All posts by Football Friends News Desk

THREE Reasons Why Manchester United Should Give Van Persie The Boot This Summer

Despite finishing last season as the Premier League’s top scorer, Robin van Persie has had another season to forget. The Netherlands international was once again plagued with injuries that destroyed his campaign and he proved powerless to stop Manchester United struggling in seventh place. Here are three reasons why he should be given the boot this summer.

1) Shinji Kagawa

The little Japan international is a superb player, but he needs to be played in the correct position in a system that suits him.

David Moyes has struggled to fit him in this season, but in the last few weeks he has shown us just how good he can be.

Without van Persie in the side, it allows Wayne Rooney to lead the line and Kagawa and Juan Mata can play just behind.

2) Crocked

As mentioned, van Persie is a player who has struggled with injuries over the course of his career. This season he has managed just 17 league starts, and although he has scored 11, he is 31 this month and I can’t see this getting better.

3) Moyes era

We have already seen suggestions that Moyes likes to blood the youngsters, just look at Adnan Januzaj, and I think letting van Persie go will allow him to do that even more.

Weeding out the older players will give him the chance to give the youngsters a go in the side. 

Liverpool: Dump Skrtel And Look To Sign Manchester City Target

Liverpool have been a joy to watch this season, but you get the feeling that if Brendan Rodgers had concentrated a little more on his defence then his side would have already wrapped up the Premier League title. The Reds are the division’s top scorers on 90 but have conceded 40 in their 33 games – that’s a total more than Crystal Palace. For me, they need to dump Martin Skrtel in the summer and move for this Manchester City target.

Eliaquim Managala has been watched by City for a while now, and rightly so. He’s a monster of a centre-back and is still only 23. He is domineering in the air but is also able to pick a pass, which is why I think he would be so suited to the Anfield club.

Despite only just turning 23, the Portugal international has almost 200 club appearances to his name and could be perfect to come in and replace Skrtel, who has had a mixed season.

The Slovakian’s constant fouling and lack of focus has cost the Reds on a few occasions and for me he should be given the green light to find a new club in the summer.

The only real positive for me is that he has managed to scored six league goals, but he is incredibly frustrating to watch on a weekly basis.

Reds fans, do you agree?

91% Pass Success: Manchester United MUST Move For Tottenham’s Second Highest Creator This Season – Here’s Why

Manchester United signed Juan Mata in January for a substantial fee, but the move merely masked their central midfield problem that they have been suffering from all season. Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Tom Cleverley are the only real options in the middle, if you discount Darren Fletcher, and there have been plenty of occasions where they have been overrun by smaller clubs this season. Keeping that in mind, I say that they must sign Tottenham’s Mousa Dembele this summer. Here’s why.

His solid performances have somewhat gone under the radar this season because of the upheavals around the club.

He has played 27 league games this term and has completed 91% of his passes. He has sit in a deep role, can play off the central players in a wider position and can even operate in the hole just in front of the strikers.

Behind Christian Eriksen he has completed the most amount of chances in the Spurs squad (32) and he has won 66/80 (83%) of his attempted take ons.

For me he is the ideal player to come in and make things happen in the United midfield and they should look to strike a deal with the north London club before the World Cup, as his value is likely to rocket.

United fans, do you agree?

stats via Squawka

Arsenal Want Swap Deal For Manchester United Striker: 3 Reasons Why The Move Would Suit All Parties

According to an exclusive from Football Direct News, Arsenal are trying to negotiate a swap deal with Manchester United involving Mikel Arteta and Javier Hernandez. For me it would suit all parties – here are three reasons why.

1) Manchester United get midifelder

United have needed a central midfielder for some time now. Although David Moyes snapped up Juan Mata in January, I feel as though they need someone to sit alongside Michael Carrick and provide a platform for the attacking players. Arteta could do just that.

Both him and Carrick are impressive defensively and are at the top end when it comes to passers of the ball in the Premier League.

2) Arsenal get striker

Arsenal have run Olivier Giroud into the ground this season as they haven’t had a viable replacement for the striker. Giroud has played 41 games this season and scored 19, but the Gunners are in desperate need of a striker or two in the summer to take some of the pressure off his shoulders.

3)  Both players get a fresh start

Arteta came under fire after his performance against Everton at the weekend and Hernandez has only just come into the frame at Old Trafford. For me they both need a fresh start at another club, and the swap would be perfect for all parties. 

