Friday, 29 August 2008
Thursday, 28 August 2008
Wednesday, 27 August 2008
The tabloids in England had a field day when Vidic made careless comments regarding the weather in England and his 'future' desire to play in Spain. Now it must be very frustrating for a man called Sir Alex Ferguson because after postponing one star-players' wish to Spain, he now has a lot to do to prevent another heading from heading the same way--only that now he has got to, among many others, change the weather. Of course Vidic has every right to air out his opinions about life in England, but many would rather he had kept quiet till we finally get over this CR7 saga. His outrageous bravery on pitch will count for nothing if he gets into the hot-water that CR7 has put himself into. Having followed European football for quite long, I can tell you that all this is part of the side-effects of winning the Champions League. There is this viral disease called 'need for a new challenge' that tend to attack CL winning teams. If you look into the records of teams that have won the CL for the last ten years, you will find that every one of those had a player or two leave the following summer. It is probably the reason as to why the Champions League has never been defended. If Manchester United do manage to defend their European crown, then it will be largely due to the fact that unlike most other managers, Sir Alex has kept his strongest team intact at the club(Silvestre, Pique, Lee Martin... are not in our strongest team). Here's to hoping that Vida meant 7 years to come! Besides the praise being heaped on to Anderson(deservedly so ) and Fletcher by Rio and Fergie respectively, there is not much one can rant about United unless you bring in Berbatov. The lad should be well on his way to OT now, given the imminent arrival of Roman Pavulchenko(Sp) at Spurs.
And now, the preview....
Good news everyone, Nani is back from holiday/head-butting and will therefore relieve O'Shea of his first team duties. We should be stronger than we were on Monday as I expect Hargreaves to sober-up and Saha to take a break from the treatment table. Giggs should also feature in this one but Carrick is still an absentee. The game should be a cracker as these are two sides that love to attack. The return of Pogenbyank(Sp) should be a boost for Zenit who currently lie a lowly 8th in the Russian Premier league. Zyranov(sp) is another well known threat in that Zenit side but Andrei Arshavin has been dropped(according to reports). He like, United's Ronaldo has been fighting with his club for a transfer to 'realise his dreams'----what did I tell you about the new challenge virus?---...
It will be a major boost if we leave Monaco with the Super Cup as it keeps Fergie on track for a surely impossible 7 titles this season(how I hope I'm wrong). Our defeat in 2000 against Lazio means that this will be our first Super Cup since 1991! SO COME ON UNITED!
Prediction, 2-1 to United. It will be a close game as there is something to lose from this one.
Tuesday, 26 August 2008
Darren Fletcher could have easily got on the score-sheet in the Community Shield fixture against Pompey a couple of weeks ago. He did, however make up for that by scoring our only goal last week against Newcastle. Yesterday, he marked his third competitive start in as many games this season and once again got the crucial goal that has now seen United to their first league win of the season. At this rate, Fletcher could be our Cristiano Ronaldo for this season(and the best part is that he will not want a move to Real Madrid next summer). Anyway, Portsmouth away was always going to be a difficult fixture for a depleted United team. Fratton Park, is one of those stadiums in which it is almost a norm that we do not leave with maximum points. It is therefore not surprising that Sir Alex refereed to the points as 'bonus points'. He clearly acknowledges the fact we are already ahead in terms of points compared to last season(4 as opposed to 2). We could have conceded a goal right from the kick-off as Diop found reasonable space with just 16 seconds played. Having said that, United played the most sumptuous football that any side can ever play and also had the lions share of possession. It was testament to the class of the Champions as eight of their superstars were missing from the stadium all together. Avram Grant must have come to terms with what Abramovic meant by entertaining football as he was an interested spectator. EVDS had his hands warmed on a couple of occasions by 'African power' but thank goodness they were never really burnt. The 0-1 lead only served to keep Pompey in the game but it could have been settled if the lines-man had not wrongly flagged Rooney offside--another poor decision in favour of Pompey when playing against United! Fletcher is not one of the names we United fans are eager to see on the team-sheet but he has now got two telling contributions to our season already. What about Patrice Evra who besides providing the assist, run down that left-wing as though he was a natural winger. Anderson, in my eyes will never play poorly for United. He is just Brazilliant. And now that Portsmouth is beaten, FULL SPEED AHEAD TO MONACO!
Monday, 25 August 2008
Friday, 22 August 2008
And just to clarify something, I do not have the authority to give away United fan numbers. I actually do not have anything to do with them--and just for the record I don't have one.
