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Rashford named in Man Utd's travelling squad for Sevilla clash but three key players missing

Rashford named in Man Utd's travelling squad for Sevilla clash but three key players missing

United face sevilla in their europa league quarter-final second leg on thursday..

Rory O'Callaghan

Rory O'Callaghan

Marcus Rashford has been named in Manchester United's travelling squad for their Europa League clash with Sevilla.

United travel to face the La Liga side in Andalusia on Thursday night with the quarter-final tie finely poised at 2-2 after the first leg at Old Trafford.

Rashford has been passed fit for the match after returning to training on Wednesday.

The England international, who has scored six goals in eight games in the Europa League this season, missed the first leg against Sevilla and the weekend win over Nottingham Forest with a groin injury.

Luke Shaw has also been named in the squad after missing United's last three matches with a hamstring problem.

Tyrell Malacia has also been included after missing the Forest win with a knee problem, while Marcel Sabitzer has also made the cut after being pulled from the starting line-up at the City Ground following an issue in the warm-up.

Their availability is a major boost for manager Erik ten Hag, who is without a number of first-team players for the trip to Spain.

Bruno Fernandes is suspended after picking up a booking in the first leg against Sevilla, while Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez both picked up serious injuries in that match.

Martinez has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a fractured metatarsal, while Varane is expected to be out for 'a few weeks' with an unspecified injury sustained which forced him off at half-time.

Scott McTominay has also not been included after failing to recover from a knock, while Donny van de Beek and Alejandro Garnacho are long-term absentees.

Should they beat Sevilla, United will face either Juventus or Sporting Lisbon in the semi-finals of the Europa League, with the Italian side leading 1-0 from the first leg.

Manchester United's squad to face Sevilla

Goalkeepers : David De Gea, Jack Butland, Radek Vitek

Defenders : Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Tyrell Malacia, Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Midfielders : Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Fred, Zidane Iqbal, Marcel Sabitzer

Forwards : Antony, Anthony Elanga, Anthony Martial, Facundo Pellistri, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Wout Weghorst

Topics:  Manchester United , Football , Erik Ten Hag , Europa League , Sevilla

Rory O'Callaghan is Editorial Lead at SPORTbible. He has previously worked for Sky Sports News, MailOnline and Reach covering football, cricket, boxing and MMA. Tested daily as a Liverpool fan in a Manchester office.

@ rory_ocallaghan

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UEFA Champions League

Manchester United name travelling squad for UCL opener against Bayern Munich

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Aditya Chauhan

21 players will travel to Germany for the Champions League opener

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has named the squad for the upcoming UEFA Champions League 2023-24 opening match against Bayern Munich .

21 players were selected by the manager and they will travel for this important fixture. Both teams will face each other at the Allianz Arena.

Four summer signings Altay Bayindir, Rasmus Hojlund, Andre Onana and Sergio Reguilon will travel to Germany. Of these four players, three are in contention to make their European debut for Manchester United.

Erik ten Hag is also taking some youngsters with him. Hannibal Mejbri, the goal scorer from Manchester United's last game is also in the team. Dan Gore and Omari Forson are also there in the squad.

The Red Devils have defensive problems and the Dutch manager only has five players to select from. Harry Maguire will also miss this trip due to an injury.

Both clubs met for the first time in the 1998-99 season and have faced each other 11 times.

Manchester United have suffered three losses in the current season. Their recent one came at home against Brighton. The manager and the team are under a lot of pressure heading into the home of the German champions.

There are also reports that Raphael Varane and Mason Mount are back in training. Both players will look to make a return in the next league match.

Here are the 21 players who are travelling to Germany.

Manchester United squad vs Bayern Munich

Goalkeepers: Altay Bayindir, Tom Heaton, Andre Onana, Radek Vitek

Defenders: Victor Lindelof, Lisandro Martinez, Sergio Reguilon, Diogo Dalot, Jonny Evans

Midfielders: Bruno Fernandes, Christian Eriksen, Casemiro, Facundo Pellistri, Scott McTominay, Dan Gore, Hannibal

Forwards: Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Rasmus Hojlund, Alejandro Garnacho, Omari Forson

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Erik ten Hag confirms 26-man squad for Manchester United’s trip to Oslo

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Erik ten Hag is taking 26 Manchester United players with him to Norway for his team’s first pre-season friendly match of the summer.

The 4pm kick-off in Oslo presents an opportunity for the players to get minutes under their belt, as preparation for the new season steps up another gear.

Leeds go into the game knowing they are preparing for a return to the Championship, after suffering relegation from the Premier League last term. They will be up for the game since it’s a rivalry, but we just want to ensure that our lads get minutes without any injuries or niggles.

Mason Mount is in line to make his non-competitive debut for the club. The new No.7 is joined in the travelling party by Lisandro Martinez, who missed the end of last season due to injury.

man u travelling squad

The most notable absentees from United’s travelling squad for Norway include: Anthony Martial, Dean Henderson, Donny van de Beek.

