Manchester United, Jose Mourinho says, are motivated after getting back into the ‘natural habitat’ of the Champions League. With only a handful of players left from Alex Ferguson’s last season, you have to wonder if there is a great deal to the Champions League which is natural to this crop of players. It’s definitely a time for Juan Mata, Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic to show everyone what is required of them.
Mourinho has started to get his excuses in early ahead of the Champions League campaign with United, which starts against Basel tonight. He believes that the intensity of the Premier League makes it harder for English clubs. It’s a nice line, and there’s a hint of truth to it, but United are the richest club in the world and if they can’t prepare for the demands of European football, then that is because they don’t want to - not because they can’t.
Gareth Bale says that there was ‘an argument’ to join United this summer. He’s not had a great start this season at Real Madrid, but it’s only been a few games. As much as we all like United, you have to wonder what the point of living in England is after you’ve left this fetid little hole.
Good (?) news ahead of the Basel game. Ashley Young is fit enough to be included in the squad. He’d certainly be a step up from Matteo Darmian, Luke Shaw and Daley Blind, but it’s an indictment of the Moyes-Van Gaal era that this has still not properly been resolved.
Rio Ferdinand says it is disrespectful for Marcus Rashford to be compared to Michael Owen, given all Owen had achieved by the same age. Ferdinand might like to remember that Rashford is not a brainless, hubris-filled gobsh***, though, so will probably have a much better career than Owen. *SPITS*