Prediction:1-0 to United, It will be a tough day at the office but I remain optimistic. Cheers!
Thursday, 21 August 2008
Tuesday, 19 August 2008
The story concerning Berbatov's transfer to United rages on and this is seemingly going to be a last minute August 31 deal--I am already tired of the speculation--I'm sure Cristiano is tired of it too. Then thre is the small matter ofJohn Terry being handed the captain's armband ahead of Rio Ferdinand. Well I have to admit, the lad is a worthy captain--afterall, he led Chelsea into the valley of the shadow of death in Moscow--much to our advantage. Rio will not be moved one bit by the miss-out because UNITED>ENGLAND! Some newspapers advertising lazy journalism is running a story about Michael Phelps wanting to watch a United game--(comment reserved). And finally Brazil have been knocked out of the Olympics by Argentina so Anderson should be in Manchester by Monday--though I doubt he will make the Pompey game, but considering the situation we are in, even a half-fit Anderson will do. Cheers for now.
"You're not going to break into the top four, no one is.......when they pass and move, it's very difficult to stay with them. o bring in Crouch, Defoe and Diarrra, I couldn't have asked for more.At this stage, it's a case of getting on with what we've got. We'll do better than that for sure. Next Monday we've got an easy game against Man United!"
Now while it's obvious that the Pompey manager is desperately seeing for sympathisers, United themselves are in desperate need for some salvation. After adding Giggs and Carrick to our already bulky injury -list, one can't help but wonder what the press will make of another draw next week. We managed to beat Pompey with a not so strong team in pre-season so all should be well----well, not quite. Every manager knows that if there is a time to beat Manchester United, it's now-when they are depleted in terms of personnel. The good news though is that Tevez and Hargreaves will be fit for this fixture, but it looks as though we might start this season in similar fashion to the last--but nobody will be complaining if we end it in the same fashion.
Monday, 18 August 2008
"I can't have too many complaints. It's not the result we wanted but given the changes I had to make, it's credible"
The fiery Scot will not be moved because United have dropped 2 points in their opening fixture. Truth be told, United are not in as much danger as everybody in the press are claiming. In the preview of this game, I ranted that the only reason this fixture was going to be difficult was because we were playing after all our rivals had played and therefore we would be under pressure to match their results. Because Chelsea had beaten Pompey 4-0 earlier, one would expect United to beat Newcastle 5-0 to go top of the table. Funny that we picked 2 points out of nine the previous campaign and could not score more than a goal in the league till October and yet we refer to that season as our second most successful campaign in the club's history. It's never good to fall behind your opponents at the first time if asking but again you can never have a winning start to every season. THE END WILL JUSTIFY THE MEANS!
Sunday, 17 August 2008
Friday, 15 August 2008
Newcastle on the other hand have a couple of new signings(Guiterrez and Coloccini--hope I got those right), whom we do not know a thing about so I pray they are given the extra attention that their transfer prices deserve(ha ha!). Otherwise this game has come too soon for Michael Owen-who is recovering from injury and I really cannot see anyone bar him who would cause a the best defence in Europe a headache(anybody doubting, just go check the trophy cabinet!) There is however one bit of concern. Yesterday I took a look at the Sky Sports fixture list and realised that for the first few weeks of the season, United play their games after all their rivals have played-and I can bet my Spects that this will go on throughout the season. Now while many might not read much into this, I do! Jose Mourinho once complained in the 2006/2007 season that United were playing all their games before Chelsea and therefore the Blues were not given the chance to close the gap on us. More interestingly though is that the few times we played after Chelsea, we dropped points. Being a United fan, I found it unnecessary to agree with him then but the reality is that he was right--or at least had a point. Playing after your rivals is harder than playing before them because of the added pressure of winning to match them. For instance, the only thing that could make this Newcastle game on Sunday difficult is the knowledge of Arsenal's victory over West Brom and Chelsea's victory over Portsmouth(God forbid!) early on Sunday. After this late last fixture of the weekend, we play Portsmouth on Monday night week again last and then we have the Super Cup and then Fulham(same time with some rivals) and then the double fire Anfield and Stamford Bridge plus that other query of playing away after every CL group game. SOMEBODY MUST HAVE HAD FUN WITH THESE FIXTURES AT THE PL HEADQUARTERS.