Full travelling squad courtesy of

Goalkeepers:  Tom Heaton, Nathan Bishop, Matej Kovar.

Defenders:  Alvaro Fernandez, Rhys Bennett, Will Fish, Marc Jurado, Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Brandon Williams.

Midfielders:  Toby Collyer, Fred, Dan Gore, Hannibal, Isak Hansen-Aaroen, Kobbie Mainoo, Mason Mount, Maxi Oyedele, Charlie Savage.

Forwards:  Amad, Noam Emeran, Omari Forson, Joe Hugill, Jadon Sancho, Shola Shoretire.

Check our our predicted XI to face Leeds here .

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Marcus Rashford of Manchester United in action during a first team training session at Carrington Training Ground on October 23, 2023 in Manchester...

Manchester United announce 23-man travelling squad for Champions League clash v FC Copenhagen, Kobbie Mainoo misses out

Manchester United have announced their travelling squad for their crucial clash against FC Copenhagen in the Champions League.

A win, by any means necessary, is crucial for the Red Devils and they could jump into the top two places in the group if they can pick up a victory in Denmark.

Erik ten Hag is firmly under pressure to get Manchester United out of the group which was certainly a challenging but very doable task, if the Red Devils fail to win in Denmark though it will be a tough ask to get out of the group.

With Galatasaray travelling to the Allianz Arena to face Bayern Munich, this is a chance for the Red Devils to overtake the Turkish side in the race for second place.

Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes, Facundo Pellistri, Alejandro Garnacho of Manchester United in action during a first team training session at Carr...

United’s squad announced

The squad for the game in Denmark has been announced and here are the list of the players who have made the list for the massive encounter:

Goalkeepers: Andre Onana, Altay Bayindir, Tom Heaton.

Defenders: Diogo Dalot, Jonny Evans, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Sergio Reguilon, Raphael Varane, Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Midfielders: Sofyan Amrabat, Christian Eriksen, Bruno Fernandes, Hannibal, Scott McTominay, Mason Mount.

Forwards:  Alejandro Garnacho, Antony, Omari Forson, Rasmus Hojlund, Anthony Martial, Facundo Pellistri, Marcus Rashford.

Mainoo’s absence explained

Another exciting youngster, who may well feel he deserves a chance in the first team, is Kobbie Mainoo . The teenage midfielder is back from injury and started last week for the under-21s against Salford City in the EFL Trophy .

The midfielder, however, will not feature against the Danish side in Copenhagen as he has not been selected for the travelling squad.

There may well be a few concerns from the United fanbase about a recurrence of an injury but according to Rich Fay, of the Manchester Evening News , he will play for the club’s under 19’s side like he did a fortnight ago.

According to the report, Mainoo trained with the under-19s and is likely to feature in the UEFA Youth League against the Danish side as the club tries to ease him back to full fitness and build up his minutes.

Pellistri could be given chance

Facundo Pellistri looked sharp when he came on against Fulham and it was his determination to win the ball back that eventually led to Bruno Fernandes’ brilliant winner.

With Antony continuing to struggle , a start for the Uruguayan is surely not too unrealistic and the 21-year-old certainly deserves a chance to nail down a spot in the team.

From that right-hand side, the winger could provide the pace an guile that they have been looking for, which has been so absent when Antony has featured.

Twenty confirmed players in Manchester United squad vs Tottenham

Lisandro Martinez came off at half-time against Wolves but is available for Man United this weekend.

  • 16:31, 18 AUG 2023
  • Updated 17:24, 18 AUG 2023

Martinez has travelled to London

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Lisandro Martinez has travelled with the Manchester United squad for their Premier League match at Tottenham but Harry Maguire could be missing.

Martinez came off at half-time in the 1-0 defeat of Wolves on Monday night with an ankle problem but manager Erik ten Hag confirmed on Thursday he had trained.

Former United captain Maguire was absent when United arrived at Stockport Station on Friday afternoon. Ten Hag could name two goalies on the bench, despite the availability of a number of fringe players.

United won eight Premier League away games last season but prevailed over only one of the teams that finished in the top 12.

Also read: Sheikh Jassim concerned the Glazers won't sell United

Spurs recovered from 2-0 down at half-time to draw 2-2 with United in April and Saturday's fixture marks their first home match under new manager Ange Postecoglou.

"It is one of the aims we have for this season," Ten Hag said of United's away form, "that we have to step up in away games to get more points to bring higher levels because that is the foundation of course, for more points.

"So it is often to do with personality. So that is the demand from me for the players that we have to show more personality on the pitch to win such games and to gather more points in away games."

United took the train from Stockport Station to Euston, having been among the Premier League clubs criticised for taking internal flights for games.

A Green Football Weekend was held in February to raise awareness of the issue of climate change.

Confirmed squad members: Onana, Henderson, Vitek, Dalot, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Lindelof, Martinez, Shaw, Casemiro, McTominay, Mount, Eriksen, Fernandes, Pellistri, Antony, Rashford, Garnacho, Sancho, Martial

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Inside Manchester United’s academy. Part two: Creating players and people

  • Inside Manchester United’s academy. Part one: Recruitment

“Retention is bigger than recruitment” — Travis Binnion, under-21s coach.

