Following a massive 4-0 loss to Brighton, we caught up with former Manchester United and England ace, Paul Parker. We discussed the game against Brighton, how it would be playing in the Europa Conference League, and Manchester City’s signing of Erling Haaland. whilst Jesse Lingard, Memphis Depay and Aaron Wan-Bissaka were also topics of discussion. 

Parker labelled the performance as ‘disgraceful’, and felt as though Manchester United offered ‘nothing’, which is a statement that plenty of the travelling supporters at that game will agree with.

“It’s no different from maybe what happened 95% of this season. It’s just, that the players are not really caring. I mean, you can’t really be disrespectful and come out and say that Manchester United shouldn’t lose to Brighton. Brighton could have scored six from what I’ve seen. And United offered nothing.”

“Didn’t offer anything at all, which is most disgraceful. Brighton is a good footballing side, I’ve always said that, all season. One of the best in the Premier League. The way they are, they dominate the ball, dominate possession, and they match all the top sides.” 

“But one thing they don’t do, they can’t do, which is a big problem for 90% of football clubs at all levels, is score goals. They struggled to score goals and United has conceded four against Brighton, which is terrible. Absolutely terrible. They can’t allow that to happen.” 

“I have a feeling they were gonna get beat, but never did I think they were gonna get beat 4:0. And offer nothing going the other way.”

Parker went on to admit that it would be embarrassing for Manchester United to be in the Europa Conference League next season, as he admitted that they’d be better off being free from midweek football by not being in the competition next term, although he outlined the commercial benefits from being involved.

“I think if you look at the players they may wanna talk to or they would like to think they can get, you are not going to get top players that played in the Champions League or even Europa League, who’s gonna want to play that. So, yes they maybe need to get the players that are hungrier players who want to prove a point and wanna play in Europe.”

“At the moment, this Conference League is going to stick. It’s a new tournament and it’s one that they (Manchester United) don’t wanna be in. But, at some point, give it another ten years’ time it’s gonna be another European competition with a trophy at stake. “

“At the moment for United, it will be embarrassing for them. They might just be better not to be in Europe and just get opportunities to have the midweeks free from much European football. “

“But, for UEFA, having Manchester United in their new league, their new project, commercially it will be absolutely fantastic. Because all those sides that no one knows in the Conference League will absolutely just love it to have Manchester United come and play on their park pitch. “

There have been rumours circulating that Erik Ten Hag won’t be allowed to bring in the backroom staff that he wants to Old Trafford, and Parker was keen to voice his views on the topic, as he claimed that the Dutchman will need people around him that he can trust whilst in charge of Manchester United.

“I think we have to assume that something he knew he couldn’t do otherwise he would never sign a contract. But, to get the best out of him, he is going to need some of the people around him who he can trust, that he is gonna feel comfortable at his job.”

“Maybe having to sit there and work with i.e. Darren Fletcher who is not really what he wants to do regardless of how many games Fletcher played for Manchester United. He wants the people who he has worked with and honed, you know, for the best part of his career. “

Manchester City look set to complete a major deal in the footballing world early on in the summer transfer window, as they’re poised to sign Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland. Parker felt as though the Norwegian international will make a ‘big difference’ to Pep Guardiola’s side, and he’s keen to see whether he can live up to expectations in the Premier League next season.

“It would make a difference. It is about how he fits in and how are they gonna play with him. To have someone who is an out and out striker. It might just suit him cause Aguero was just that. He was the one who likes to drop from the midfield and Haaland loves to run from deep areas. He won’t be able to do that for City, because there’s nowhere to run because teams are just going to sit back and try to fill every hole possible.  “

“So, he will make a big, big difference when they have a centre forward. Like I said before, they were very reliant on so many other players to score goals. Goals are shared all over the place. In teams that win league titles, goals are shared, and they don’t rely on one goal scorer. It doesn’t work that way. ” 

“That’s added to what they can do going forward. I think it would be interesting what he does defensively when he’s locked in. Cause, the season before last the defensive partnership between Dias and Stone was incredible. But it hasn’t worked this season, so I wonder if he is going to go out and get another centre half. “

“But Haaland is one player that everyone is looking forward to seeing, to see if he can actually deliver in a Premier League that doesn’t hold a high line as what most clubs do in German football. The only club that holds a high line here is Liverpool, and I’ve got a funny feeling that when Liverpool and City meet next season, Liverpool won’t hold a high line because of even the strength of van Dijk. It would be an interesting one for him to try and shoulder budge Haaland with his pace and power. To do that what he does to most people doesn’t affect him.”

Manchester City have coped admirably well without a striker in their starting XI for a sizeable amount of matches in the Premier League during the 2021/22 season, and so plenty of their supporters will be keen to see Haaland make an instant impact in the City squad if he was to arrive. Parker felt as though Manchester City was the obvious choice for Haaland as well, and was intrigued to see how he’ll cope in their squad, with Haaland’s father also playing for the club earlier in his own career.

“Yeah, they have. It’s one of those things you can get around but after a while, it catches you up that you need a focal point. So, they’ve done great without him to be where they are at this moment in time. What you have to look at it is that City is the club that his dad played for as well. “

“So, I think that always come up with a little bit of sentiment to follow his dad. He will be looking to be a lot more successful than his dad. He’s got a better chance there cause he’s got a better team. His dad didn’t exactly play in a great City team. So, it’s an interesting one. Everyone wants to see him play, watch him here on a regular basis and see someone of his stature, his physicality, his pace, and how good he can be.  People will be interested in him. “

“You look at him and you think yourself about Lukaku, but Lukaku is a completely different player, he’s not as agile, and he’s not as quick off the mark as Haaland. So, I think he’s got a bit of a chance. Plus, as well, he’s a better footballer than Lukaku is as well.”

