After an impressive start to the Premier League season, Manchester United has been halted in their tracks by a poor run of form knocking them off the pace of the title contenders.
The Red Devils set the tone for the term by making significant signings in the transfer market, pulling off a supposed coup to secure the return of Cristiano Ronaldo. Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane were also notable moves that were supposed to push Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team from a steady top four to the precipice of the Premier League crown.
There is a long road ahead in the season but it’s telling that United are considered as rank outsiders for the title at 33/1. Unless the teams ahead of them Manchester City, Chelsea, and Liverpool have a dramatic fall from grace, United will once again have to settle for a top-four spot.
Even that is no guarantee amid the talent of clubs such as West Ham, who could be a good shout for a Champions League berth in the EPL betting tips from Paddy Power. Given the vast expenditure, failing to compete for the Premier League crown would be a significant underachievement.
Solskjaer will undoubtedly come under fire, but the club appears to be heading in circles. They’ve run through David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, and Jose Mourinho in the dugout since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson. Neither of the established managers came close to dragging the Red Devils back to the peak of their powers. Solskjaer remains a popular figure, but he is enduring the same issues as his predecessors regarding ultimate success.
The signings of Sancho and Varane were encouraging, providing additional firepower in the final third and an experienced defender alongside Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof at the back. Ronaldo appeared to be a panicked purchase amid reports that he was on the verge of signing for City.
The Portuguese player has been productive, but the resources used to secure his signature may have been better used elsewhere. The 36-year-old is also halting the progress of United’s starlets such as Mason Greenwood, who has been shunted into a wide role rather than playing through the middle.
Greenwood has enjoyed an outstanding start to the season and is scratching the surface of his potential. A front three of Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, and Sancho would hand the Red Devils pace and excitement to match that of their rivals at the top of the table.
It begs the question of whether the signing of the Portuguese was down to the club’s hierarchy rather than the man in the dugout. Even at the age of 36, Ronaldo is the best forward at Old Trafford, but whether that will benefit the club in the short and long term is doubtful.
If United cannot compete for the crown with Ronaldo in the line-up, they’re best off giving Greenwood, Rashford, and Sancho all the time they need to develop a rapport that could yield success in the future.
Police issue update after Sterling flies home from World Cup following home invasion
Surrey Police have issued an update following Raheem Sterling’s home invasion that has forced the England international to fly home from the 2022 World Cup.
The former Manchester City star was left out of the Three Lions squad against Senegal due to a “family matter” on Sunday before the exact circumstances were confirmed shortly after.
Authorities have now verified that hundreds of thousands of pounds of goods had been stolen from the property but that, fortunately, “no threat of violence was involved”.
Sterling flew just hours after hearing of the break-in at his home Leatherhead home where he lives with his fiancé and two children.
Manager Gareth Southgate could not confirm whether the Chelsea player will be returning to the squad, insisting that, obviously, “the priority is for him to be with his family” and that they will “give him as much time as he needs”.
The police force said in a statement: “We are currently investigating a report of a burglary at an address in Oxshott, Leatherhead.
“Police were contacted just before 9pm on Saturday, December 3rd after the occupants of the property came home and discovered a number of items including jewellery and watches had been stolen.
“Inquiries to establish the circumstances are underway and the investigation is ongoing. No threat of violence was involved as the items were discovered stolen retrospectively. Inquiries into the circumstances are ongoing.”
Grealish holds his hands up over Almirón dig: ‘I do stupid stuff’
Jack Grealish has finally held his hands up after mocking Miguel Almirón, assuring that while he has made mistakes in career, he has a “good heart”.
Speaking to the media at the national camp in Qatar, the footballer was asked about his now-infamous dig at the Newcastle player, quipping that teammate Riyad Mahrez “played like Almirón” in a sub-par performance during Manchester City‘s 2021/22 title-winning match back in May.
Ironically, Grealish‘s Almiron joke has preceded an incredible run of form from the winger this year, arguably being their player of the season with eight goals to his name already.
Despite the 28-year-old insisting he has “never really paid attention” to what people say about him, he will have inevitably seen the viral clip.
Nevertheless, the England and City star took accountability for the unnecessary outburst, confessing, “I do stupid stuff, that was one”, whilst assuring: “Obviously I’ve done stupid stuff in my life but I think everything that I do good is from my heart.”
The 27-year-old went on to say that describe his Premier League peer as a “great player”, adding: “what a guy… if that was me and somebody had said that about me, I’d have probably been the other way and been like: ‘f*** it'”.
While he said he didn’t think the drunken video would go public, he knows it wasn’t the most professional of moments and that not only is he “buzzing” to see Almirón playing so well but that he will be sure to “show him the most respect” the next time they meet on the pitch.