‘An outstanding team with a lot of talent’ – What rivals have said about Man United this season

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It has been an underwhelming season for Manchester United as they face an almighty battle to clinch a top-four spot and Champions League qualification. They face competition from Arsenal and Tottenham amongst others as we reach the business end of the campaign.

Moving forward, the Old Trafford giants have identified Erik ten Hag as their preferred managerial candidate – and further talks are set to be held after his first interview. But will the Dutchman arrive after United have achieved the last remaining objective?

Either way this has been an eventful 12 months for United at Old Trafford and beyond. Here are some of the things that have been said about the club by their main rivals.

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Arsenal

Mikel Arteta (December 2): “We scored the first and after that we had perfect control of the game, but started to give some very simple balls away in very dangerous areas. We gave them so much space, they gained some momentum and we had some difficulties there. We conceded We started the second half well and had full control, but then conceded again.

“We dominated again and scored the second one, but after that we need to have the maturity to go on and score a third one. But being realistic, conceding three goals at Old Trafford makes it difficult to get something.”

Chelsea

Thomas Tuchel (November 28): “It’s hard to imagine this as a match where you can lose or drop points, because we were the better team who set the rhythm and intensity. We are disappointed but we have no regrets, this can happen in football. I told the team I ‘m happy with our performance and the way we played.”

Tuchel on managerial speculation (March 18): “Do you feel me less committed to the club or less involved in the club in my situation? I think absolutely not, I love to be here and I love to work for Chelsea.

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“This club has everything it needs to make me happy and that’s why it’s no need and we have plenty of reasons to stay in the moment here and that’s what we are doing.”

Liverpool



Klopp admitted Manchester United are ‘not in their best moment’ last October.

Jurgen Klopp (October 24): “It is a really good day and a big one. This is a little chapter in the history of the club. People will talk about it in the future because it won’t happen again in a long time, if ever.

“The result (5-0 at Old Trafford) is insane. It is special but we don’t celebrate like crazy, as we have respect for the opponents. We were lucky in some moments, United are not in their best moment.”

Mohammed Salah (October 24): “I think it is great to win 5-0 here. We knew before the game it would be tough if we did not play our game. We know what it takes to win the Premier League, as we did it two years ago. From our heads from pre-season, we need to win the Premier League and hopefully we go for that.”

Manchester City

Pep Guardiola (March 18): “For all of us, I’d love to give an opinion (on why United have struggled), but I don’t know as I’m not there. The respect for their tradition, the team they have is fantastic, I cannot deny how good they are.

“They were second last year and a good contender made our standards higher. I’m not there, but what we’ve done in the last years is remarkable, always being there, I said it many times. Of course we want to win , but I understand football, sometimes you win and sometimes not but what’s important is that we are there and it’s not easy to do it.”

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Kevin De Bruyne (March 6): “I think United played very differently than other occasions and they tried to press us and they played well in the first half. In the second half we found more opportunities. We did really well.

“The chances came from that left side, when they arrived at the byline, I had to be in the box. The first chance is an easy one, the second one I’m just in the right position. It’s just about being in the right place.

“I can’t explain why we always win there (Old Trafford) and have some difficulties at home. We proved we’re a good team, played really well and deserved to win.”

Tottenham

Antonio Conte (March 21): “You know very well my thoughts about the fourth place for the Champions League. Usually there are four teams in England and, in my opinion, they are better than the others – I’m talking about City, United, Chelsea and Liverpool.

“If there is one of these teams that fail the season and miss to stay in the fourth place, I think that in this moment, Arsenal, Tottenham, West Ham, are to be ready until the end. Very close, you know very well anything can happen, especially in England in this league.

“Last season, Liverpool struggled a lot, now Manchester United struggle but we know in this moment, Arsenal has the big advantage. At the same time, we have a game here against Arsenal and we will see.”

Harry Kane (March 8): “United are still one of the very best teams in the league. Obviously, they have come off a disappointing result at the weekend (against Manchester City). It will be a tough match. They have got some great players. They beat us earlier on in the season quite comfortably.

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Kane praised Manchester United before the 3-2 victory against Tottenham.

“Old Trafford away is one of the best games you play in the league and you have got to be excited. You have got to go there and try to be free and put in another good performance.”

West Ham

Stuart Pearce (September 22): “We were disappointed not to get something at the weekend. United are an outstanding team with a lot of talent. We are aspiring to challenge them.

“Credit to David. This is the first time he has beaten them since he left there. He has been around for nearly 1,000 games, seen it all, done it all. He will take it in his stride. Not get away washed.”

David Moyes(January 22): “It’s never easy when you concede a goal in the last second. It was certainly avoidable. We made a couple of decisions in the build-up to it. A draw would have been a good result, because I think we did play well enough We kept United out enough to get a draw.

“I’m not coming to these teams to let them beat me – I’m coming here to try and challenge them and make sure we are competitive. I think we managed to do that.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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