It’s 4pm in the Jimmy Murphy Centre and one young United player is about to sign his first professional contract, a day after his 17th birthday.

The club won’t publicise this but they understand that young players are proud of their achievements and are all over social media. It’s common for them to ask for their photos soon after a game and put them across their socials.


The player’s family are here, his agent, plus academy support manager Andrew Laylor. Coach Eamon Mulvey is also present as well as head of academy Nick Cox and coach Travis Binnion — some of the most influential people in the player’s life. So is The Athletic for the second part of our access-all-areas article about United’s academy. If you missed part one, you can read it here .

Keeping these players is as important as signing them in the first place. United are aware that the player was allowed to talk to other clubs after he turned 16 and that there would have been dazzling amounts of money on offer.

Cox is smiling as he looks at the player and says: “You’ve been here since you were five. You’ve got yourself to the start line now. The people in this room are the people who matter. We won’t publicise this but we know you will — and you’ll get 100,000 new people who all want to be your mate.

“The challenge for you is how you remain consistent while all this is happening, while the world around you is changing. You’re 17 now. You’ll notice a very different number in your bank balance next month. It’s up to you what you do with that, but make sure you say thanks to your family who’ve helped you.”

The player nods and smiles. You can see with some footballers that they’re supremely confident without being arrogant. Cox is right — the challenge is keeping his feet on the ground amid the attention coming his way.

man u travelling squad

A decade or so ago, one player got into United’s first team. Nice lad, good player who had a good career in the top flight, though some of those around him got a bit carried away. He came into training one day and was talking about what they had done at the weekend. Ryan Giggs, a big figure in the dressing room, overheard and asked: “How many of your mates did you know before you became a professional here?” The answer was none.

The Jimmy Murphy building is named after the man who was at the vanguard of youth development for United and his status is now being truly recognised, with a statue unveiled behind the Stretford End.


'United wouldn't exist without him': Jimmy Murphy, a legend behind Old Trafford statue

United are always looking at their strength in depth within the youth system. Indeed, the club only signed Alejandro Garnacho because there were gaps.

“In an ideal world, you should only ever have three or four gaps to fill to play alongside the eight or nine players who’ve come through,” explains Cox. “So last year we brought in the two Fletcher boys , Harry Amass and Gabriele Biancheri. That feels about right to me. But in the year when Garnacho turned 16, we had more gaps. We’re never trying to build a team, but a healthy pool of talent that is balanced and that can go and support the first team.”

It’s not always easy.

In 2020, United needed a centre-forward in January and ended up signing Odion Ighalo on loan. Senior people at the club got together and said: “This isn’t good enough. We should have had a young centre-forward who was good enough to go on the bench.” They vowed to change that — the same problem surfaced in January 2023 when Wout Weghorst was brought in.

Fans who are pre-disposed to support the youth system often say, ‘Throw in the kids’ in moments of frustration, but most kids are not ready for regular Premier League football and Sir Alex Ferguson, among others, has spoken about the harm caused by placing premature and damaging pressure on young footballers.

Equally, United must ensure young players feel they have a pathway and are learning at the right club.

Finley McAllister has trained with the first team several times.

“It’s brilliant,” he says. “Makes you feel like a better player. The speed of passing is incredible, you can’t get the ball off them.”

A taste of first-team training helps everyone.

So what makes a good youth programme? This is access all areas and The Athletic walks into a meeting with various heads of department. Eight are present, two on Zoom. Reports come into Cox.

“We had two players visit Auschwitz last week,” says head of education Ian Smithson. United’s 2023 academy annual, which is given to players, is packed with such educational outings. In February, players visited Munich to play games and attend the memorial. They travel well too. They’re at the Algarve Cup in Portugal, MLS ’s Generation Cup in Florida, the MIC cup in Spain’s Costa Brava, Le Mans, Northern Ireland, Warsaw, Hong Kong and climbing Mount Snowdon in Wales. The youngsters, many who had never been on a plane before, are seeing the world, playing football and garnering life-long positive memories.

“I refuse to allow our boys or our academy to be defined solely by professional debuts,” says Cox.

Jen Mildenhall, from emerging talent, updates on the grassroots participation and the number of local kids using The Cliff training ground. They want every kid in Greater Manchester to experience playing there.

man u travelling squad

Adam Lawrence updates on an under-15s parents meeting, a game for them at Bolton and the big game tomorrow at Wolves for the under-18s when they can win the league. There’s an update on the under-nines and under-10s, who will play Manchester City .

One staff member will move across to help with travel logistics for the first team around the pre-season tour.

An idea is discussed to get every single academy player in an end-of-season photo together, though the logistics sound as easy as nailing jelly to a wall.

And then there are the academy legends, Dave Bushell and Tony Whelan, with decades of experience teaching and inspiring at United.

