Paul Parker has his say ahead of Manchester United v Southampton and why he’s against Friday night games

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Former Manchester United player Paul Parker insists that the Reds opening day victory against Bournemouth was a “false storm” and that Southampton will pose a greater threat to Jose Mourinho’s men on Friday evening at Old Trafford. Speaking of Friday night football, Parker also had his say on that too, claiming that football is losing its traditions. United came through their league opener against Bournemouth unscathed, winning 3-1 with Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic all opening their accounts for the new season. Let’s not forget, United lost in the same fixture last season, going down 2-1 on the south coast in December of last year. However Parker believes Southampton will “be more clever in the final third than Bournemouth”, his words, not mine. Paul Parker, speaking exclusively to 888Sport said:

“It’s going to be a tester for Manchester United because Southampton are going to be more clever in the final third than Bournemouth. In midfield they will move the ball around quicker so we’ll find out then how Herrera and Fellaini do when they don’t have the ball. Whether they can close down and break up play. We’ll also see how isolated Ibrahimovic gets. Bournemouth was a false storm and all about getting the three points.”

While it’s hard to disagree with Parker regarding Southampton being an all round better side than Bournemouth, just like United, they’re a different side to the one that finished just three points behind fourth-placed Manchester City last season. The Saints have lost both of their top scorer’s last term, Sadio Mane (15 goals) and Graziano Pelle (14) as well as Victor Wanyama who joined Tottenham Hotspur earlier this summer. Parker also touches on how Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini will fair against the Saints when they don’t have the ball. I know that Fellaini gets his fair share of criticism and rightly so but I believe that he and Herrera both had tidy games in midfield against Bournemouth on Sunday. Although you’d have to think that one of the duo will make way for record signing Paul Pogba to make his second debut for the club following his move from Juventus earlier this month.

The former United right-back also went on to talk about modern-day football and the fact that Friday night football has returned to the Premier League as of this season and more to the point that he isn’t a fan of it.

“It’s a case of football losing its traditions but they are looking ahead to future audiences and to the money side of things. With FA Cup finals being switched around to different times all those things seem to be disappearing and Friday night football is another example. People now watch games after doing their shopping or go straight from work and that comes into it. It’s part of the modern era and it’s something we’re just going to have to accept.”

Personally, I look forward to Friday night games and am glad that the Premier League have decided to go ahead with this idea. The more football the better I say, football on Friday night, football on Saturday and football on Sunday, sometimes football on Monday night too! And once the Champions League and Europa League gets underway we could have football on every single day. What a time to be alive.

Read the full 888sport interview with Paul Parker, including his thoughts on why this is a defining season for ‘overweight’ Rooney and whether Pogba will live up to his price-tag

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