Sloppy vs Everton: Why Arteta MUST Step Up vs Wigan This Weekend In FA Cup Clash

When Arsenal were thrashed by Everton at the weekend, many Gooners pointed the finger at Mikel Arteta. The Spaniard’s performance was below par, there is no doubt about that, but I feel some of the criticism was out of line. This weekend Arsenal are at Wembley to take on Wigan Athletic in their semi-final clash, and Arteta needs to up his game if he is to make up for the weekend just gone.

The pressure got to the former Everton midfielder as those who used to cheer his name were on his back from the off.

Arteta had 99 touches of the ball, and did manage to complete 93% of his passes, which is an impressive statistic.

However, off the ball he was appalling. His tackling was poor and he was continually muscled off the ball, while he and Flamini looked unsure of what they should be doing.

Wigan are a side who play down the flanks, but their central midfield of James McCarthur and Josh McEachran have a lot of ability.

They also have Nick Powell, who will undoubtedly be up against Arteta at points in the game, and I am unsure the Spaniard will be able to keep up physically.

There’s no doubt he has to step up this weekend, otherwise Arsenal’s season could be finished. 

FOUR Reasons Why Arsenal Will Slip Up Against Wigan In FA Cup Semi-Final

Arsenal have the chance to fire themselves into a final tomorrow evening, as they take on Championship side Wigan in their FA Cup semi-final. The Gunners are the favourites to lift the trophy despite the fact they have gone nine years without silverware, so here are four reasons why Arsenal will lose the game, just to play devil’s advocate.

1) Birmingham 2011

It’s happened before. Despite being overwhelming favourites in the 2011 Carling Cup final against Birmingham, Arsenal choked and lost the game 2-1. Nikola Zigic gave the Blues the lead, before Robin van Persie equalised. Then, in the 89th minute, Obafemi Martins scored the winner for City.

It could very well happen again tomorrow.

2) 1 win in 6

Arsenal are stuttering right now. Their only win in their last six has come against Tottenham in the north London derby, but they have lost to Chelsea and Everton, and drawn to Manchester City, Swansea, and Bayern Munich.

The run of results has seen their morale battered, and the media go for the throat when reporting on them.

3) Wigan flying in second division

Wigan are a force to be reckoned with. Uwe Rosler has led the Latics to fifth in the Championship and although they have slowed down after a run of eight straight wins, I am still confident in their abilities.

4) Championes

Wigan are the reigning champions of the competition. It will give them belief, something to play for and above all, a way to satisfy their fans after relegation.

Do not write them off. 

No Giroud? How Arsenal Should Line Up vs Wigan In FA Cup Clash

Arsenal travel to Wembley tomorrow afternoon to take on Wigan in the semi-final in their only chance of silverware this season. The Gunners must win this game, so here is how I would set up the team if I were Arsene Wenger.

In a 4-2-3-1 formation I would have Lukasz Fabianski in goal. The Polish keeper has been brilliant every time he has stood in for Wojciech Szczesny and it could be one of his last performances for the club.

At right-back I would have Bacary Sagna. At left-back I would have Nacho Monreal. And at centre-back I would Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen, despite their poor performance against Everton.

Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini would be my midfield pairing, as they have impressed me throughout the season, although they were below par against the Toffees.

I’d have Tomas Rosicky on the right, Lukas Podolski on the left and Santi Cazorla in the middle.

I would drop Olivier Giroud as he has been awful recently, and replace him with Yaya Sanogo. The youngster has impressed me with his determination when he has played recently and is always looking to make things happen.

Arsenal fans, who would you start? 

FOUR Reasons Why Chelsea Should Get Rid Of Eto’o In The Summer After Besiktas Talks

According to the Metro, Chelsea forward Samuel Eto’o has been in talks with Turkish club Besiktas in regards to a summer move. The Cameroonian’s contract at Stamford Bridge expires in the summer, and the articles suggests that he will be off. Here are four reasons why I think that would be a good thing.

1) Age

As good as the African striker has been over the years, he is fast approaching 34 years of age and he is only going to get worse as a football player. His legs appear to be going and his touch looks poor, so that is my first reason.

2) Summer signings

I expect Jose Mourinho to go for a big name striker in the summer – someone like Mario Mandzukic, Edinson Cavani or Diego Costa. To get one of those, I would clear the current crop to make room. That includes Eto’o.

3) No physical presence

With Romelu Lukaku returning in the summer, I think he offers more of the type of forward that Mourinho likes. Eto’o is small and weak, while Lukaku is strong and powerful in his play.

4) Mediocre return

Although he has been the most impressive of the Chelsea strikers, he has still only scored eight Premier League goals in his 19 games. That’s not good enough in my eyes, and is the final reason I think he should be let go.