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In a side room, we meet up with Smithson. He leads the education provision for players aged nine to 21, including the women’s academy from under-15s upwards. United’s youngsters have long gone to nearby Ashton on Mersey School, a state school where Marcus Rashford attended and Garnacho took a Year 9 Spanish class.

“We also have a partnership with Manchester Grammar School (MGS) and that gives us a more academic offering, so if we’re going up against competitors, we can say, ‘We have two options here’. Parents will scrutinise,” explains Smithson.

United have four boys at MGS. Two are studying for A-levels. All had to pass a tough entrance exam. Jonny Evans’ status as the most intelligent former United student is under serious threat when you hear that Willy Kambwala gained the equivalent of three As at A-level, plus English as a second language.

“He was the only one in my time here who was successful and got to complete all his finals,” says Smithson. “That’s an unbelievable level and required a huge amount of discipline where he was doing the 10 hours of schooling we provided, with another 10 on top of that as well as being a professional footballer. It’s a hell of an achievement.”

“Football collects up from all sections of society,” says Cox. “We have some real high fliers who get A*s and we have others who simply wouldn’t have stayed in education if it wasn’t for football. We’re trying to help them along.”

Ethan Wheatley was called up to the first team this month . “He scored four for the under-18s on Saturday, played for -21s on Monday and was then pulled to play with the first team,” says Smithson. “He has one day off but requested if he could come in this morning to finish his last assignment.”

Conversely, would Smithson, who joined in 2017, have a word with a young player if his schoolwork wasn’t up to scratch?

“Absolutely,” he says. “I had to bring one player down to earth the other day. He has been doing very well on the pitch and it’s fair to say that education is not his main bag. He was late for school so I had to rein him in a bit. He didn’t particularly like it, but it’s important that feet are kept on the ground.”

He adds: “And then there’s Kobbie (Mainoo). He was integrated with the first-team squad last season but we still had to find time for him to finish his qualifications, which he did. That could have been missed, but Kobbie, who is bright, wanted to do it. He’s quiet, unassuming, with that steely determination to do the right thing, get better and he’s been like that since I’ve known him.”


The making of Kobbie Mainoo, United's 'special' teenage talent

United offer career advice but also life skills.

“This is just as important,” says Smithson. “We want to help with their formal education, but also with the informal side of them being good people. Can they cook? Understand their bank statement? Drive?”

Aware that there could be a huge disparity in what players earn in the same team, United suggest percentages of their pay which the players should spend and save. Players are taught about car finance, cryptocurrencies , mortgages, though it’s a challenge to get them to follow the club’s advice when they have their own advisors.

But what about the actual football?

man u travelling squad

Paul McShane is the lead under-15s coach, a former United academy graduate who played more than 400 games in professional football across England’s top three divisions. He returned to United as a full-time player-coach in 2021 when United also wanted an experienced player on the pitch alongside the under-21s to talk them through games.

“I played with Garnacho, trained with Kobbie — he was tough without having to act tough,” he says. “He had a steel about him and a lot of ability. You see a lot of lads with talent but you never know what will happen because there are so many variables in football and it comes down to a lot more than talent. ‘Garna’ (Garnacho) always had a threat and ability.”

McShane was 35 playing with lads half his age.

“I got on well with them, I was their team-mate and it would carry a lot of weight with them that I was on the battlefield with them. I could get the intensity up using my voice and I was constantly talking to them, but I was also a coach and there was a boundary there.

“There was a nice balance. Players would ask me advice, usually on the mental side and especially the defenders. We formed a brotherhood of centre-halves and they would ask me about confidence, how to get over a bad game, how to deal with it if they didn’t feel a coach liked them.

“I’d also speak to the midfielders, like Charlie Savage and Zidane Iqbal, and give them tips during the game. Sav messaged me at the start of this season to ask about defending a corner kick.”

McShane stopped playing in 2022, replaced by Tom Huddlestone in the same role , and now leads the under-15s and is a coach with the Republic of Ireland Under-21s.

“When I was their age I was still playing Gaelic football, but the game has evolved so much that they need to be drip-fed tactical information without paralysing them. And I tell them that they must give themselves credit after learning how to press in a 4-2-3-1 where the wingers are jumping onto the centre-backs and they have to stop split passes and recover back. And that’s even before they get the ball and they’re learning combination plays, how to run in behind, read the game. It’s a lot to learn and they have a lot of talent. But you don’t get to do the nice stuff without doing the fundamentals first.”

McShane, now 38, wants to manage a club’s first team one day. A few years earlier, Kieran McKenna was coaching United’s younger sides before Jose Mourinho noted his exceptional talent.

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There’s a lot to celebrate here and the academy hosts an awards event every January with various awards that include being the best citizen and achieving in another sport.

“We want to remind them that they’re brilliant,” says Cox. “Wayne Rooney came in to talk to the players and did a great job.”

“We’re realistic,” he adds. “We’re proud that we produce more footballers than anybody else but we also must be realistic and not promise anything. We can say, ‘Some people in Manchester can play in a Champions League or World Cup final, so why not you?’. It’s OK to dream, but even a dream and a lot of hard work don’t guarantee anything.

