Daniel Taylor

Author's details

Name: Daniel Taylor
Date registered: September 27, 2014
URL: http://www.theguardian.com/football/manchester-united

Latest posts

  1. Real Madrid’s pursuit of David de Gea and co should be resisted | Daniel Taylor — May 13, 2017
  2. Arsène Wenger’s decline drains rivalry with José Mourinho of poison | Daniel Taylor — May 6, 2017
  3. Time to remember the remarkable David Rocastle | Daniel Taylor — April 29, 2017
  4. José Mourinho in war of words against wounded Manchester United players — April 26, 2017
  5. Wayne Rooney at risk of going out at Old Trafford with a whimper | Daniel Taylor — April 22, 2017

Author's posts listings

May 13

Real Madrid’s pursuit of David de Gea and co should be resisted | Daniel Taylor

The club Sir Alex Ferguson called ‘that mob’ over Cristiano Ronaldo look to be after Manchester United’s goalkeeper and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard – but the Premier League duo should stand firm

It isn’t difficult to understand why there are times when Real Madrid, with all their haughty self‑importance and the inescapable sense that they always seem to get their way, leave some of the other clubs at the higher end of the sport filled with moments of insecurity.

There are plenty of other great clubs who regard European domination as a legitimate ambition. Yet none, perhaps – not even Barcelona – have the same kind of magnetic attraction for the game’s superstars. None of the other superpowers seem so sure of themselves, bordering on a superiority complex, when it comes to luring their targets. No other club take more pleasure from flexing their muscles and reminding everyone about the order of merit that exists among the elite.

Related: Antonio Conte confident Eden Hazard will stay despite Real Madrid rumours

Related: Football transfer rumours: is David de Gea’s Real Madrid move on once more?

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/may/13/real-madrid-david-de-gea-manchester-united-chelsea-eden-hazard

May 06

Arsène Wenger’s decline drains rivalry with José Mourinho of poison | Daniel Taylor

José Mourinho hasn’t really mellowed, it’s just that his old enemy Arsène Wenger, whom he will face when Arsenal host Manchester United on Sunday, no longer seems a threat

Unfortunately for Arsène Wenger, it is not necessarily a good sign that José Mourinho is no longer talking about him with a curled lip and the overwhelming sense that he has made it a personal mission to see how close he can push his old adversary towards the brink of spontaneous combustion.

If it is true, as both managers have said over the last few days, that a truce has been called, it is some turnaround bearing in mind it is not so long ago that the two men could barely bring themselves to make eye contact, never mind extend the courtesy of shaking hands, and Mourinho in particular gave the impression that if he saw Wenger drowning he would chuck him both ends of the rope.

Related: Mesut Özil, his new driveway and the eternal question of his value to Arsenal

Related: Arsène Wenger says public criticism can just heap stress on players

Related: Arsène Wenger squeezes sadly into last season’s tactical skinny jeans | Barney Ronay

Related: The Football League play-offs at 30: a quick fix that survived and thrived

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/may/06/arsene-wenger-jose-mourinho-arsenal-manchester-united

Apr 29

Time to remember the remarkable David Rocastle | Daniel Taylor

Arsenal’s ‘Brazilian from Lewisham’, who died at 33, should have been 50 this Tuesday. Instead this charming, talented man will rightly be honoured in song at the north London derby

It was something Paul Merson said during that raw television interview a couple of Fridays ago that lingers in the mind. You might not always agree with Merson’s football opinions but there are times when that does not really matter. Earlier that day, his former team-mate Ugo Ehiogu, the friend he described as a “man-mountain”, had died from a heart attack, aged 44, and now Merson was in a television studio when it would probably have been kinder to allow him some time alone and he was trying to make sense of it all. He couldn’t, but it was some tribute. “You know what,” he said, and he was struggling to get out the words. “Billy Joel sings that song Only The Good Die Young. And that is him.”

To be pedantic, that song was actually about something entirely different when it was recorded in 1977, prompting a number of religious groups to pressure various radio stations to remove it from their playlists. Yet we all knew what Merson meant, we all probably know others it could apply to and no doubt there will be plenty of people – Merson, again, included in that number – who will be thinking the same about David Rocastle in the next few days.

Related: Golden Goal: Alan Smith for Arsenal v Liverpool (1989) | Nick Miller

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/apr/29/david-rocastle-arsenal-north-london-derby

Apr 26

José Mourinho in war of words against wounded Manchester United players

• Manager questions commitment of players as derby at City looms
• Paul Pogba ruled out of Etihad Stadium game with hamstring injury

It is a probably a sign of the times that José Mourinho, in keeping with the promise he made at the start of the season, had no interest in antagonising Pep Guardiola on the eve of their latest managerial tête-à-tête. These days, the old adversaries have called a temporary truce. Mourinho even managed to praise Guardiola during his latest press conference – not something many of us anticipated when they both pitched up in the same city last summer – though it is tempting to wonder whether some of the Manchester United players would rather he revert to old habits rather than turning his fire on them instead.

Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are but two of them in these strange times when Mourinho’s more cutting lines appear to be reserved for his own players. The United manager might have laid off Guardiola but his own press conferences are never short of content and the latest had another bristling undercurrent now it has become clear his attempt to make public humiliation a recognised form of medicine has failed to coax Smalling and Jones back in time to face Manchester City.

Related: Pep Guardiola says Manchester City could adapt to Europa League

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/26/paul-pogba-misses-manchester-derby-united-city

Apr 22

Wayne Rooney at risk of going out at Old Trafford with a whimper | Daniel Taylor

Manchester United’s record scorer most likely has 10 games left, at most, for the club he signed for in 2004 and his chances of a fitting finale look slim

In the middle of the pitch, under the lights of the Bernabéu, one man could be seen going through his victory poses. Cristiano Ronaldo has choreographed these routines over the years. He kept his top on this time, maybe reserving that particular treat for the final, but you are probably familiar with the rest of the act. Ronaldo pointed at his chest. He nodded with appreciation at his own night’s work and it was the look of self‑adoration you might remember from the Fonz after a particularly impressive chat-up line to one of the girls from Happy Days.

