Michael Carrick says Manchester United’s fringe players must be patient.

Michael Carrick has told Manchester United’s fringe players to be patient this season as they look to break into Jose Mourinho’s first team.

United’s new club captain was left out of the squad for Sunday’s 4-0 home win over West Ham United.

He watched United’s opening Premier League game of the season from the Old Trafford directors’ box along with new £31 million defender Victor Lindelof and youngsters Andreas Pereira and Axel Tuanzebe.

Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young are on their way back from injuries while there is a chance Zlatan Ibrahimovic could return for the second half of the season.

Carrick has been in the situation before and last term had to wait until Nov. 6 to start his first league game. But he still ended the season having made 38 appearances in all competitions.

He said: “We’ve got a great squad. It’s a long season and there will be a lot of games. Hopefully we can go far in the cup competitions.

“There will be a lot of games, just like last year, and there is going to be a lot of rotation of the squad. It’s good.

“It’s a great start for us. We’re not getting carried away. It’s just one game but it’s a good start and we’re looking forward to the games ahead.”

carrick 1

 

In Carrick’s absence, Antonio Valencia led the team out against West Ham.

The 36-year-old is still waiting for a chance to wear the armband in a competitive game since being officially announced as Wayne Rooney’s successor following his return to Everton in the summer.

Carrick has been in the job for nearly three months but he insists it has not changed his role in the dressing room.

He said: “It’s a big honour for me, it’s very special to be in the position I am. It probably comes with me being here for quite some time now and being the oldest in the squad. It doesn’t really change an awful lot from day-to-day.

“It’s nice to be in the position. There’s obviously more responsibility but I think that’s a natural thing. You’ve got to try to lead in certain ways but I’m just trying to be myself.

“You can’t suddenly change because you’re put in a different role. You’ve just got to be yourself and respect all the lads like I do.

“It’s a tremendous feeling. It’s hard to explain that feeling. It’s a tough one to explain but it’s a very nice feeling to have.”

Cameroon, Blessed with another football wonder kid

Introducing Youssoufa Moukoko: Borussia Dortmund’s 12-year-old football sensation.

Youssoufa Moukoko
 Youssoufa Moukoko gift for Cameroonian football

Youssoufa Moukoko, may only be 12 but in him Borussia Dortmund may have found a new talent. He has been impressing with his goal scoring feats for the club’s youth team, but there’s something special about the Cameroon-born German attacker.

Borussia Dortmund have a track record of producing their own talent, Marco Reus, Mario Götze and Nuri Sahin are perhaps the biggest names to date, but the new kid on the block could be something even more special.

Youssoufa Moukoko scored two goals for Borussia Dortmund’s U17 side on Sunday. His second was from the spot after he had won a foul in the box, but his first saw him beat a defender and run 40 yards before finishing cooly into the bottom corner.

The remarkable thing about Moukoko is that he was born on November 20, 2004, he is just 12.

“I registered him with the German consulate in Yaounde [Cameroon’s capital]. The boy can’t be older because his mum, Marie, is only 28,” Moukoko’s father told Dortmund’s official website earlier this year.

His father, Joseph, lives in Hamburg and even had a court battle with former Cameroon and Hamburg player Thimothee Atouba over the purchasing of a house in Yaounde.

Last season, Moukoko  played for the club’s U15s and scored 33 goals in 21 games, prompting his call-up to the U17s. Although Cameroon-born, the youngster is already on the German FA’s U15 list and an international appearance at youth level doesn’t seem far away.

If Moukoko continues to develop at this rate he could be one of the most exciting young talents the game has produced, and will no doubt have caught the eye of new Dortmund boss Peter Bosz.

In the mean time, FECAFOOT officials should already make genuine contacts with his parents to avoid losing another fine talent like; Umtiti, Ntep, Mbappe, etc. This could be the next big thing in Cameroonian football.

Liverpool have one foot in the Champions League

In many ways, this was classic Liverpool away from home in the Champions League. It has been some time since the Merseyside club were a regular in Europe’s premier club competition, but their successful era in the tournament under previous Reds manager Rafael Benitez was built on displays away from Anfield. Indeed, Liverpool’s win over manager Julian Nagelsmann’s promising Hoffenheim side was not pretty, but it has given them a realistic chance of reaching the group stages of the Champions League for only the third time in nine seasons.