“A player must try and be the best version of themselves possible. And if a player is released there will obviously be disappointment, but that can pass quickly and we can look anyone in the eye and say, ‘Are you better for your experience at Manchester United ? Have you learned new skills? Are you more resilient?’.”

At 3pm, we go to a ‘performance orientation meeting’. There, Matt Walker, head of performance, leads a meeting. David Hughes, who was head of Cardiff City ’s academy, sits on the front row. Andy Jordan is the academy logistics manager, a Manchester lad asking practical questions. Almost all wear the club uniform, predominantly black Adidas tracksuit and trainers. Walker wants the various departments to work together as cohesively as possible and talks about “empowering the players so that they come to the coaches and analysts”.

The players have a journal, an idea from former academy graduate and current first-team third-choice goalkeeper Tom Heaton .

The information the club holds on the players is astonishing. There are graphs showing hamstring strength, the type of training sessions they’ve been exposed to, details on their personality traits and character. Players have worn smart footwear to show where the loads are on the feet in various actions.

Sport science is a big part of what United do — even for the seven- and eight-year-olds.

All the information aims to tell parents United is the best place for them to join — and stay. Last season, United didn’t release any under-nine players, kept 92 per cent of under-10s and 84 per cent of under-11s in the pre-academy programme.

man u travelling squad

It’s a huge commitment for the parents of a child in the academy, with training increasing as they get older — three evening training sessions means three nights the player is likely to miss homework. There are over-zealous parents, absent parents, uninterested parents, foster parents. There is not a one-size-fits-all plan for any player or their family.

We walk over to yet another office where a lot of the academy staff are based. People such as Mark Dempsey, Salford lad, former player, long-time assistant to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and manager himself, are there. There are charts on the walls showing a list of misdemeanours that will result in a fine or sanction.

“Dissent towards an official/staff = Strike.”

Three strikes means you lose a day off.

“Failure to report an injury on time.”

“Use of mobile phone at any time in canteen or during meal times.”

“Unauthorised use of mobile phone in video sessions, team meetings, educations, gym.”

“Hats/hoods in canteen or when travelling.”

We sit down with Binnion, coach of the under-21s. He was in charge when they played Wrexham in front of 34,000 in San Diego last July.

“Our duty is to the players, not the under-21s (team),” Binnion says. “We don’t want over-ripe fruits here who are too good to play for the team — they’re better on loan. That’s why we choose to sail close to the wind with our teams, going young and letting the players face huge challenges. We believe that will ultimately make them better.”

“I can sit here and be brave in the office (by deciding to go young) but Travis is the one who has to face it in real life,” says Cox.

Chelsea and Manchester City, two clubs who have dominated youth football in the last decade, do it a different way. Theirs is a trading model, with less likelihood of reaching the first team and more of being sold. They have surged past United in what they spent on youth after their takeovers in 2003 and 2008 and their brands are about winning at every level. City have brought more money in from youth academy sales than anyone — Cole Palmer being the best example. It’s easier to sell when you’re the champions. And it’s frustrating that a United-supporting youngster from Wythenshawe like Palmer joined City.


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Binnion heads the -21s, yet he’s worked up through the age groups, meaning the players he now coaches in the pro phase are players he worked with in their youth phase.

“Academies need to be joined up,” he says. “You can have a good experience to 16 and then all the coaches change. The academy here is in a good place in terms of staffing and playing style: fast, attacking, brave. Players on the front foot who get you off your seat. This isn’t always possible in every game in the Premier League, so the players we have to produce change slightly to being athletic, dealing with the ball, excellent decision-makers who can stay on the ball for as long as required. Basically, we want our kids to do everything, which is really hard.”

And it’s not straightforward. On the walls of the academy canteen is a picture of a mountain with the words, “There’s no one way to the top. Every route is different. Every journey is unique. Where will your path lead?”

“United’s academy can look any rival in the face now, but it’s important not to stand still because if you stand still — and United did — then you go backwards,” one source tells us. “Kids have changed, they need to be challenged in different ways in the modern-day world and to handle its pressures such as social media.”

The day after Savage and Iqbal made their United debuts in 2021, the club’s internal communications staff, led by George McCaffrey who works with the academy and external experts, did a session for one age group focusing on media questions.

man u travelling squad

At another session, young players were smiling and joking around in the environment before an interviewer cut in and said: “Is it a laughing matter losing to Manchester City?” The players’ faces dropped, they changed their expressions. The message was conveyed forcefully that anything can and will be manipulated to their detriment.

United know they can’t stop players from using social media and don’t want to, they try to see how it can be used as a positive, yet the reality is that social media affords anonymity for some fans who will slaughter them if they don’t play well. That can take some getting used to for players who’ve only been praised for their football as they’ve grown up.


