Sunday, 30 December 2018

Rival Lines: "Pogba is brilliant and frustrating in equal measure"

Rival Lines
Match Preview: Man Utd v AFCB
Blogger Interview: Old Trafford Faithful
Twitter: @OTFaithful

Over the Christmas week, I got in contact with Jordan at the Old Trafford Faithful website for some pointers on what the mood is like now at Old Trafford following the departure of JosΓ© Mourinho. Somehow, I think this game is coming at the wrong time for Bournemouth and a very good time for Man Utd, which is the luck of the draw. But Bournemouth will always look forward to taking on the likes of Man Utd in what should be another game with plenty of goals.

CC: Was it right for Mourinho to go now?

OTF: I think so. Personally, I've given him all my backing even through the bad times this season, but you could just tell the players had stopped playing for him, and once that happens, his sacking was inevitable.

CC: Has the mood changed already at Old Trafford or do you think it will take a while to bring back the fun factor?

OTF: Instantly, it just felt like a happier place. Whether it's due to Mourinho going or Ole arriving, or a combination of both, who knows.

CC: What do you think about how United played in Solskjaer's first two games against Cardiff and Huddersfield?

OTF: The intent is there. At United, all we ask for is giving it 100% and having a go, we've seen that recently so we have to be happy.

CC: If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got United int the top four in his six months in charge would you want him to keep the Man Utd manager's job?

OTF:  My heart is already set on Mauricio Pochettino. I worry about Solskjaer in the long-term. Unfortunately, I think he's a very limited manager and as the season goes on I think we'll start to struggle more and more.

CC: Would you like to see Solskjaer given money to spend this January or can the changes wait until the summer when perhaps a more experienced manager is in place?

OTF: It's tough where transfers are concerned. With him being only in the job in the short-term, I don't think he'll get money to spend. This is a good squad but it's not a title-winning one. Perhaps give him a little bit of cash, but maybe limit the age of the players he can buy and ensure that we don't overpay at any cost.

CC: Most of United's problems have come in defence. What do you think Solskjaer might do first to try and halt the amount of goals United are conceding?

OTF:  It all comes back to confidence. Victor Lindelof is a good defender, Eric Bailly was amongst the best in the country during his debut season. If you play those two, I think you've got a real base to build from, but Phil Jones and Chris Smalling just aren't good enough.

CC: Is there reason not to sell Paul Pogba?

OTF: Simply put, he's the most talented player at the club. He's brilliant yet frustrating in equal measure. If we're to win titles in the short-term, he'll be key, but he has to show more consistency.

CC: Which players need to be moved on as soon as possible?

OTF: Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian. Attack-wise, this squad is strong. The midfield could do with a little bit of TLC, but it all starts with a good defence.

CC: What has been the most disappointing result for Man Utd fans this season and why?

OTF: The defeats to both Liverpool and Manchester City hurt, don't get me wrong, but the home game against Tottenham Hotspur was appalling. 3-0 down and it looked like the players didn't have a care in the world.

CC: What is the real feeling about Lukaku among the fans at United - are they split about him – is he good enough?

OTF:  I'm a Lukaku fan, but right now I'm firmly in the minority. He has been dreadful this season but he knows where the back of the net is. Perhaps Solskjaer can help bring out the best in him.

CC: What do you make of Bournemouth this season?

OTF: Brilliant. I love Eddie Howe and he should be in the conversation to potentially get the job at Old Trafford (although he'll probably come up short). They play good football and they entertain people. That's what it's all about.

CC: What injuries do you have ahead of the Bournemouth match?

OTF: Smalling is definitely out, while Lukaku and Martial could return. Sanchez may be on the bench but I doubt he'll play.

CC: There has been a lot of interest in Nathan AkΓ© from United. Do you think it would be a good time for him to come to Old Trafford?

OTF:  I think he's a talented young man. If I'm being picky, I wish he was a few inches taller, but positionally he looks great and he loves a tough tackle. He was super against us earlier on in the season.

CC: What is your score prediction for the game?

OTF: I'll go 3-1 United, in a close game.

CC: Thanks Jordan for letting us in on some of your thoughts on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in particular. The Baby Faced Assassin might not have the experience yet to really be a manger to insight fear in the opposition, but he has already got Ma United up and running again. This will be just as hard for Bournemouth as the match against Spurs and with our defenders and midfielders falling like flies, it may be just a victory to get through the game without losing any more players at the moment for AFCB. Here is hoping to AFCB closing out 2018 with one of their best games of the year.

Please check out more of Jordan's views at Old Trafford Faithful.

Send in your score predictions to @CherryChimes before midday. We will pick a winner from the correct entries to receive a Cherry Chimes T-Shirt.

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