After Reds keeper Simon Mignolet saved a penalty kick in the 11th minute, Liverpool broke the deadlock through 18-year-old Trent Alexander-Arnold’s well-executed free kick in the first half. After the break Hoffenheim turned up the pressure, but Liverpool netted a second on a Hoffenheim own goal through second-half substitute James Milner’s deflected cross. Hoffenheim striker Mark Uth netted late on to keep the tie alive, but Hoffenheim will need to score two at Anfield on Wednesday, Aug. 23.

Everton are the last English side to drop out at the playoff round, falling out at this stage in 2005. Tuesday’s game was Hoffenheim’s first-ever Champions League match in club history, and everyone connected to the Bundesliga club made the most of it. The noise inside the Rhein-Neckar-Arena was ear-splitting when both teams were warming up, and it was evident early on that it would not be an easy night for Liverpool. Dejan Lovren escaped an appeal for a handball in the seventh minute but was then penalised for a foul on Hoffenheim’s Serge Gnabry, a former Arsenal man, inside the penalty area four minutes later.

Jugen Klopp - Liverpool fc

Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers waited some time to point to the spot. When he did, Andrej Kramaric — who was doubtful for the game with injury — saw his poor side-footed PK effort saved by Mignolet.

After being criticised for conceding from two set pieces on the weekend, Liverpool scored from one. When Liverpool’s Sadio Mane was cynically fouled by Ermin Bicakcic, Alexander-Arnold took responsibility on the resulting free kick. Hoffenheim keeper Oliver Baumann could only watch as the teenager’s long-range free kick nestled into the bottom-right corner to give Liverpool the lead 10 minutes before half-time.

Trent Alexander-Arnold free kick, Champions League goals
Trent Alexander-Arnold free kick, Champions League goals

With Liverpool having the all-important away goal, Hoffenheim looked for a way back into the game, which left them vulnerable to the counterattack. The visitors’ second goal was rather fortuitous, but a reward nonetheless for keeping their well-drilled opponents at bay. Milner, who replaced Jordan Henderson in the 63rd minute, looked to cross for Mohamed Salah but saw the pass ricochet gently off Havard Nordtveit’s chest and into the top corner.

Uth’s goal three minutes before time made the five minutes of injury time interesting, but Liverpool held on for a crucial win.

With Nathaniel Clyne injured for the entire preseason, Alexander-Arnold was always going to start the season as starting right-back. But there is a feeling that No. 66 would have been first choice, regardless of Clyne’s fitness.

Alexander-Arnold’s ability in dead-ball situations was evident after he had multiple threatening efforts at Watford. And Hoffenheim were made to pay when the full-back netted the first goal of his Liverpool career in his first European appearance.

In front of an intimidating crowd and in a game with serious permutations, Alexander-Arnold showed no signs of being overawed. His Liverpool career is only 14 appearances old, but the teen is proving that no occasion will startle him. In truth, it should come as no surprise. He was thrown into the cauldron in his first Premier League start away at Old Trafford against Manchester United in January, and dealt well with the blistering pace of Anthony Martial.

Alexander-Arnold grew up a short distance from Melwood, Liverpool’s training ground. He has said that his ultimate goal at Liverpool is to become club captain, and Clyne’s injury may turn out to be the break he needed to start out on that path.

This time last year, Mignolet was in Liverpool’s starting XI only because Loris Karius was injured. Now the Belgian finds himself above the German on merit alone.

Liverpool also brought back Danny Ward from his loan spell at Huddersfield Town to form a three-way battle for the No. 1 keeper jersey this summer. Yet Mignolet fended off both Ward and Karius to maintain his place in the starting XI. The Belgium international looks more assured than ever between the sticks and has clearly improved on his weaknesses. His command of the penalty area has improved considerably, as has his side kicking, which helped relieve Liverpool from spells of Hoffenheim pressure.

In addition, his penalty-saving ability will always be welcomed by any manager. Kramaric’s penalty kick was the seventh Mignolet has saved for Liverpool since joining in the summer of 2013, but it wasn’t his only contribution in preserving Liverpool’s lead. He was quick off his goal line to deny Gnabry moments after Liverpool scored and rebuffed Nadiem Amiri in the second half.

Mignolet’s rise since the midway point of last season is another example of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s ability to improve players, as he has done with Adam Lallana and Emre Can.

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