Remembering the Wild West that was 'Football Twitter' in the early 2010s

“Our job is to build resilience in the boys by slowly exposing them to environments that stretch, challenge, stress them out a little bit so that when they’re in that world of having to win, they’ve got loads of reference points that they can lean on that will remind them that they can cope, they have coped and they will cope,” says Cox.

Excellent facilities can be a sign of a good club. Manchester City’s Etihad Campus, which opened in 2013, was superior to United’s at Carrington. City had a 7,000-capacity secondary stadium, floodlight pitches for junior teams, top-class changing facilities, plus spectator facilities.

United had none of those. Lights were finally installed on the pitches at Carrington in 2022, a new £7million ($8.7m) building to house the women’s and academy teams opened in 2023. Another recent addition is the Graduates Lounge where parents and spectators can stay warm and get free food and drinks around games.

Carrington is better but not best. Its faults are a lack of car parking and access is a challenge. That may have suited Ferguson who was happy for it to be away from the chaos of The Cliff in Salford, where hundreds or even thousands of fans would turn up to ask players for autographs and photos, but it’s not ideal now.

The old Cliff training ground is still used by the club’s youngest teams, school events and for sporadic under-15s games, but needs modernising. The nearby exposed Littleton Road fields are used by United’s academy players aged nine, 10 and 11, with the club happy for them not to be too luxurious for young footballers.

man u travelling squad

Altrincham FC, to where Erik ten Hag cycled to see a youth game last season, receive a retainer for occasional use of their Moss Lane pitch. Manchester United’s teams are spread over five and occasionally six sites, of which only Old Trafford is well connected by public transport. Manchester City’s teams use one site.

So will the training ground even exist in 20 years?

Decision-makers at INEOS, the club’s minority shareholder, will do a full review of all the club’s facilities, though Sir Jim Ratcliffe has been very positive about Carrington. Staff at the academy also feel they have everything they need to be successful there.

There’s a case for United having their own secondary stadium like the ones we see at Barcelona , Bayern Munich or Manchester City, which are used by the women’s and reserve teams. Despite a faltering men’s first team, demand for tickets is at an all-time high while women’s attendances continue to increase and the 15,000 crowd for the under-21s game at Old Trafford shows the potential there.

It’s the end of another day at United’s academy. The contract has been signed by the talented player and his family are going for a meal to celebrate with the agent.

“Have you got a game tomorrow as well?” asks his dad, trying to work out the logistics of moving his sons around.

“Yeah, we’re gonna win the league tomorrow,” replies the player. “We’re Man United.”

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Andy Mitten

Andy Mitten is a journalist and author. He founded the best-selling United We Stand fanzine as a 15-year-old. A journalism graduate, he's interviewed over 500 famous footballers past and present. His work has taken him to over 100 countries, writing about football from Israel to Iran, Brazil to Barbados. Born and bred in Manchester, he divides his time between his city of birth and Barcelona, Spain. Follow Andy on Twitter @ andymitten

man u travelling squad

FPL Tips: Top Manchester United Picks For Gameweek 38

M anchester United will travel to Brighton for their final Premier League game this Sunday, with the Red Devils fighting to book their place in European competition for next season. Here are the Manchester United FPL assets to look out for in gameweek 38.

Three Manchester United Players To Start for Gameweek 38

Amad diallo ( £4.4m).

A goal and an assist totalling 14 points in the 3-2 win over Newcastle United on Wednesday saw the Ivorian justify the belated faith in him shown by manager Erik ten Hag, with the clamour from the fans to give game time to the former Atalanta winger much earlier in the season. With just gameweek 38 to come before an FA Cup final rematch with bitter rivals Manchester City, Amad will want to stake his claim to keep his place for a defining game in the team’s season.

Bruno Fernandes ( £8.5M)

If the losses to Crystal Palace and Arsenal proved anything from a Manchester United perspective, it was just how much the team needs Bruno Fernandes to function creatively.

Seven goals and two assists in his last ten Premier League appearances prove how indispensable the Portuguese is, with the team looking toothless in the two games he missed through a rare injury. If the Red Devils are to win at Amex Stadium in Gameweek 38, there is no doubt Fernandes will be involved.

Rasmus Hojlund (£7.1M)

Considering the circumstances of the chaos around him, Rasmus Hojlund’s first season in Manchester should definitely be seen as more than acceptable. Indeed, the Dane’s nine goals in 29 Premier League appearances should be put into the context of him not receiving much help to create chances from those behind him, with only Fernandes capable of the creativity that a striker thrives on.

In addition, the former Atalanta and Copenhagen man has been streaky in his scoring this season, scoring seven of his nine goals in two months over January and February. Having got back on the scoresheet in the win at Newcastle, Hojlund could be keen to end a difficult season on a high note and set a marker for next season.

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FPL Tips: Top Manchester United Picks For Gameweek 38

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United team news: Lewis Dunk set to miss final day

Albion captain unavailable for last match of the season due to knee injury.

By Charlie Hanson • 17 May 2024

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Albion finish their season on Sunday as the welcome Manchester United to the Amex, kick-off 4pm.

