The Hard Tackle takes a look at some of the key stories regarding Manchester United from the day.
Manchester United made it six league wins in a row as they beat West Ham United 2-0 at the London Stadium on Monday. In the aftermath of the encounter, here’s a roundup of everything happening in and around Old Trafford.
Michael Carrick: Confidence is High
Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has said that the confidence is high among the players in Jose Mourinho’s side, which is driving up the performance levels in difficult matches such as the one against West Ham on Monday.
Speaking to MUTV, Carrick said, “We are delighted that we saw the game out. We have kept our run going and confidence is high, which makes such a massive difference in games like this because we feel as if we can see that finishing line and it ultimately drove us over the line to give us the three points.”
Manchester United struggled to create many clear cut goalscoring opportunities, as fatigue resulting from the cramped festive schedule started to set in. However, they seized two opportune moments to see Juan Mata and Zlatan Ibrahimovic score the winning goals and extend their winning streak, ahead of Liverpool’s visit next week.
Gary Neville Hits Out At “Disgraceful” Reaction to Mike Dean’s Officiating
Meanwhile, Manchester United legend and former club captain Gary Neville has hit out at the reaction meted out to referee Mike Dean’s poor officiating in Monday’s match, by labelling the critics as “disgraceful”.
Neville tweeted, “I was critical of Mike Dean’s performance in the game. He was poor. But I think the reaction since towards him is disgraceful. Yes he should be criticised but to suggest he wanted to be centre of attention and he should be sacked or not referee again is wrong!!”
I was critical of Mike deans performance in the game . He was poor. But I think the reaction since towards him is disgraceful.
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) January 3, 2017
Yes he should be criticised but to suggest he wanted to be centre of attention and he should be sacked or not referee again is wrong!!
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) January 3, 2017
Mike Dean came under fire from West Ham manager Slaven Bilic, as well as several fans, after he sent Sofiane Feghouli off harshly in the 14th minute for a 50-50 challenge against Phil Jones. Controversy surrounded Dean and his team yet again as Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the winner for Manchester United despite being offside.
The red card was the major talking point of the match though, and it was the fifth time that Dean has sent a player off this season – more than any other referee. And the incident on Monday came less than a week after he had sent Nathan Redmond off in another contentious decision.
Phil Neville Advises Anthony Martial
Former Manchester United player Phil Neville, meanwhile, has an advice for a Manchester United stalwart. He wants Anthony Martial to speak to his agent Philippe Lamboley to put rumours of a move away from the club to bed, and concentrate on his football.
As reported by Daily Express, Neville spoke in Match of the Day, “I think it’s pretty simple with Anthony Martial. The club invested £60million in him. He needs to ring his agent and ask why is he linking him with Sevilla. Manchester United are one of the biggest clubs in the world and he wants to stay here.”
Anthony Martial has been linked with a move to Spain, with Sevilla hot on the trails of Manchester United to sign the France international. His agent recently confirmed that Martial is considering the move as he seeks to play more first team football, with starts hard to come by at Manchester United.
Other Manchester United News
Manchester United have rejected a bid of £19 million from Everton for out of favour midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, as the Red Devils want to recoup the majority of the £24 million fee they paid Southampton to acquire the services of the Frenchman.
Meanwhile, reports in England have claimed that Championship side Aston Villa have agreed a deal to sign Manchester United’s reserve goalkeeper Sam Johnstone on loan until the end of the season, with Joel Pereira being recalled from his loan at Portuguese club Belenenses.