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Ralf Rangnick has already addressed Man United’s current biggest problem



Whether you were inside Old Trafford or watching at home on Amazon Prime Video, it was impossible to take your eyes off the hallowed green turf as Manchester United and Arsenal contested a five-goal thriller on Thursday evening under the lights.

With new interim manager Ralf Rangnick, who was appointed as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s successor’s on a six-and-a-half month deal on Monday, watching from the stands, United’s players ensured they put on a show for him, running out 3-2 winners, with Cristiano Ronaldo, once again, the Reds’ saving grace, scoring what proved to be a famous and historic double.

While United deserve credit for serving up some much-needed entertainment for the Old Trafford faithful, who have been forced to stomach some forgettable performances and results in recent weeks, Arsenal also deserve credit for making it such an entertaining contest.

After all, it takes two to tango.

Although, certainly for the neutral, it made for a highly entertaining, attention-grabbing contest, there was still parts of United’s play that needs series improvement, not least their defensive standards.

OK, Arsenal’s first goal – scored by Emile Smith Rowe – was a bizarre one and such a scenario is unlikely to crop up again this season. But the second, coolly swept home by Martin Odegaard, raises questions.

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Alex Telles had allowed fellow Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli to find no shortage of space down the left and Odegaard was left with the freedom of Old Trafford to fire home the Gunners’ second of the night. Whether it was Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay or Fred that was meant to be tracking him, it was not good enough.

But what’s done, is done. United cannot reflect on that particular situation with too much anger. After all, they went on to win the game and record a much-needed three points, ensuring Michael Carrick’s 15-year spell at Old Trafford ended on a high.

Nevertheless, defensive frailties cannot be allowed to continue. United have now conceded conceded 17 goals in ten matches at Old Trafford in all competitions so far this season, they have failed to register a single clean sheet at home so far this term and have kept just one clean sheet in their last 16 home games.

One shut-out in 16 is simply not acceptable for a club of Manchester United’s stature.

Solving the club’s defensive woes at home is a problem that Rangnick, who spoke with a high level of intelligence, understanding and, not least, pride at his United unveiling at an Old Trafford press conference on Friday morning, has to look at closely and find out just why United have shown such levels of vulnerability in their own back yard over the course of this calendar year.

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Although he may not have delivered his assessment on that particular problem in such layman terms, it was, one would think, the point he was trying to make when he reflected on the end-to-end feel United’s victory over Arsenal had.

Rangnick said: “Yesterday’s game was exciting for the fans but for myself those are not the kind of games that we need every day because football is to minimise the coincidence factor and have control.

“The major target for me in the next couple of weeks is just to bring more balance into the team. Even yesterday, we conceded two goals and needed three goals, in the end, to win the game.

“If you look at the total number of goals conceded, it is almost two, on average, per game, and this is just too much.”

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Rangnick is not wrong. United have been vulnerable defensively, so much so that even Leeds United and Newcastle United, when shipping five and four goals themselves, found a way to goal, robbing United of a clean sheet when they had recorded such convincing victories.

A key word Rangnick mentioned during his Old Trafford unveiling was ‘control’. As proven against Leeds and Newcastle, United have, even if only for short spells in those aforementioned games, lacked that. Under the German, they will need to be in ‘control’ right from minute one.

As proven by Chelsea – the Premier League’s current pace setters – the art of winning, more often than not, is built on defensive solidity and being in control of your own destiny. United shouldn’t be needing to score three or four times just to make sure of a victory.

As the days on the countdown to Christmas are ticked off, and the weeks pass by, Rangnick will discover more and more about his players and squad as a whole. However, tightening them up defensively has to be one of the very first tests that he passes successfully.


Report: Arsenal now really Keen to sign ‘Astonishing’ attacker who scored more goals than Gabriel Jesus last season




According to But Football Club, Arsenal want to sign Bayer Leverkusen and France winger Moussa Diaby before the transfer window shuts.

The Gunners are looking for a new wide player. Raphinha was high on their wish list and Mikel Arteta tried really hard to bring him in. The Brazilian, however, joined Barcelona for £55 million (Sky Sports) instead, and Arsenal have now apparently turned their attention to Diaby.

Arsenal really keen to sign Moussa Diaby from Bayer Leverkusen

Diaby is one of the finest players in the Bundesliga.

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The 23-year-old France international scored 17 goals and provided 14 assists in all competitions, which is a truly sensational return for a wide player.

His performances have caught the eye of a number of clubs, including Arteta’s Arsenal. The report claims that Diaby ‘strongly appeals’ to the Gunners boss, who is really keen to bring in a new winger before the window shuts.

The ‘astonishing‘ winger has come out and claimed that he wants to stay at Leverkusen this season, while the German outfit are keen to retain his services too.

