Another couple of weeks have passed in lockdown limbo; the activity outside my bedroom window hasn’t gotten anymore stimulating, and I’m beginning to forget what a train actually is. Also, apparently, we’re in May now?
Anyway, more importantly, here’s another edition of United Uncut to hopefully help you while away a tiny portion of your week…
D’you remember Matteo Darmian?
The Italian defender was sold last summer and now turns out for Serie A side Parma, but he has some good memories of his time at United and has recently recounted the first time he saw Rashford in action – and believes our boy could go onto win the Ballon d’Or one day.
He told the Guardian last week: “I still remember Marcus Rashford’s first session with the senior squad like it was yesterday. I immediately thought: ‘Wow, this is an incredible player.’
“He did so many impressive things for a player of his age and the way he improved in every detail really impressed me.”
Matteo believes Rashford is on his way to the very top as long as he stays fit and continues to develop, adding: “If he continues to work the way he has done so far he can be a Ballon d’Or winner. I’m convinced of this.
“He impressed me the most of all the players at United and he’s very young and can still improve. For me he can reach the level of Kylian Mbappe and compete for the Ballon d’Or for years to come.”
Step aside, Messi. Wait your turn, Raheem. Kylian, who? Never heard of ‘im…
Over the years, we’ve read plenty of tales from former teammates of Ravel Morrison claiming he was the next Georgie Best, or something.
Clearly he was very talented (and very troubled) with Rio claiming he had the potential to be a big star, while Sir Alex said he was the ‘best he’d ever seen’.
Wayne Rooney chimed in over the weekend in his weekly column for the Sunday Times, saying: “I remember watching Ravel Morrison thinking he had everything required for a player in his position. He was brilliant. He was confident. He nutmegged Nemanja Vidic three times in the space of a minute in one training game.
“But he struggled with lifestyle and his environment which was sad for him – because I saw Paul Pogba come through, Jesse Lingard, all these players and Ravel was better than any of them by a country mile. He’s proof that you can’t escape the fact there are guidelines every player has to obey in professional football.”
Ah, this just makes me sad. I genuinely wish we’d got to see more of Ravel and his awesome natural ability at United.
He’s still only 27 mind, and the last time I checked he was on the books at Middlesbrough – so he’s still in and around a decent level.
I’d love to see him carve out some kind of career still – even if we’re not going to enjoy the benefit of him at United.
I just hope he manages to keep all of that off-field controversy behind him…
SHOOT THE DIRECTOR
Apparently, we don’t need a Director of Football anymore…
In recent years, one of the defining problems of United’s post-Fergie era seems to be a lack of cohesion between the manager and the money-spenders.
And that’s meant we’ve had quite a few expensive flops in recent times, including Angel Di Maria and Alexis Sanchez.
Who can forget them, eh?
But that’s no longer a concern at the club according to the Athletic, who reported that United are now ‘satisfied’ with leaving transfers down to Solskjaer.
The gaffer has made five successful signings since he took over from Mourinho in December 2018 to be fair, including Bruno Fernandes, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire, and United seem adamant that the current system means stability for the squad and that ‘the days of a new manager meaning a completely new team’ have gone.
It is true that Ole’s made some pretty decent signings since he’s been given the top job, but it would be nice if Ed had a little bit more help when it comes to these sorts of things, right?
That’s my biggest concern at the club at the moment…
Our new favourite boy Bruno has revealed Barcelona legends Iniesta and Ronaldinho are the two players who’ve influenced him the most as a player…
Speaking to Manchester United’s official website recently, he said: “The one I liked to watch and follow was Iniesta, because Iniesta is a mix between an eight and a 10. It is a way I can do better, between eight and 10.
“It is the guy who always likes to have the ball, take the risks, and I think Iniesta was one of the best in the world. For me, it was impressive how Iniesta finished his career without the Ballon d’Or – with everything he won, it is difficult for me to understand!”
Along with Iniesta, Bruno picked out Brazilian trickster Ronaldinho as an early footballing hero, saying: “In my first few years, the player I think is the one everyone liked and always will like is Ronaldinho.
“For me, he is the player with the capacity to take you and put you in front of the TV, and you will stay for hours. For hours!
“He had that energy and happiness. He was happy in everything he did. You enjoy it when you see guys playing like that, so for the first few years Ronaldinho was my favourite player.”
Gotta say, I agree with him there, I loved watching Ronaldinho back in the day – even if we did miss out on signing him!
As for Iniesta, he’s probably one of my favourite players outside of United – he’s just such a classy and all-round likeable midfielder.
Do you agree?