You have 4 summaries left

Devils in the Details

#56: Expiring Contracts, Injury Updates, and How Are United's Rivals Performing?

Mon Nov 20 2023
Manchester UnitedContract SituationsInjuriesCenter Back AnalysisFuture of PlayersSquad AnalysisDepth and Tactical AnalysisInsights from Other TeamsAnalysis of Arsenal's PerformanceBook Discussion


The episode covers various topics related to Manchester United, including contract situations, injuries, center back analysis, future of players, squad analysis, depth and tactical analysis, insights from other teams, analysis of Arsenal's performance, and a book discussion. The episode provides updates on player contracts, injury status, and analyzes the center back situation at Manchester United. It also discusses the future of players like Lindelof, Varane, and Maguire, as well as the squad analysis and tactical issues. Insights from other teams and analysis of Arsenal's performance are also covered. The episode concludes with a book discussion and a reminder to follow the podcast on Twitter.


Manchester United's center back situation

The episode provides insights into the center back situation at Manchester United, including discussions on Lindelof, Evans, and Varane. It analyzes their performances, contract situations, and potential transfer options.

Importance of signing a right winger for Manchester United

The episode highlights the importance of signing a right winger for Manchester United due to the likely departure of Sancho and the lack of certain forwards in that position.

Tactical issues at Manchester United

The episode discusses the tactical issues at Manchester United, including concerns about depth, key players not performing well, and the lack of backup players with specific skills to maintain the tactical style when starters are out.

Analysis of Arsenal's performance

The episode analyzes Arsenal's performance, including their chances of finishing in the top four, their approach to scoring goals, and comparisons with other teams like Liverpool and Man United.

Insights from other teams

The episode provides insights from other teams such as Spurs, Chelsea, Newcastle, City, Liverpool, and Arsenal. It discusses their performances, tactics, strengths, weaknesses, and competition in the league.


  1. Contract Situations and Injuries
  2. Center Back Analysis
  3. Future of Players and Squad Analysis
  4. Depth and Tactical Analysis
  5. Insights from Other Teams
  6. Analysis of Arsenal's Performance
  7. Book Discussion and Conclusion

Contract Situations and Injuries

00:05 - 08:11

  • Six players have expiring contracts in June and their likelihood of staying with the club is discussed.
  • Onana and Hoiland have recently faced injuries, and updates on their absence are provided.

Center Back Analysis

08:11 - 14:42

  • The center back situation at Manchester United is analyzed, with discussions on Lindelof, Evans, and Varane.
  • Lindelof is seen as a valued squad member and likely to stay, while Evans' future is uncertain.
  • Veran is viewed as a right-sided center back and doesn't play together with Maguire due to their positions.
  • A long-term partner for Lissandro Martinez may be sought in the summer, which could impact Lindelof's future.
  • Parting ways with Maguire or Varane next summer may make more sense than parting with Lindelof.
  • Selling Varane for a fee this summer or letting him go for free next summer is considered.

Future of Players and Squad Analysis

14:42 - 22:06

  • Varan's contract expires in 2025 and it is unlikely that he will be extended.
  • Selling Varan next summer or letting him go for free the following summer are possible options.
  • Maguire has been performing well recently, except for the handball penalty in the Copenhagen match.
  • Maguire's on-ball abilities make him valuable compared to players like Varan and Lindelof.
  • When LaSandra returns, Maguire may be dropped to return to the partnership from last season.
  • Lindelof's future at the club is uncertain, but it seems likely that he will stay after triggering his plus one clause.
  • Juan Bessaka has not signed a new deal yet, and whether he stays or leaves depends on United's plans for the right back position.
  • Wombesaka may have value at Premier League level, but selling him would be a good option.
  • Lindelof may not fetch a high transfer fee due to his age and performance level.
  • Medjbry's plus one clause will be triggered, but it is still early days for On-Robot's purchase decision.
  • The number of midfielders United signs depends on how much they use Coby Mayno in the season.
  • United may need to sign two strikers, with one being a low-budget option and another being a young striker with potential.
  • Signing a right winger is important as Sancho is likely to leave and there are no other certain forwards in that position.

Depth and Tactical Analysis

22:06 - 28:52

  • The lineup for Manchester United is not inspiring, with concerns about depth and key players not performing well.
  • Other teams have backup players with specific skills that allow them to maintain their tactical style when starters are out, which United lacks.
  • To solve the problem, United needs to wait and sign young players who are talented and get rid of underperforming players.
  • There is discussion about a potential goalkeeper transfer, but opinions on the player are limited due to lack of watching him play extensively.
  • In terms of other football updates, there was a notable game between Chelsea and Manchester City where City looked vulnerable without possession.
  • Chelsea is starting to improve and has many good players, although they could have been better considering the money spent on transfers.

Insights from Other Teams

28:52 - 35:39

  • Cole Palmer is performing well.
  • The team has multiple defensive options.
  • They have two of the best right backs in English football.
  • Sanchez, the goalkeeper, has been decent but prone to errors.
  • The tactics used by Spurs in the game against Chelsea were questionable.
  • The aggressive off-side trap tactic may not be suitable for the Premier League.
  • Newcastle has excellent underlying performance but with some caveats.
  • Spurs may not have the squad to expect a top-four finish.
  • Post-co-glue's style may bring both wins and losses for Spurs.
  • Highline and low pressure tactics are ineffective in modern football due to players' ability to play effective balls over the top.
  • City could run away with the league, but Liverpool is also strong competition.
  • Liverpool has a weakness in holding midfield and their attackers are not as good as before.
  • Liverpool has the second-best front three in the league after City, possibly closer to City than other teams like Spurs or Chelsea.
  • Nunez from Arsenal is a wrecking ball player who creates significant chances despite being volatile.
  • Arsenal may have a better chance of beating City than other teams due to their playing style, but they are less likely to win the league.

Analysis of Arsenal's Performance

35:39 - 42:56

  • Arsenal has a good chance of finishing in the top four but not winning the league.
  • Arsenal needs to upgrade their attack or be more aggressive in moving numbers around the box.
  • Liverpool generates better margins than Arsenal.
  • Arsenal has created fewer expected goals from open play compared to Man United.
  • Arsenal's approach may not consistently score enough goals to win a title.
  • Aston Villa is not a top four contender despite having 25 points after 12 games.

Book Discussion and Conclusion

42:56 - 45:15

  • The podcast discusses a book about a food writer who moves to France with his family and starts working in French kitchens.
  • The book contains fun anecdotes about French culture and idiosyncrasies.
  • One anecdote mentioned is that people from the old apparently don't invite others to dinner in their homes.
  • The podcast also mentions another book called "Kitchen Confidential" by Anthony, which is being read by one of the hosts.
  • The hosts express their love for the TV show "Parts Unknown" and plan to watch it from start to end.
  • The episode concludes with a reminder to follow the podcast on Twitter and thanks for listening.