Daley Blind Updates
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The Manchester United central defensive midfield (CDM) position has been a major talking point for many a year and will be spoken about for many more it seems. Until United do sign the world class CDM they desperately need, they'll have to make do with the two available to them now; Daley Blind and Michael Carrick. But who is the better of the two?

Michael Carrick and Daley Blind
The modern day CDM is judged heavily on passing and distribution. Michael Carrick has played 13 games this season and has a pass completion of 90% (723 successful passes) while Daley Blind has played 11 games and has a pass completion of 89% (657 successful passes). Carrick also leads in terms of attempted forward passes with 590 (Blind 491) but loses out on backward passes having recorded 215 and Blind 240.

Although Blind leads on more backward passes, he seems to be having more of an impact in the attacking sense. The Dutchman has recorded 9 key passes (Carrick 4) created 10 chances for his team mates (Carrick 5) and both players have made an assist each. Blind's attacking superiority is further shown in the comparison of their goal tally, with Blind on 1 and Carrick yet to find the back of the net.

Furthermore, Blind continues to dominate Carrick defensively also. The 24-year-old has made 38 interceptions, 37 clearances, won 23 tackles and made 8 blocks in comparison to Carrick’s 20 interceptions, 31 clearances, 18 tackles and 2 blocks. Following the common theme, Blind comes out on top again on all fronts bar blocks.

According to the stats, facts and figures above, Daley Blind seems like the player to go with instead of Michael Carrick. With Carrick ruled out for a supposed 4 weeks with a muscle rupture, Blind will have the opportunity to show why he is the superior CDM. He’s made a great start to his Manchester United career and still needs to prove himself, whereas Carrick is an accomplished United player and deputy captain. February should prove to be an interesting month in the never ending Manchester United midfield struggle.

Article contributed by: Kevin Santos

Twitter: @kevin5996

Manchester United signings 2014

At the end of the David Moyes era, United fans were in shock and dismay. After being dumped out of the Capital-One Cup at home to Sunderland (losing on penalties), preceded by a 3rd round FA Cup defeat again at home against Swansea, followed by a footballing lesson in the Champions League Quarter-Final stage against Bayern Munich, and then to top it all off finishing 7th in the Barclays Premier League, it’s fair to say Man Utd fans were worried. However, with new manager Louis van Gaal splashing the cash in the summer transfer window, have these new signings allowed United fans to forget about last seasons atrocities?

Although it’s still very early days into the season, a judgement can still be made about how Manchester United have done so far. After signing Angel Di Maria, Ander Herrera, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Radamel Falcao (on a season long loan) Manchester United sent out a message to the footballing world, saying that they wanted their crown back. The David Moyes era had really tarnished the United name, and the aftermath of this was shown when Swansea were victorious in a 1-2 win at Old Trafford on the opening day of the season. £149 million later, along with the promotion of youth players Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair, Man Utd sit pretty in 4th position.

Out of all the signings, Angel Di Maria seems to have made the biggest impact. You’d think that his £59.7 million price tag would be a burden on him, but it seems that he has been significantly empowered with his move to the 13 time Premier League champions. The greater majority would think that a move from Real Madrid to Manchester United would be a step down (especially after Madrid achieved La Decima) but for Di Maria, it seems to have only enhanced his development. At Madrid Di Maria was never considered “The Man” unlike Ronaldo, or Messi is for Barcelona. However, for the first time in his career Angel Di Maria is the superstar, the totem, the central figure of his team.


Di Maria has embraced his hefty price tag, and looks even more dangerous and empowering on the pitch than ever before. In the two matches that he’s played 90 minutes, he’s had more touches than any other player on the pitch. Three goals accompanied with three assists are statistical confirmation of a hugely impressive start as the new United number 7. As spectacular as his passing and vision may be, the greatest assets he brings to the Old Trafford faithful is his speed and direct running. David Moyes’ United were one-paced and boring, yet it may be said they were same during the last few seasons under Sir Alex Ferguson. All the great Manchester United sides have the common theme of speed and tempo, and Di Maria has started the restoration of that fundamental corner stone. He gives United a purpose and an urgency that has been missing ever since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, the last player that got United fans constantly out of their seats like Di Maria does.