Thursday, 14 August 2008
While Manchester United is flooded with a number of players that can choose to make to headlines daily if they wanted(Ron...did it for 3 months), there is a bunch of 'a few good men who are modest and only want to be known for their performances on pitch. Park Ji Sung is one of those United players that you never hear about in the press(at times some even forget we have a Korean within the ranks). The former PSV Eindhoven midfielder has so far had a stop-start career at Old Trafford mainly because of injuries(though not as bad as Saha's).While his energy and work ethic on pitch make him a vital piece of the puzzle at OT, Park has found it difficult to command a regular place in the side given the competition in midfield from Hargreaves, Scholes, Carrick, Ronaldo and Giggs or Nani if you like. He missed the first 6 months of the previous campaign due to injury but returned just in time to revitalize and oil a Manchester United machine that was fast depreciating(Boro away 2-2, Blackburn away 1-1, Chelsea away 2-1 defeat). United, towards the end of the season looked as though they had been hit by the same virus that knocked out Arsenal. Park was one of those players whom we needed at that time and he didn't disappoint. We all remember his burst down the right wing and that pass to Rooney to equalise against Middlesbrough, and what about his double header performance against Barca at the Camp Nou and the return leg at OT(in which he nearly scored)He also masterminded our 2-0 away win in Rome(making the assist for the crucial second goal). It must have been disappointing for him when he failed to make the squad for that Champions League final and yet he was one of the heroes of that famous night at OT. He unfortunately aggravated his knee injury whilst on International duty in the summer but in an interview with MUTV Park has stated that he will be back in training within the week. He hopes to make the squad for the game against Portsmouth and essentially remain fit through-out the season. Personally I still think we have not seen the best of Park at OT. A run in the side without injury problem again will go a long way in helping us achieve that. He is one of those players with a lot of untapped potential (because he spends a good number of months in the hospital). Here's to wishing Park a great 2008/2009 season!
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
We're ready because in each pre-season game, we have looked sharper and quicker.We hope to do better than last season and get three points with our first game. We want to play well and win trophies. Hopefully, we'll win more than one..."
Now that's hunger for you. I, and probably you, have already heard from Carrick, Rio, Rooney, Neville, Giggs, Edwin, Evra and now Vida. You do not need to be told that Fergie has had these players fired up for another charge towards invincibility. The reason as to why Manchester United have been so successful for the past 2 decades is because they never rest on their laurels. Sky Sports pundit and commentator Martyn Tyler had this to say when United clinched their 10th league title in 16 Premiership campaigns
"SUSTAINING SUCCESS IS SO SO HARD BUT SO SO SWEET"
"In the last couple of seasons, I've always gone into competitions as if it were my last. I'm not getting any younger and it could be. My motivation is to stay in the team because you want to experience what we did last season. That's what motivates me, winning trophies."
It's incredible the hunger that Sir Alex instills into his players. A player as successsful as Giggs is still hungry to add to his already excessively decorated living room. It's what we fans want to hear and if you remember his age, you can't help but laugh at Mr. John Terry.
Tuesday, 12 August 2008
"Wayne has just got married so he will get better. Usually when they are married, they find a balance."
Capello also made it clear that the player's smoking was not a problem--at least for him.
"I know a lot of players who smoke....It depends if he smokes five or twenty(cigarrettes)"
Now, we all know that Fabio Capello is among the most experienced and ssuccessful managers in world football. Could he be picking from his experiences in the past to suggest that Wayne will do better now that he is married? The stats show that players who have tied the knot tend to be more responsible on pitch than when they were single. (Of course this is not to say that single players cannot control themselves on pitch.) The balance Mr. Capello is talking about is that which the likes of Rio(though single I think) has reached. The balance that will not have a player partying till 6a.m. A balance that Paul Scholes acquired even before he was born. Players like him tend to be in better shape to play well for both club and country....and IF Capello is right, United might just benefit more him than England will. Afterall, UNITED>ENGLAND! And by the way Rio for captaincy today! This blog wishes him luck, though it won't scratch any of our crowns if he doesn't get it. Cheers!
