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Godwin Odiko: Why Erik Ten Hag can’t continue with Fred and McTominay in Manchester United’s midfield

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After a very impressive pre-season campaign, everyone thought Manchester United would at least defeat Brighton on their home turf. But, it wasn’t the case as Manchester United suffered defeat in what will be the first time they are ending a season with a defeat and starting another with defeat in 49 years.

So, how did Manchester United players fare in the game?

I will begin with the goalkeeper David de Gea. He could have done better with the save he made for that Brighton’s second goal by parrying the shot to a much safer zone instead of pushing it to Pascal Gross’ leg. Overall, he had an average performance.

Luke Shaw will have to perform better than he did against Brighton if he wants to hold on to his starting spot in the team. Didn’t produce any significant performance going forward and was many times lacking positional awareness at the back. He truly needs to step up, otherwise, Tyrell Malacia will easily take over from him.

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Lisandro Martinez had a decent game and could have scored also but his performance won’t get the desired recognition because of the team’s result on the day. However, I see him holding on to that left CB position for a very long time.

Harry Maguire’s performance was not too bad but he could have done better with the first goal. Completely lost his marker and his lack of pace will surely give the manager reason to drop him if the team’s collective performance doesn’t improve.

Diogo Dalot has been preferred to Aaron Wan Bissaka in the right-back role but I thought he was abysmal against Brighton. He couldn’t even contribute anything meaningful going forward after being preferred to Wan Bissaka because of his attacking prowess. He too needs to improve if he wants to keep starting at Manchester United.

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Fred was impressive in pre-season but couldn’t carry over the performance into Manchester United’s first game against Brighton and was hauled off in the second half. To be sincere, he doesn’t have the talent to get into any of the top four sides. So, if Manchester United really want to compete at the top level they will need to get a proper DM.

Just like Fred, McTominay won’t even get into any of the top six teams to be honest. Just to reiterate what Roy Keane said in his post-match analysis, both Fred and McTominay lack football intelligence to play at a club like Manchester United. So, if Manchester United really want wants to compete at the top they need to get in at least one decent defensive midfielder to complement the creative talent of the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen.

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Going forward, I expect the coach to drop either one of Fred and McTominay or even drop both of them because if Manchester United truly want to compete for trophies this season and also finish in the top four, Fred and McTominay are the wrong people to depend on to achieve such aims.

Jurgen Klopp needs to show more confidence in Darwin Nunez

The Liverpool manager has twice started the Uruguayan striker from the bench in the two competitive games the Reds have played so far in the season and twice the 23-year-old striker has found the back of the net coming from the bench.

Klopp is still insisting on starting Firmino ahead of Nunez but the truth is that the Brazilian international isn’t in the form of Nunez at the moment. Pep Guardiola has shown confidence in his new recruit Feeling Haaland and the Norwegian has repaid his manager’s trust by going on to score a brace in his first Premier League appearance.

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There is no doubting Darwin Nunez goal scoring ability as he has shown in both the Community Shield and the Premier League so it’s time for Jurgen Klopp to trust the Uruguayan striker and start to include him in his starting lineup if he truly wants to compete with Manchester City for the battle of the title this season.

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2022 World Cup: Unwanted history for hosts Qatar against Ecuador

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Qatar on Sunday, became the first host country to be defeated in their opening game in the 92-year history of the World Cup.

Ecuador beat the Middle East country 2-0 courtesy of two first-half goals from captain Enner Valencia. Ecuador’s captain also saw a goal ruled out for offside. The result means Qatar become the first host nation ever to lose their opening game at a World Cup.

It’s obviously not the start Qatar will have wanted to make to a competition that had been plagued by controversy before a ball had even been kicked.

Supporters also made their feelings clear about the match at half-time as they abandoned the game in large numbers with the hosts already 2-0 down. Initial estimates suggest around 20,000 supporters left the game at the break.

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There were just 11 shots in this game (five for Qatar, six for Ecuador) – no World Cup match on record (since 1966) has seen fewer attempts.

The hosts return to action on Friday against Senegal.

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Victor Osimhen Bags Huge International Award And Recognition

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Nigeria and Napoli forward Victor Osimhen has received a huge international award and recognition for his relentless contribution at the international and club level.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria and Napoli forward Victor Osimhen received a huge international award from the Globe Soccer Awards. The talented player was recognized for his immense contribution to both club and country.

He was crowned the Emerging Player Of The Year 2022, which was deserved on every level as the player has continued to show his importance at the club level for Napoli by contributing towards the impressive run of the club in the new season as well as the previous season.

Although the Super Eagles of Nigeria would not be going to the World Cup 2022 in Qatar, he had been one of the stand-out players for the Eagles in their qualifiers.

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Contragulations Victor.

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2022 World Cup: I am totally, absolutely focused on Portugal- Ronaldo says amid Man Utd criticism

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In the wake of his scathing interview about Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo declares that Portugal will be his “absolute focus” during the World Cup.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, in an interview with Piers Morgan for TalkTV, which will be made public in its entirety on Wednesday, criticised United manager Erik ten Hag, Ralf Rangnick, and senior officials at Old Trafford.

Ronaldo claimed that United had “betrayed” him and that the team had not advanced since Alex Ferguson left in 2013.

Man Utd react to Ronaldo’s interview with Piers Morgan

After the interview, United reacted with a statement on Monday mentioning it and promising to respond “after the full facts have been established.”

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Prior to Portugal’s November 24 match against Ghana in Group H, the 37-year-old declared on Monday that his entire attention would be on playing for Portugal in Qatar.

“Total and absolute focus on national team work. United group, towards one objective: realise the dream of all Portuguese people!,” he posted on Instagram.

Despite missing United’s previous two games due to “illness,” he posted a photo of himself with his Portugal teammates during a training session.

Without Ronaldo, the Red Devils defeated Fulham 2-1 on Sunday, moving them up to fifth place in the Premier League, three points behind Tottenham with one game remaining.

In the Middle East, where Fernando Santos’ team will also play Uruguay and South Korea, Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo hopes to lead his nation to World Cup triumph.

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