Daley Blind is another player that mustn't go unmentioned. He is a player that the Manchester United midfield has been crying out for, for many a year. Blind can be defined as a continuity player for United, along with the responsibility of sniffing out danger and blocking all avenues that lead to his goal. He’s not a player that dives into tackles, or hacks players down, but rather one that leans more towards anticipation and interceptions. His brilliant football brain doesn't just allow him to read the game like a book, but also the vision to play a pass and execute it illustriously.

Herrera, Shaw and Rojo have all been impressive in recent matches (Shaw and Rojo especially against Everton) but Blind and Di Maria have been the stand out players, although doesn't get the recognition deserved. Am I saying that Manchester United are going to go on and win the League? No, but with a few more signings (especially in the centre-back and central midfield department) they can most certainly return to where they were back in 2013. Perhaps number 21 (United currently have 20 Premier League/Division 1 titles) isn't far from being obtained.

Article contributed by: Kevin Santos

Twitter: @kevin5996

It's been quite a while since we have seen a fully fit Manchester United side. Van Gaal has been really unlucky, having to deal with around 10 injuries before United's campaign even officially got underway. Despite that, no one considered United as a 'weak' side, mainly because of their star-studded attack which now consists of Falcao, Rooney and van Persie. Many people will identify them as the 'main men' in United's weekly starting line-up, but I would definitely disagree. The most important members of our team are some who people just wouldn't expect. Here are my 2 most important members of United's line-up:

Daley Blind



Signing Blind from Ajax will turn into a master piece, mainly because of his vision and defensive awareness rather than his brand value. At 14 million, United did pay a hefty price for a player that many may not consider 'marquee', but as time goes on we will see just how important he becomes to the team. Having watched Darren Fletcher play as United's defensive midfielder for the first couple of weeks, I was overjoyed when we signed Blind. Not only is the former Ajax man a brilliant defensive midfielder, he is also very versatile as he can play in positions like LB, LWB and CB.

Rafael da Silva


Rafael was undoubtedly the best right-back in the league during Sir Alex's final season in charge. He was an instrumental part in our line-up, and he continues to be one today. Although he endured a very frustrating season under Moyes, as did many other players, where he dropped under the radar as many fans craved for a right back similar to Pablo Zabaleta or Seamus Coleman. This season, however, everyone has once again realized just how good Rafael can be. After watching Antonio Valencia fill in for him for the first weeks of the season, we became accustomed to seeing a right back with no desire to be on the ball, offering very little going forwards and giving away silly free kicks whilst defending. However, Rafael offers a whole new dimension on the pitch. Adventurous going forwards, keen (maybe sometimes rash?) whilst defending. Without Rafael, we look bleak.

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Daley Blind signed for Manchester United this summer
Though you're probably tired now of hearing about Manchester United's transfer dealings this summer, I'd like to speak about the signing who seemed to be ignored - Daley Blind. Clearly the big name signings of Di Maria and Falcao are huge and show the pull of Manchester United still exists, but you have to have a base to allow the quality they have up front to shine, and Blind provides that.

Whilst it is too early to draw conclusions from the 4-0 home victory against a, let's face it, lackluster QPR side, there were some hugely positive signs. Where previously this and last season United had struggled to control the midfield, they dominated large portions of the game, and most of this was down to Blind's impressive performance. Dutch experts had suggested for a while now that Blind was a perfect fit for a top team in England and it appears they were right.

So just what does Blind add that United lacked before? The main one is defensive awareness, the ability to break up play and shield the defence that Cleverley, Fellaini and Carrick lacked, which will help the young defenders like Jones and Blackett to develop their own game and gain confidence. Whilst Blind may lack the size and build of the colossal Marouane Fellaini, he is still a very strong midfielder. He makes up for the size difference with tenacity and athleticism that had been missing from a pedestrian United midfield before.

Daley Blind's passing is as good as any other midfielder at the club, too. Michael Carrick was lauded for his ability to control games through his vision and range of passing, but Blind can easily match him in that, but with a more complete defensive and also attacking awareness. He has a Busquets-esque quality to him, in that he quietly goes about his job, making intelligent decisions that can easily go unnoticed. Like Busquets, he is a wonderful player with and without the ball at his feet and will be invaluable to a side aiming to control games, as United should.

At under £20m, United may have pulled off a real coup and Blind could be the most important of all the summer signings they have made. However, time will tell whether Blind can perform as well against better teams or whether the power of teams like Chelsea and Man City will be too much for United's midfield.

Article contributed by:  Elliott Griffiths 

Twitter: @ElliottBCFC

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