Monday, 11 August 2008
More on the game now: Fraizer Campbell came on and missed a chance that would have pencilled his name in the starting line-up next Sunday. But the kid did show that he could live with the big boys(at least Distin can testify to that). Carlos Tevez will be my player of the season if he continues doing what he is doing. The ANIMAL was a constant thorn in the Pompey defence and he should have capped his man-of-the match performance with a goal-in open play that is. The last time United took penalties at the right hand goal from television view, we lost-and that was against Le Arse... in the 2005 FA Cup final. I was kind of hopping that we took them at the left -hand goal. So nobody was more relieved when the two keepers made their way to what was our Stretford End on the day. The one thing that United will miss when EVDS hangs up his gloves at the end of the season is his experience. The Dutchman has a habit of taking his time to enter goal during shootouts and that only heaps more pressure on the one to take the penalty-the result being a saved kick or a miss-kick. How I wish he was 27 instead of 37! A 30th piece of silverware for Fergie at United. He has the chance to add to that on August 29th in the UEFA Super Cup against Zenit St Petersburg. Meanwhile its the big kick-off next for United-Newcastle United at home!
Sunday, 10 August 2008
Saturday, 9 August 2008
Thursday, 7 August 2008
Regardless his thoughts about the England national team, Sir Alex must have known that it was going to be difficult to keep Cristiano Ronaldo at Old Trafford following his contribution in having Rooney sent off at the 2006 World Cup. However, he was the first to forgive the Madeira magician and duly rubbished reports that suggested Ronaldo was on his way out of Old Trafford. The fiery Scott went as far as convincing Ronaldo not to change his address. After enduring a season of boos from every away ground in Britain, Ronaldo's form gradually silenced rival fans. Sir Alex always refers to the away game against Charlton in 2006 when Ronaldo, amidst boos from the crowd picked the ball from the right wing, raced and shot. He hit the post but the crowd kept quiet for the rest of the game. Flash forward to the summer of 2008 and now it is Ronaldo's wish to leave United or the white of Real Madrid. After dragging the name of the club through all sorts of dirt, and above all unsettling the dressing room, Ronaldo has come out to accept the blame for all the damage(which includes a damaged relationship with his future club Real Madrid) and also promise to play for Manchester United with all his heart despite the speculation that he would play against his will. He has promised to play for United for at least another year-which means all this will be back in the summer of 2009. More importantly however, unlike David Beckham or Ruud or ......, Sir Alex has forgiven Ronaldo again despite his efforts in ruining the summer of every Manchester United fan. The player however admits that he thought United had given in to his desire to play for Real but Fergie stood his stance-another reason as to why I pray to God that the 66 year old never leaves United for we shall surely struggle to find somebody that can match even half his achievements(not just trophies).
There is this lousy yap in some newspaper columns that suggests that United struggled to hold Juventus to a goalless draw last night. The rubbish that is published in papers about United is at times, for a lack of a better word, apalling. I personally did not watch the game but after reading the match report, I thought it was more of a case of Juventus struggling to hold United to a draw. Anyway, the pics taken during the trophy display before kick-off were fantastic, to say the least. The game on the other hand can best be rememdered for another stunning display from Rafael da Silva who seems destined for first-team football next season. The Brazillian one one occassion crossed for Scholes who should have scored with his head. United will be without a string of first-team regulars when Newcastle come to town but I feel that the should be having enough resources to survive the first few months without as many points conceeded as last season by September. Our most difficult times will come away to Portsmouth, away to Chelsea, and away to Liverpool--all in the space of 4 weeks!
Wednesday, 6 August 2008
Tuesday, 5 August 2008
Sunday, 3 August 2008
Saturday, 2 August 2008
That aside, yesterday the FIFA President Sepp-tic Blatter came out to dismiss any comments attributed to him about calling Ronaldo a slave. What a #@%! I mean who does he think he's fooling? Then there is that story in the papers about Wayne Rooney spitting at a photographer. Serves the victim right, after posting my thoughts on the irresponsible press, I have no kind words for journalists who even want to report what takes place in the bathroom of a footballer. Other than that, other than that, HAPPY TESTIMONIAL OLE....and I almost forgot, Ole says he liked wearing the no 20 shirt because it meant he was twice as good as Maraddona, Ziko, Pele,...all who wore 10. TWENTY IS TWICE AS GOOD AS TEN. wouldn't you just know it?
Friday, 1 August 2008
"I can't say that I practised it in training but thankfully, it went in.....Its good to know that 30 years from now I'll be remembered as a United player....I'd rather be remembered that way than be remembered as the guy who missed that great chance in the '99 final."
Well, well well, somebody has got to spare a thought for JOHN TERRY-But not this blog! The Chelsea captain must dread the sight of banana skins! hahahaha....!