Varane convinced Man Utd have squad for success despite recent struggles

By Sports Desk September 28, 2021

Raphael Varane is convinced Manchester United have a squad that is set up for success despite some alarming recent results. 

The last fortnight has seen United lose their Champions League opener to Young Boys and crash out of the EFL Cup against West Ham prior to Saturday's shock Premier League defeat at home to Aston Villa. 

Expectations are high for United in 2021-22 after World Cup winner Varane joined from Real Madrid, while long-term target Jadon Sancho came in from Borussia Dortmund and Cristiano Ronaldo made his sensational return from Juventus. 

The pressure is back on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer going into Wednesday's match with Villarreal, but Varane is not overly worried as he sees the ingredients required for success within the club. 

"What I've been able to see is, with my team-mates, there's a lot of quality in our squad," Varane said as he sat alongside Solskjaer at the pre-match news conference. 

"We've got huge potential, I'm convinced of it. 

"We're working really hard, we're working well in training and improving all the time. Since the start of the season I think we're on a positive, upward curve. 

"There is talent, there's experience there as well. We've got everything you need to have that belief that you can do well. 

"I think that's a really key issue - we've got to believe in ourselves, be convinced that we can do it. We have got to be ambitious, believe in our own potential and then I think you can achieve things when you do that. 

"Everything is there in the right place. Each time we go into a game, we go on that track and keep on that road of positivity, think on how we can improve in little details. 

"We are on the right road." 

Varane may have to hold a weakened United defence together when they face Villarreal at Old Trafford. 

Fellow centre-back Harry Maguire is out for a few weeks with a calf injury, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka is suspended and Luke Shaw will be a late fitness check. 

United face a tough test, having failed to win in their five previous meetings with Villarreal, scoring just once in those contests. 

Villarreal are also unbeaten in their last 16 major European games (W12 D4) across the Europa League and Champions League, the longest current run of any side.  

Ahead of the key Group F clash, Varane agreed the pressure of playing for United can be compared with what he experienced during his time at Madrid. 

"Big clubs are always wanting a lot of their players, they expect a lot from the players," he said. 

"There are a lot of demands. It is always hard to make comparisons but I believe that it's fairly similar in terms of the hopes and demands and expectations at big clubs. 

"After a defeat or a draw, you know what it's like, it's always very negative when that happens.  

"The key is to keep up good runs of results and be positive. That pressure you kind of live with it at big clubs - there is always a lot of expectation, for sure." 

Related items

  • Arsenal and Brazil striker Jesus undergoes successful knee surgery Arsenal and Brazil striker Jesus undergoes successful knee surgery

    Arsenal and Brazil striker Gabriel Jesus has undergone successful knee surgery.

    Jesus was ruled out for the remainder of the World Cup after sustaining an injury to his right knee during the Selecao's Group G clash with Cameroon.

    Head coach Tite died reports that Jesus was already carrying an issue prior to featuring for the five-time world champions in Qatar.

    According to unconfirmed reports in Brazil, Jesus will be absent for three months.

    Premier League leaders Arsenal on Tuesday confirmed he has started his rehabilitation programme.

    The 25-year-old has played a key role in the Gunners' impressive start to the Premier League season, which sees them five points clear at the summit after 14 games.

    Jesus' tally of five goals is only bettered for Arsenal by Martin Odegaard (six), while only Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (nine) and team-mate Bukayo Saka (six) have registered more assists in the English top flight than his five.

  • Morocco 0-0 Spain (aet, 3-0 pens): Bounou the hero for Atlas Lions Morocco 0-0 Spain (aet, 3-0 pens): Bounou the hero for Atlas Lions

    Spain's bid to reach their first World Cup quarter-final since 2010 ended in frustration and failure on Tuesday as they missed all of their spot-kicks in a penalty-shoot out defeat to Morocco.

    After 120 minutes of goalless domination, in which they racked up 1019 passes, Luis Enrique's side capitulated in the shoot-out with Pablo Sarabia, Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets all missing, the latter two efforts saved by goalkeeper Yassine Bounou.

    It left Madrid-born Achraf Hakimi with the chance to win it which he did with a Panenka to send Morocco through to the last eight for the first time.

     

  • Flick says Bierhoff exit is a professional and personal blow as Germany chief departs Flick says Bierhoff exit is a professional and personal blow as Germany chief departs

    Hansi Flick has revealed his dismay at Oliver Bierhoff leaving his role as Germany team director, with the coach stunned by the decision.

    Former Germany striker Bierhoff stepped aside on Monday, saying he had come "to an understanding on the matter with president Bernd Neuendorf" after the national team's group-stage World Cup exit.

    Neuendorf, in charge of the German Football Association (DFB), may now face a battle to appease Flick, who is due to remain in post through to the Euro 2024 finals.

    Germany will host that tournament, and Flick described it as having been a "common goal" of his work with Bierhoff.

    Flick said Bierhoff, who many will see as a scapegoat for Germany's World Cup failure, would be difficult to replace, both on a personal and professional basis.

    By Flick's reckoning, Bierhoff achieved great things during his 18 years with the DFB. He picked out overseeing the 2014 World Cup triumph as the peak of the achievements, but also noted the "professionalisation of the national team and its environment" and development of the DFB academy and campus.

    "He pushed all of this forward with great personal commitment and against a great deal of resistance," Flick said. 

    "At the moment, my coaching team and I are having a hard time imagining how the gap created by Oliver's departure can be closed, both professionally and personally.

    "Our cooperation has always been characterised by loyalty, team spirit, trust and reliability. Cohesion was in the DNA of our team.

    "Oliver was my first contact and friend within the team. Our common goal was the Euro 2024 project in Germany. For Oliver, the focus was always and exclusively on the well-being of the national team, the DFB and German football."

    The nature of Flick's reaction, which was published on Tuesday by the DFB, has sparked speculation about the coach's own future. Reports have said Thomas Tuchel, Ralf Rangnick or Fredi Bobic could be possible successors.

    Of Bierhoff, Flick said: "I would like to thank him personally and as the national coach for this long collaboration and the invaluable trust that has been placed in us. Trust is and remains the greatest asset in football.

    "The last few days have not been easy, and I wish Oliver and his family the very best from the bottom of my heart. German football and the national team in particular owe him an incredible amount."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.