore.com/2015/08/20/we-all-want-to-kiss-memphis-depay/#comments Thu, 20 Aug 2015 15:20:12 +0000 http://cantheyscore.com/?p=18090 memphis-depay-manchester-united-goal-celeb-champions-league-kiss-club-brugge_3339233On Tuesday evening Manchester United fans got their first real taste of Memphis Depay. The Memphis Show rolled into town...]]> memphis-depay-manchester-united-goal-celeb-champions-league-kiss-club-brugge_3339233

On Tuesday evening Manchester United fans got their first real taste of Memphis Depay. The Memphis Show rolled into town with a display of real intent, something seldom seen from United number 7s in recent years, as he bagged two goals and even grabbed an assist.

Michael Owen, once a wearer of the iconic shirt himself, noted that Depay looked “like a footballer” during his commentary of the Brugge game, however, it could be argued the 21-year-old looks more like a rapper than one of the most exciting young prospects in world football. But after Tuesday’s showing that fact cannot be disputed. Depay is a tantalising prospect and his myriad of tricks, pace and power only add more fuel to the fire. Everyone thinks Memphis can be the real deal.

It has been a long time since there was a palpable collective surge of excitement when a player was on the ball at Old Trafford. Adnan Januzaj gave fans some brief moments when he first burst onto the scene under David Moyes but the Cristiano Ronaldo comparisons felt weak and premature.

Memphis by comparison looks like a worthy successor to the Portugese superstar. It was raw, yes but it was also hectic and electrifying and breathtaking and beautiful. Admittedly, it is early days and it would probably be unwise to get carried away but it’s difficult not to.

Nervy and perhaps overcompensating in his first two appearances, maybe desperate for his first goal. Three games into his United career and the player already looks to have broken the shackles. Shifted into his more familiar wide position, after a foray in the number 10 role, he looked confident and self-assured.

His burgeoning partnership with new BFF Luke Shaw probably helps. The two linked up excellently and will no doubt prosper playing together. Louis van Gaal called this the “year of Luke Shaw” but Memphis will be hoping to muscle in on the act.

The winger’s goals were both brilliant strikes, the second in particular was a dazzling effort. His pinpoint cross then found Marouane Fellaini to secure the victory for United and ensure a two goal advantage. It was a European debut that drew comparisons to Wayne Rooney who netted a hat-trick on his own against Fenerbahce 11-years ago. Depay himself could have gone home with the match ball had he not blazed Rooney’s flick-back over the bar but ultimately it doesn’t matter.

After the game Van Gaal said he wanted to kiss his fellow countryman and he’s probably not the only one. 65,000 United fans were clamouring to lock lips with the player on Tuesday night and if he carries on like that it won’t be the last time. The Dutch boss went on to say, “He’s never satisfied. I like that. You have to know what you are doing and also what you can do and then your desire to improve is higher. And that’s Memphis.”

Depay has a tattoo across his chest that reads ‘dream chasers’ and that’s exactly what he’s doing. From PSV’s top scorer, to leading light at Manchester United, it’s been a meteoric rise for the youngster. There’s no limit to what the player can achieve at the club either. After just three appearances it looks like Memphis is just the man to help usher in a new era of success at Old Trafford.

]]>
http://cantheyscore.com/2015/08/20/we-all-want-to-kiss-memphis-depay/feed/ 3