All told it’s been an interesting week for Manchester United fans, what with the dossier-producing Louis van Gaal having been forced to defend his team’s tactics with Sam Allardyce firing tongue-in-cheek barbs at every opportunity.
Van Gaal’s staunch argument that his team are not a long-ball-reliant outfit has certainly stole the headlines, and the lacklustre victory over Burnley at home did little to dig him out of the mire. However, with the Dutchman keen to press on and leave the many negative vibes behind, we’ve dedicated the best part of 400 words to ensure you’re kept up to date with all the latest gossip.
It’s unfortunately bad news with regards to any hopes - however slim - Red Devils fans may have harboured of seeing Gerard Pique eve pulling on a United shirt again, as he’s apparently told Spanish media that he is aiming to finish his career at Barcelona.
The Spain international has endured mixed fortunes since Luis Enrique's arrival, and the retirement of Carles Puyol has had a notoriously adverse effect on his defensive capabilities.
However regardless of rumours inferring that both United and Premier League rivals Chelsea were circling the situation with interest, the player himself remains loyal to the Catalans. According to Sport, citing Spanish television station COPE, Pique made it clear his plans were to retire at the Nou Camp.
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"More and more I love this profession and I would play older, but whether it's later this year or in six, I'm going to retire here at Barca. I will not play for another club. I can say that I'm staying here and the day I get tired of it or see no worth, I will decide to retire."
"Whether it's later this year or in six, I'm going to retire here at Barca"
Scholes' latest dig
Meanwhile Paul Scholes has aimed yet another harsh criticism at United and Louis van Gaal, suggesting the current side is often ‘miserable’ to watch. The Old Trafford hero, who it seems has grown a controversial voice-box since stepping down from the playing field, revealed that he thought the current tactics being deployed were stifling United’s attacking credentials, and not in keeping with the club’s usual ethos.
It’s not the first time Scholes has criticised Van Gaal’s methods, nor will it likely be the last, but we think this one has got to be the barb that will cut the deepest. With United sitting in third place in the Premier League table there’s not too much to be grumbling about, although Scholes remains obviously unimpressed.
Lastly we turn to the transfer market, where the latest name to find himself linked with a move to Old Trafford is none other than Burnley sensation Danny Ings.The forward continued his hot-streak in front of goal by netting when his side met United mid-week, and he could well be a cheap alternative to some of the other European forwards being linked with The Theatre of Dreams.