Jesse Lingard is a player that looks as though he’s heading for the exit door at Old Trafford with Manchester United, as he continues to struggle for consistent game time heading towards the conclusion of the 2021/22 season.

West Ham are one of the clubs that have been linked with a move for the midfielder, which is where he enjoyed a hugely impressive loan spell not so long ago. Parker admitted that he’d be surprised if the Hammers were to reignite their interest in Lingard this summer, whilst also claiming that it’s a waste for Lingard to not be involved in the Manchester United starting XI.

BetVictor has West Ham as favourites to sign Lingard this summer with odds of 2/1 being offered, although Paddy Power seems to suggest that Newcastle United are also in the running. Odds correct as of Tuesday 24th May 2022.

“When you read the stories about what Rangnick said; he’s asked to miss the games, asked to miss training and then his brother comes out and you wonder what’s going on. “

“I think it’s a waste really. I think it’s quite sad what he expects, maybe a street party and everyone come along and pats him on the back. I think he let himself down. In a way, he’s allowed someone else to speak on his behalf rather than people hearing him speak.”

“He’s got an opportunity to leave the club and he didn’t take it. He could have gone to a club that would love him in that given time with West Ham, where they took to him straight away because he showed a good work ethic. He changed their fortune in certain ways when he come along and played. You can say that they kind of stepped forward because of him to the season about this one as well.” 

“I’d be very surprised if West Ham were to go back and go and get him. I think there are other positions that are more important than Jesse Lingard. They got other players like him as well, other players who have come through and stepped forward now.”

“Not less he’s thinking what he’s gonna hear rumours amount him going to Barcelona. Newcastle will get a mention because they got money.”

“If you are a club that is going to buy Jesse Lingard, you have to ask him where his head is at and what he wants to do. Does he wanna play or does he still think that he’s a Manchester United player and he can go and have pictures with Ronaldo on his Instagram page?”

Amad Diallo has caught the eye with some strong displays for Scottish giants Rangers, as he netted against Dundee recently. It remains to be seen as to whether he’ll start in Rangers’ Europa League Final clash against Eintracht Frankfurt though, and Parker doesn’t feel as though he’s quite done enough to warrant a start for the Gers.

“I don’t think he’ll start. He has struggled, I think with physicality and everything else about playing. He did score on his debut I think. I think it’s been a bit of a struggle, because really every time Rangers play games, especially away from home and on some of the grounds, it was a bit of a wake up call for him. From where he’s coming from I think it was a tough time for him. “

“It’s difficult in Scotland. It’s a two-horse league, you talk about crowds and everything that goes with it. It’s a difficult one which I think maybe in a long term would have served him well but I don’t know if he has had a lot of it football-wise. “

“But, he won’t start in the final, he won’t start. But we do have to believe as well that Rangers have got a very good chance of winning that game. Winning that game against Frankfurt. “

One player that could potentially be arriving at Old Trafford this summer is Memphis Depay, who is no stranger to Manchester United, having played for the club not so long ago. Barcelona could be looking at moving him on to make way for other players, and the Red Devils are reportedly in the running for the Dutch forward. Parker hinted that Erik Ten Hag’s arrival could see the best out of Depay if he was to sign for the club for a second time, having previously struggled to make a notable impact in his first spell with Manchester United.

“Maybe the problem, when he arrived at Manchester United, was more about his attitude problem and the way he wanted to be living his life. It didn’t work out well for him within the club and outside the club. And the difference is that if you’re talking about a Dutch manager who comes in and knows him that would make a difference. 

“But after a few years away, he must have grown up a bit now. But it’s about him after all, does he want to come back and prove himself and maybe come to a little bit of hostility, because people were disappointed the first time around. So, I just wonder, does it make him a bigger person to come back against to prove people wrong. That would be the question. If it is serious.”

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has struggled to replicate the type of form that saw Manchester United sign him from Crystal Palace, and he’s recently been linked with a move to Atletico Madrid. Paul Parker felt as though the former Palace defender has been made a ‘scapegoat’ for some of Manchester United’s dismal showings this season, before admitting that a move to Spain could be a good move for Wan-Bissaka.

“Oh, without a doubt. If he is gonna go to Spain, which is more technical and help improve him, go to play for Atletico Madrid. The one thing that Atletico Madrid would love about him is that he ain’t gonna need much coaching about how to defend in one against one. He would learn a little bit more about unity within a back four in a traditional sense. “

“Hopefully, he won’t come back too ill-disciplined, cause there’s always a chance when you go and play for Atletico Madrid for Simeone. The way they play. But I think if it is going to happen, it will serve him well to go there and maybe to come back.”

“Because after what’s going on at Manchester United, in the way the press talks about him, he’s been made a little bit of a scapegoat, to be perfectly honest. If I look at it, is Dalot a better player than Wan-Bissaka? No, he’s not.”

“No way, all-around, you’re better off with Wan-Bissaka there than with Dalot, cause when you look at some things first and foremost you want a right-back who can defend and they haven’t got that. It might be a really good move for him just to go on and play in that league. Maybe it will be a good learning process for him.”

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