Community Shield Champions! Some thoughts and observations

Morning all, some  Community Shield thoughts for you this morning, after our penalty shoot-out win over Liverpool yesterday.

First, it’s obviously really nice to win. My interest in this game beforehand was peripheral. I felt it was almost too soon to be playing a fixture like this, and I was worried that we’d struggle physically given how short the break from the end of the previous season was. Once it starts though, it’s Arsenal playing the Mugsmashers and it’s impossible not to get into it.

Especially when you score a goal as good as the one we did after 12 minutes.

One of the most obvious things about the way we played yesterday was the way we tried to keep possession, regardless of the pressure we were under and how much … Read the rest

Here we go: Romano confirms what every Man United fan wanted to hear

Fabrizio Romano has confirmed Manchester United have signed Ajax’s Donny van de Beek with his signature catchphrase- “here we go!”.

The reliable journalist never uses it without being sure of any potential deals and so far has the best success rate out there.

United’s interest in Van de Beek escalated quickly and publicly it seems it was wrapped up in a short space of time.

However, reports have claimed negotiations have been going on for weeks and that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have held interest since January.

Either way, it seems Van de Beek will be the Red Devils’ first signing of the summer and fans can be happy there’s finally some action.

Read the rest

Liverpool could be forced into action as journalist provides update on Thiago

Liverpool could be forced to finally act on their apparent interest in Bayern Munich star Thiago Alcantara, with Manchester United said to be lurking.

Fredrik Filtvedt, a journalist from Norway, tweeted an update on the Mancs’ pursuit of Donny van de Beek, and signed it off with a link to Thiago.

United are said to be interested in the Spain international in addition to the Ajax star, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seemingly wanting to revamp his midfield.

Now, we’re not going to pretend we know anything about Filtvedt or his credibility, but our friend Jan Aage Fjortoft seemingly knows a bit about him.

MORE: (Video) New Liverpool signing scores on debut with determined finish in 5-0 rout

In the following tweet, Fjortoft throws his weight … Read the rest

Medical set: Star will have medical with Man United next week ahead of transfer worth €40m +

The transfer market is so warped that you can never truly tell what represents value anymore, but this actually looks like it could be a cracking bit of business for Man United.

Donny van de Beek has been the driving force in Ajax’s midfield for a couple of years now and he looks like he has the quality to improve the Man United midfield.

He’s at his best in a box-to-box role and it will be interesting to see if anyone has to leave as a result, but his move to Man United now appears to be inevitable after their offer was formally accepted and the medical has been arranged:

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Community Shield about fitness, not result + interesting coaching appointments

Under normal circumstances, I’m sure Mikel Arteta would have preferred his pre-season preparations to be a bit more low key than having to play Liverpool at Wembley. In as much as anything can be low-key these days. However, it’s the price of success to an extent – we’re here because we won the FA Cup a few short weeks ago, and if that’s the trade-off, so be it.

In terms of today’s team, the performance, the result, the outcome, here’s where I am with it:

Give-a-fuck-ometer

Asked about the physical readiness of his players during his press conference on Thursday, Mikel Arteta laughed and said ‘We’ve had two training sessions!’. I know that because of the way last season ended, and the short break we’ve had since then, they might not have lost as much fitness as you’d expect during a more traditional summer, but I still think this a game … Read the rest

'Perfect signing'- Man United fans ecstatic about reports over imminent transfer

Manchester United fans quickly got swept away by the reports coming in of the serious interest in Ajax’s Donny van de Beek.

Supporters have been desperate for transfer news, particularly since they’ve been seeing their rivals spend left, right and centre.

Van de Beek was of interest to United a while ago again so it was no surprise to see his name pop up again.

What was surprising is how quickly the transfer news was moving and how it appeared as though it went from nothing to suddenly being imminent according to some.

Van de Beek would obviously be a good addition to the squad and the fans are certainly excited by his potential arrival.

Read the rest

Liverpool fans all say the same thing after Brewster misses costly penalty

Young Liverpool forward Rhian Brewster was brought on against Arsenal in the Community Shield and missed his spot-kick in the penalty shootout.

It was a very bitter moment for the 20-year-old, who was hoping to impress Jurgen Klopp after a short-term loan at Championship side Swansea City.

It wasn’t meant to be for the Reds and Arsenal won the shootout 5-4, with Brewster being the only player to fail to convert his chance.

Loads of Liverpool fans have taken to Twitter to express their support for the youngster, who will no doubt be beating himself up right now.

MORE: Sheffield Utd in ‘advanced talks’ to sign Liverpool forward; Blades want permanent deal

There are simply bigger days ahead for the lad, with one penalty not able to define a player beyond the context in which it happened.

A lack of creativity in the middle of the park is what cost … Read the rest

Video: ‘We are close’ – Arteta admits that Arsenal are almost over the line with Aubameyang

Arsenal supporters don’t need reminding just how good Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is, but he proved his importance again in the Community Shield and showed how vital he is to the Gunners’ continued success.

A first-half goal put the north Londoners into the lead against Liverpool, and though Arsenal were pegged back late on, it was left to the Gabonese to fire home the match-winning penalty and hand Mikel Arteta his second trophy as manager.

In his post-match interview, the Spaniard admitted that a deal to extend Aubameyang’s contract was close, which will surely be music to the ears of the Gunners’ faithful.

Pictures from BT Sport

The post Video: ‘We are close’ – Read the rest

Reading between the lines of Arteta’s press conference

Happy Friday to you.

Mikel Arteta met the press (over Zoom) yesterday, and just over three weeks after we won the FA Cup, we’re back up and running again. As you can imagine there was a lot to get through, with the manager being asked about fitness, Covid-19, fans being allowed back in the stadium, transfers, contracts, the futures of individual players, Black Lives Matter, and more.

The easiest way to do this is by highlighting the most important/interesting bits, so let’s do that, starting with:

Gabriel Magalhaes

When a player is in London on Monday for a medical, there are expectations that he’ll be announced not long after. The thing about transfers is that there are all kinds of little things involved which can prevent the deal being fully completed. There are two clubs involved, the player, his representatives, so there are lots of Is to dot and TsRead the rest

Could this be the reason for Nemanja Matic's retirement from international duty?

Manchester United’s Nemanja Matic has announced his retirement from international duty.

The 32-year-old has made 48 appearances for Serbia, scoring two goals.

It is unfortunate timing for his national side, who are due to meet Norway in the Euro 2021 play-off semi-final in October.

The Serbian FA sports director Vladimir Matijasevic told Sky Sports: ‘Other than saying it was time for younger players to take over, Matic did not state any other specific reasons for quitting.

‘We respect his decision. He is 32 years old and he’s had an exerting club season. European club football is demanding and hence we are aware that we’ll have to inject fresh blood into the national team.’

Matic recently signed a new three-year contract at Old Trafford, which raised eyebrows due to his age.

The club’s usual policy for players of a similar age is to renew them on a year-by-year rolling contract.… Read the rest