We’re knotted up, 1-1, at half-time in the Premier League match of the week. Let’s take a look at some of the first half news and notes, nuggets and tidbits from Manchester United visiting Arsenal.
We start with Marcus Rashford, who continued his massively purple patch by scoring in the 17′ of this one.
Marcus Rashford can’t stop scoring ? pic.twitter.com/VNzdA00lTI
— Morgan (@utdscope) January 22, 2023
Here is the video of the goal below. He now has nine goals in 20 league matches this season. To go along with four scoring strikes in three EFL Cup clashes and three goals in four Europa League matches.
Thus giving him 16 goals in 27 appearances across all competitions. Said United club legend and TV pundit Roy Keane in pregame: “He’s in the form of his LIFE.”
Marcus Rashford just keeps on scoring!
— SI Soccer (@si_soccer) January 22, 2023
Not bad for a guy who many thought could be on his way out of the club soon, only just last season. Another player who has regained his form and restarted his career is Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
The right back has taken advantage of Diogo Dalot being hurt and maximized his opportunities for playing time.
Said Keane of Wan-Bissaka: “He has to be aware [for the goal]. That’s your job, this is big boy stuff.”
Interesting stat here in regards to the English fullback:
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (2) had more touches inside the opposition box than any other Manchester United player in the first half vs. Arsenal. ?
— Squawka (@Squawka) January 22, 2023
Finally, United manager Erik ten Hag says that his club has to prepare for what could actually be a seven team league title race.
“The Premier League in this moment develops into having six or seven teams who all can finally win the league because there are so many investments,” Ten Hag said.
“When you have the right philosophy and strategy, many more clubs can compete for the top positions in the league.
“That’s a great challenge and if you want to be there, you have to be really good. You need that consistency; you need that good strategy — and consistency in the strategy — and you need hard work to compete. And if you want to win trophies, everything has to go in the right way.”
No doubt his side is in the title race with league leaders Arsenal and defending champions Manchester City. So that’s the three front-runners right there. Then you have kind of a drop-off to the rest of the pack, but Newcastle United are strong. It’s a little early in their rebuild to call them title contenders though.
Fifth place Tottenham are not in the title race, sorry. Nor is anyone else who is currently below them in the standings.
So while he we do respect Ten Hag a lot and recognize his talent and acumen…got to respectfully disagree with him on this specific opinion.
See you on the other side of the second half!
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.