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However, the report claims that if an offer in the region of £59.2 million arrives, they will let him go.

Arsenal don’t intend to pay that figure, but the report claims they will try to negotiate a deal for a lower fee.

Diaby still has three years left on his contract at Leverkusen.

Diaby really is a sensational player.

31 goal involvements in a single campaign for a 23-year-old wide player is a truly sensational return.

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Even Gabriel Jesus, who is viewed as the answer to Arsenal’s goalscoring woes, didn’t score as many goals as Frenchman last season.

Arsenal’s backup winger at the moment is Nicolas Pepe. The Ivorian, on his day, is unplayable, but sadly for Arsenal supporters, those days have rarely ever occurred over the last three years.

Diaby would be a massive upgrade over Pepe, but whether Arsenal can lure him in remains to be seen.

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Report: Star ready to join Man United now wants £33.7million contract




The latest reports in the media are anything to go by and Adrien Rabiot’s mother-agent, Veronique, is proving to be a difficult negotiator.

Last night, we covered a story (via La Gazzetta Dello Sport) claiming that the French international has demanded a three-year deal worth £25.4million to move to Old Trafford.

This morning, as per Corriere dello Sport (news image provided below), the Red Devils have agreed a fee worth 17-18 million euros with Juventus but the dilemma is that the agreement with the player is still missing.

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Ten Hag contacted Rabiot to convince him to join Man Utd which is why the midfielder became willing to negotiate personal terms.

However, Veronique now wants a four-year contract worth 40 million euros (£33.7million) for his son and the negotiations have slowed down.

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Manchester United’s midfield department is in desperate need of reinforcements and Ten Hag may end up losing out on signing Frenkie de Jong to Chelsea.

The last big signing for the central midfield was done back in 2018 when Mourinho splashed the cash to lure Fred from Shakhtar. The Red Devils must act fast to strengthen things in the center of the park.

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Rabiot is neither as creative as Pogba nor as versatile as De Jong. However, he has experience of winning big titles with PSG and Juventus and even with France. So, in all fairness, he would be an upgrade to McFred.

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Man United pushing for Pogba replacement in more ways than one




Manchester United may be about to take on another troublesome Frenchman, having just gotten rid of one.

The departures of Paul Pogba and others this summer have left new manager Erik ten Hag with a bare cupboard in terms of midfield options.

United have turned to Juventus outcast Adrien Rabiot, who is available for £15 million, after failing to secure Frenkie de Jong, the Ten Hag’s top transfer target, from Barcelona.

Rabiot, 27, isn’t particularly popular at Juventus and hasn’t replicated the form that established his reputation during the seven years he spent at PSG before that.

But it isn’t just on-field sluggishness that has harmed the reputation of a player who was once regarded as France’s golden boy.

Off-field squabbles and indiscretions, not only by Rabiot but also by his formidable mother and agent Veronique, have earned him a reputation as a difficult customer in the game.

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However, Ten Hag and United are becoming increasingly desperate. Despite the club’s insistence that their interest in Rabiot was firm prior to Sunday’s season-opening loss to Brighton, the timing appears to be a reactionary move.

And Rabiot’s rap sheet contains numerous items that could cause United to live to regret their decision.

Rabiot was on the verge of breaking into the PSG senior squad after graduating from their academy in 2012.

Rabiot was supposed to travel to Qatar with the team for a mid-season tour, but his mother insisted on accompanying him.

Veronique, Rabiot’s uncompromising agent, enters the picture. After his father, Michel Provost, suffered a stroke in 2007 that left him with locked-in syndrome, she took over his career. Michel is paralysed but fully aware.

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Her insistence on accompanying the tour caused friction, and Rabiot was eventually loaned out to Toulouse.

Even stranger, she allegedly insisted on attending all of their training sessions while there.

Two years later, Rabiot was on the verge of leaving PSG after Laurent Blanc demoted him to the reserves.

Veronique was waiting for Blanc as he left PSG’s Camp des Loges training facility one evening.

‘You can’t treat him like that. ‘I’m not going to agree to that,’ Blanc was told, presumably forcefully.

PSG had no choice but to call in security, but the confrontation appeared to work.

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Rabiot’s contract with PSG was renewed – and on better terms – not long after he failed to secure a move to Roma.

France’s hopes of adding the European Championship to their World Cup glory last year ended when they lost on penalties to Switzerland in the last-16.

Afterwards, an extraordinary video emerged of Veronique confronting Mbappe’s father, Wilfried, after the PSG striker missed the decisive spot-kick.

It is thought she said: ‘It is embarrassing how he struck that, for a player of his level. He hit it too lightly, I hope you are going to scold him.’

Apparently during an earlier discussion, Veronique told Wilfried his son was ‘arrogant’, has a ‘big head’ and gets ‘too much protection from the press.’

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