Roberto De Zerbi’s team will secure a tenth place finish with a win, while a defeat could see them finish anywhere between tenth and 13th.

United on the other hand need at least a point if they hope to qualify for some form of European competition next season.

In his pre-match press conference, De Zerbi said, "Lewis Dunk is not available. I don't think it's a big problem, which is good news for him and us, but he won't play on Sunday. I don't know the level of his injury but it is a knee issue."

The Italian added, "We will have to see Tariq Lamptey's situation because after a long time out, he played 70 minutes at Newcastle and a long time against Chelsea, while Kaoru [Mitoma], Jack [Hinshelwood], James Milner and JP [van Hecke] can be available for the start of pre-season."

Player to watch

United captain Bruno Fernandes returned to the United starting XI for their 3-2 win over Newcastle in midweek after missing league games through injury for the first time in his career at Old Trafford. The Portugal international has ten Premier League goals and eight assists so far this campaign.

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PL Highlights: Man United 1 Brighton 3

Albion made it back-to-back victories at Old Trafford as they beat Erik ten Hag’s team 3-1 back in September. Danny Welbeck put us in front after 20 minutes, before Pascal Gross and Joao Pedro added a goal each in the second half. Hannibal Mejbri scored a consolation goal with 15 minutes to play, with the victory extending our run over United to four consecutive wins.

How the table looks

This table does not include points deductions for Everton and Nottingham Forest.

Match stats

Brighton have won each of their last four Premier League games against Manchester United – the last side to beat the Red Devils in five consecutive league games was Norwich City between 1988 and 1990.

Manchester United have lost four of their six Premier League away games against Brighton (67%), their highest loss rate away against any side in the competition.

Brighton have lost their final game in four of their six Premier League campaigns, with the exceptions being a 2-1 win at Burnley (2019-20) and a 3-1 home win v West Ham (2021-22).

Manchester United have lost their final league game in two of the last five seasons (W3), as many times as they had in the previous 33 campaigns (W23 D8).

Manchester United won 3-2 against Newcastle United last time out, despite facing 21 shots. It was the seventh time this season they’ve won a Premier League game when facing 20+ shots, the joint most on record in a campaign along with Charlton Athletic in 2003-04.

In their first 19 Premier League matches this season, Brighton were the fifth-highest scorers in the Premier League (38 goals) and had a conversion rate of 13.3%. In their last 18 games since the turn of the year, only Everton (15) have scored fewer goals than the Seagulls (17), with their conversion rate of 6.6% the worst of any side in this time.

Brighton’s James Milner has appeared in the final game in 16 different Premier League campaigns – if he plays in this match, he’ll be the first player in the competition’s history to do so in 17 different seasons.

Brighton’s Pascal Groß has scored more Premier League goals against Manchester United than he has vs any other side (7). He’s scored in his last three against them in the competition, with only Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (5), Mohamed Salah (5) and Sergio Agüero (4) netting in more consecutive appearances against the Red Devils.

Since Boxing Day, Man Utd striker Rasmus Højlund has scored nine goals from just 19 shots in the Premier League, a 47% shot conversion rate. That is the best ratio of any player to attempt 5+ shots in that timeframe.

Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes has created 113 chances in the Premier League this season, 14 more than any other player. He also created the most chances last season (119) and is the first player to do so in back-to-back seasons since Eden Hazard in 2013-14 (93) and 2014-15 (100).

Match officials

Referee: Craig Pawson.

Assistants: Marc Perry, Steve Meredith.

Fourth official: Oliver Langford.

VAR: Darren England.

Assistant VAR: Neil Davies.

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Manchester City AYNTK

Manchester City v West Ham United | All You Need To Know

Manchester City v West Ham United  Premier League, Etihad Stadium, Sunday 19 May 2024, 4pm BST

West Ham United’s 2023/24 Premier League season reaches its conclusion at Manchester City on Sunday.

Etihad Stadium will host the Irons for a fixture that has major significance in terms of determining the destination of the top-flight title. 

West Ham make the journey to the North West hoping to end their campaign with back-to-back wins, having defeated Luton Town 3-1 last time out.

Results elsewhere on Wednesday night confirmed the Irons will finish in ninth place in the table, meaning David Moyes' side have recorded three top-ten finishes in four seasons, though the Scot will be aiming to finish on a high with an historic first-ever away win over City as West Ham manager in his final game in charge of the Club.

Moyes’ charges will be under no illusions of the scale of the task at hand however, with City knowing that victory over the Hammers will be enough to hand them a fourth straight Premier League title, at the expense of second-placed Arsenal.

City prevailed at London Stadium in the reverse fixture in September, as second-half goals from Jérémy Doku, Bernardo Silva and Erling Haaland saw the visitors come from behind to claim three points after James Ward-Prowse opened the scoring.

West Ham fans are advised that the Club’s allocation of 3,065 tickets have sold out.

The first 90 per cent of tickets sold out to Bondholders and Season Ticket Holders with 29+ Loyalty Points. The remaining ten per cent (306 tickets) were then made available by a ballot process to Season Ticket Holders who had yet to purchase for this fixture. This ballot closed at 12noon on Friday 3 May.