A couple of nights later, it was midway through the second half at Old Trafford when Wayne Rooney, Ronaldo’s old colleague, started going through his warm-up on the side of the pitch. Manchester United were finding it difficult to shake off Anderlecht in their Europa League quarter-final and Zlatan Ibrahimovic had rarely looked so disorientated. Yet when the crowd called for a change it was another substitute, Ander Herrera, they serenaded rather than Rooney. A few moments later, they sang the Spaniard’s name for a second time. Rooney returned to the dugout and never had to remove his tracksuit top even when Ibrahimovic went down with the injury, ruptured knee ligaments, that footballers fear the most.

Related: Manchester United: Ibrahimovic and Rojo suffer ‘significant ligament damage’

Related: Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s misfortune could still yield dividend for Manchester United | Jamie Jackson

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/apr/22/wayne-rooney-manchester-united

Apr 19

Manchester United’s Mourinho looks beyond Anderlecht to Europa League final

• Mourinho’s side to play second leg of quarter-final on Thursday
• ‘It will be the perfect finale for Manchester United’, says Mourinho of final

There is one possibility, floated in the presence of José Mourinho on Wednesday, that would mean a bittersweet subplot for Manchester United should their status as the only English team left in European competition stretch all the way to the final of the Europa League.

What better way, after all, for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to choreograph his own farewell than a European final at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, the stadium where a statue of the Swede is being erected? “For Zlatan it would be fantastic to play the final in Stockholm, in his country,” Mourinho agreed. “It would be beautiful.”

Related: Anderlecht’s Dendoncker denies Manchester United win with late header

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/19/manchester-united-anderlecht-europa-league-mourinho-rooney

Apr 19

José Mourinho tells Manchester United’s Anthony Martial to shape up

• Martial needs to follow Marcus Rashford’s example, says United manager
• Forward, 21, must work harder and ‘give me things I like’

José Mourinho has warned Anthony Martial he needs to learn from the example of Marcus Rashford and improve his attitude if he wants to find a way back into Manchester United’s first-team plans.

The 21-year-old was not even among the substitutes for United’s 2-0 defeat of Chelsea at the weekend and there is no guarantee he will return when England’s last representatives in Europe take on Anderlecht in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Related: Jack Wilshere out for season after suffering hairline fracture of leg

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/19/jose-mourinho-manchester-united-anthony-martial

Apr 15

Little love lost between Chelsea fans and old flame José Mourinho | Daniel Taylor

When Manchester United host Chelsea on Sunday the visiting supporters will again throw shocking vitriol at their former manager but his endless digs do breed contempt

A lot has clearly changed since the time, a decade ago now, when José Mourinho cited safety reasons in response to the question of why, after leaving Chelsea, he had not been back to Stamford Bridge to say goodbye to the fans. Mourinho imagined a stampede of people flocking to his feet and his reply fitted in neatly with the impression of someone who would talk eloquently on any subject, as long as that subject was himself. “Just imagine if I did,” he said. “I would die in the crush out in the middle of the pitch.”

Ten years on, the relationship feels very different now, broken even, judging by the vitriol that was reserved for Mourinho on his last trip to Stamford Bridge. No doubt there will be more of the same from the away corner at Old Trafford on Sunday and perhaps it is just inevitable given the nature of the man and the trait he shares with Sir Alex Ferguson: an almost compulsive need for conflict.

Related: Antonio Conte says Manchester United can still finish in the top four

Related: Eden Hazard and José Mourinho: anatomy of a rollercoaster relationship | Jonathan Wilson

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/apr/15/chelsea-fans-jose-mourinho-manchester-united

Mar 27

Gareth Southgate wanted Wilfried Zaha for England role but was too late

• Palace winger went on to choose Ivory Coast
• Steve Parish critical of national set-up

Gareth Southgate has revealed he made a late attempt to persuade Wilfried Zaha against choosing Ivory Coast before England but said he will not pick anyone unless they have an “inherent desire” and has reservations about following Sam Allardyce’s idea of selecting players merely through residency rules.

Southgate said he was so keen to stop Zaha switching countries he made it a priority after taking the manager’s job full-time at the end ofNovember but could not dissuade a player who had already won a senior England cap during Roy Hodgson’s time in charge.

Related: From Kasper Dolberg to Naby Keïta – who are the most in-demand players for the summer?

Related: England goalscorer Jermain Defoe says vegan diet and discipline paying off

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/27/wilfried-zaha-england-gareth-southgate-ivory-coast

Mar 20

Jamie Vardy: I got death threats over Claudio Ranieri sacking at Leicester

• England striker says his family have been targeted
• He insists players had no problem with Italian former manager

Jamie Vardy has claimed he received death threats because of his alleged involvement in the dressing-room mutiny that undermined Claudio Ranieri and said the backlash against the players who won the Premier League title with Leicester City last season has led to his family suffering a number of “terrifying” ordeals.

Vardy denied he had been responsible in any way for Ranieri’s sacking but admitted the incident had crystallised the impression of him as someone “football fans don’t seem to like”. He said the repercussions had also threatened his family’s safety, featuring a number of alleged road-rage incidents involving his wife, Rebekah, as the victim.

Related: Cesare Prandelli: I said no to Leicester over treatment of Claudio Ranieri

Related: Leicester’s Craig Shakespeare basks in new high after win over Sevilla

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/20/jamie-vardy-death-threats-leicester-claudio-ranieri

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