Zlatan will be missed – but it’s time for Rashford to shine.
Tyrone Mings’ head stamp was horrible, but Zlatan’s elbow wasn’t much better and, let’s be honest, if you’re jumping in the air, you know how high you have to raise your elbows to miss another person’s head. I wasn’t buying his excuse.
It wasn’t nice to see the elbow, and there’s no doubt that he deserves the ban for it.
You can’t get away with anything now thanks to the retrospective bans, and you have to be a bit cleverer than a blatant elbow.
He didn’t need to do it like that. He’s now missing a really crucial game against Chelsea because he lost his head
But, his ban will give a few other United players the chance to shine. He has been the star man this season, and rightly so, but it will be good to see Marcus Rashford or Wayne Rooney get an opportunity up front.
Personally, I wouldn’t play Anthony Martial up front. For most of the season he has been anonymous. He hasn’t seemed right mentally, and for a little while his personal life was being dragged into the press.
When he first came to United, he was absolutely outstanding. There’s no doubt he has taken a dip since then, although he looks to be getting back there. He’s frightening when he comes in from that left-hand side and makes things happen.
I’d rather play for Jose than Conte
I’ve always said that the manager I’d have loved to play under would be Jose Mourinho. What he has done for football, and what he’s done as a manager is unbelievable. Not just in one country too, all over Europe. Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and now the changes he’s making at Manchester United.
I took Macclesfield to Stamford Bridge once and he was brilliant after the game. Invited everyone into the dressing room, made a real effort with our lads, he had a chat and got everyone’s shirts signed. He’s not just a great manager, he’s a really top guy and few people see that.
There’s no doubt Conte and Mourinho are both winners – but it’s a no brainer for me. I’d much rather play under Jose. He’s worked with some of the best players in the world.
The job Conte is doing at Chelsea is clearly brilliant, but the really top managers keep repeating their success. You look at Sir Alex Ferguson, he was successful not just once or twice, but over years and years. That’s what makes a truly great manager. Yes, Conte’s come in and he’s doing a great job, but he knows full well it will step up again for Chelsea next year. They’ll be in the Champions League and won’t have that time off when the other teams are playing.
I played against Conte when I was at Inter and he was at Juventus, and there’s no doubt he’s got that winners mentality. He was the same on the pitch as he is now on the touchline. He’s vocal, he’s waving his arms around like a mad man, but the fact is he wants to win.
Chelsea shouldn’t under-estimate United
This one could be a huge game. When I think of this game, it brings back memories to me of when we played them in the 1994 FA Cup Final. These are tough games that are tests for all of the players.
They’re not always thrilling games either. They’re hard games to play, that aren’t always ‘total football’ matches. Both teams will be set up to get a result, and that doesn’t always mean it’s the best game to watch.
Chelsea are clearly in a much better place than United at the moment, but Mourinho’s side are in a much different place and mind set than they were back in October (when United lost 4-0). They’re placing against a United time that have their confidence back, they want to play attacking football and they will want their revenge for that game.
Missing Zlatan will be a huge blow, but that’s not to say United don’t have options. They shouldn’t be underestimated.