As is the case with so many football stadia these days, it is recommended that supporters take public transport, rather than driving to the game.

If you are taking the train up from London, take a service from Euston to Manchester Piccadilly, with direct services leaving London at 08.07, 08.16, 09.16, 10.16, 11.16 and 12.08. From Piccadilly, take the Metrolink to Etihad Campus, from where it is a short walk to the stadium.

Return services depart Piccadilly at 18.15, 18.35, 18.55, 19.15 and 19.35.

If you do drive, park at one of the many Metrolink stations which have Park and Ride car parks, and board the tram to the ground. For a full list, click  HERE .

Manchester City AYNTK

How To Follow…

West Ham United’s away Premier League match against Manchester City has been selected for broadcast in the United Kingdom by Sky Sports.

If you live outside the UK, click  HERE  for details of Premier League listings in your territory.

You can follow the action via our live blog on and our app, and across our social media channels. We will also have highlights and exclusive reaction for you after the final whistle on our website and social media.

Live audio commentary will be available in the UK on BBC Radio 5 live, and worldwide on our official website and app.

Defenders Dinos Mavropanos and Nayef Aguerd will be assessed, having both been absent from West Ham United’s last four Premier League outings through injury. 

Manchester City, meanwhile, could be without goalkeeper Ederson after he was replaced in their midweek victory over Tottenham Hotspur following a clash with Cristian Romero, while Kevin De Bruyne, who was also withdrawn through injury, will need to be assessed.

Manchester City AYNTK


Manchester City have enjoyed another superb season under one of the most influential modern footballing figures, Pep Guardiola.

And now, after 37 Premier League fixtures, only West Ham United stand in the way of the Spaniard delivering a sixth top-flight trophy to the blue half of Manchester.

Guardiola, who continues to carve himself into the history books, led the Citizens to an historic treble last season, including City’s first ever UEFA Champions League crown.

City then became the first English club to hold five major domestic and international titles simultaneously, after defeating Fluminense 4-0 in the Club World Cup final in December, while also lifting the UEFA Super Cup at the start of the season.

Despite their Champions League defence coming to an end in this season's quarter-finals when they were defeated on penalties by Real Madrid, there are still two further silverware opportunities coming up in the space of the next ten days.

Guardiola has City in a position where they are odds-on favourites to lift a fourth consecutive Premier League title on Sunday, before they face rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup final at Wembley a week on Saturday.

Similar to last season, Norway centre-forward Erling Haaland has been the headline act for City with 38 goals in 43 appearances, including 27 in the Premier League, but the 23-year-old is just one of Guardiola’s galaxy of stars.

Phil Foden - one of England’s top footballing prospects - has developed into one of the outstanding players in what might be the best team in the world.

When City’s midfield contained David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva it seemed that one of their own homegrown talents could be swamped by expensive imports.

But since 2020 he hasn’t looked back. Foden has been one of City’s chief architects with 25 goals and eleven assists this season, helping his side to a division-best haul of 93 goals.

At the other end of the pitch, City have conceded just 33 goals - second best to Arsenal - and Joško Gvardiol’s five goals since April show that Sunday’s hosts are a dangerous proposition all over the pitch and not just in attack. 

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Previous Meetings…

We have not exactly had a great time on our recent visits to Etihad Stadium, with our last seven Premier League trips to Manchester City all ending in home wins, and West Ham United scoring just four goals in total in those matches.

Our last win at the Etihad was during the Farewell Boleyn season, 2015/16, when first-half goals from Victor Moses and Diafra Sakho secured a 2-1 success - our only victory in 17 Premier League visits to City’s new home, which was originally built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

In fact, that was our last Premier League win over Manchester City anywhere, with City winning 13 and drawing three of the 16 meetings since.

However, we did beat Pep Guardiola’s side on penalties in the EFL Cup fourth round at London Stadium in October 2021.

Match Officials...

Referee: John Brooks Assistant Referees: Lee Betts and Akil Howson Fourth Official: Sam Allison VAR: Jarred Gillett Assistant VAR: Tim Wood

John Brooks has been confirmed as the man in the middle for Sunday’s final-day trip to title hopefuls Manchester City in the Premier League.

The Leicestershire-born official was promoted to Select Group One in June 2021 and refereed his first Premier League match in December of the same year.

He has held the whistle during 21 top-flight clashes this season, including two involving the Hammers.

Indeed, Brooks was in charge of August’s 3-1 win over Chelsea and the 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur in April, while he also oversaw West Ham’s last trip to Manchester City, which resulted in a 3-0 defeat towards the end of 2022/23.

Besides his domestic duties, he also refereed this term’s UEFA Youth League final, won by Olympiacos, and has featured in the UEFA Europa League, UEFA Europa Conference League qualifying and on the international scene.

For more information about the officials, click HERE .

Season Ticket renewals

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Moyes: We gave everything and I’m really pleased it was a successful time at West Ham


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