Monday, 29 June 2009

THE HOLIDAYS ARE FINALLY OVER!


This is the week that I've been waiting for since the end of last season. I knew that sooner or later, the journalists would get fed up of referring to the Champions League final and start 'making' their own news in the name of transfer speculation. Come to think of it, it's funny how some of these papers had quotes from players who were God knows where on this planet.
This week however, the majority will return to their clubs for pre-season and you think that if anything like a transfer is going to happen, it will. We can now get things moving faster.

The press has wasted no time at all. Antonio Valencia is already being rumoured to have flown in last night for a medical at Old Trafford! Right now, I'd think that United fans would welcome any news like that given the club's silence as far as arrivals are concerned. I mean just about every player thinks Madrid are in for the treble next year so they want to be a part of it. That means that if your scouts are not up to the mark, there is pretty much no business going to be done this summer. This is where I think Fergie is coming form. I mean the likes of Evra, Vidic, Ronaldo and the like were got from efficient scouting and not big money moves. His transfer kitty will make it difficult for him to buy from big clubs as they all want a 'share' of the Ronaldo transfer... as though we shared him on pitch!
Anyhow,watch this space from now on as we get into the groove of transfers.

Wayne Rooney reckons that if he plays centre forward, United will not miss Ron and Tevez. He's been singing that tune for quite a while now, maybe Fergie will read this morning's paper today and then maybe, just maybe...you never know!

Friday, 26 June 2009

SO HOW SLOW CAN THE SILLY SEASON GET?




So Tevez leaves United and then he saves the press' 'blank' columns with suggestions that Berbatov's arrival marked his exit. Well he got it all wrong given that and I'm not even going to labour about it as he's no longer a Manchester United player. What puzzles me is that Tevez has left United and is not willing to join Liverpool. That means he's likely to join City, who I doubt will win a trophy for years to come. So it's down to the cash, but that's always the story eh?
Anyhow, United have unveiled a new home kit for next season that will mark the 100th anniversary of Old Trafford, The Theatre of Dreams.
A Manchester United kit has always looked splendid to me so no need to explain my feelings about it. Park reckons the 'V' across the chest stands for Victory so hopefully we'll be more successful in it.

The transfers are still pending for United but you wonder what the manager has up his sleeve as we are closing in on pre-season. It would have been good to finish the market business before pre-season. Anyhow, this blog is back to sleep until we have some really concrete news. And by concrete, I don't mean Pele singing about how United play the best football in England---I mean who doesn't know that!?

Sunday, 21 June 2009

TEVEZ FINALLY LEAVES UNITED, HARGO ON HIS WAY BACK!


So finally, we have some concrete news to talk about!

Carlos Tevez has apparently turned down Man United's offer of a five year deal and the club has confimed that he will not be playing for us next season. I'm neither suprised nor sad. You see, I have this belief that every player who puts on the United jersey wants to play for us. It's why I will always give our players a full backing. Therefore, I do not care if we have just 10 players in the entire squad for as long as they are committed to the Manchester United cause.
Tevez clams that he never felt the most wanted player at Old Trafford, well I'd like to think that by the time the club offers 26 million pounds and over 100,000 in wages, you are one of the most wanted players. It's a shame really, because it will appear that he has opted to move to the likes of City or Chelsea for the money. This is the player who the Stretford End disrespected Fergie over. Now they'll probably know where their manager was coming form. Tevez refused to attend our annual Player of The Year gala and his behaviour throughout the season must have irritated Sir Alex to the brim.

I think this is where we miss Roy Keane. He would never allow the players to behave in the way that a couple have made United look so 'small' a club. The good news though is the Fergie, for as long as he lives will always ensure that United is run the proper way and that no player will hold the club at a ransom. What I'm sure of is that Manchester United will always remain Manchester United. What I'm not sure of is if the players who leave us will always remain who they are.

Better news though is that Hargreaves will be joining us by October. The Daily Star reports that he will also be available for pre-season training in July. Hopefully, there is some substance to that because he will be like a new signing for us.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

JUST FOR LAUGHS!


REMEMBER THAT?

MORE NOTES TO HELP YOU YAWN DOWN THE 'SILLY SEASON'


In England, I hear they call the transfer window the silly season, so I usually try as much as possible to distance myself from it. It's why this particular blog cannot wait for at least pre-season so that the papers can be filled with more football than 'female' gossip.

So apparently, this past week, the new Premier League fixtures were released--much to my dismay. You see, I feel that they do it kind of too early. We are hardly a month into celebrating last season's title success and there you have it thrown into your face, another gruelling journey to May 2010. Couldn't we just keep our trophy for good?--just kidding!
Anyhow, we start at home to Birmingham and end at home to Stoke, not that bad eh? Well the problem lies in-between those ties. Yet again this term, we have a few away games after Champions League match-days but other than that, it's a rather kind draw for us.
I think our biggest challenge will be how we'll start. The last two campaigns have seen us take ages to get into gear so hopefully, we'll start well this time. We've got the likes of Arsenal, City and Spurs among our first six games so that means we've got to start in third gear. I have utmost faith in our after new-year form, so if we do well early, we'll be just about as good as Champions--is that too optimistic?

Other than that, I doubt we've made any progress in the transfer window since I last blogged here. Tevez and his owners are dragging their feet ( out of OT). Then the likes of Valencia, Ribery, and Benzema are still put. You only hope that David Gilll and Sir Alex can go about their business as soon as possible such that we work out a formula for the new campaign in pre-season.

In the meantime, YYYAAaawn!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

RONALDO AND TEVEZ'S PSSIBLE EXPULSIONS SHOW WHY UNITED WILL MISS FERGIE!


For all those who truly over to read a thing or two from this site, my apologies for an impromptu absence but I couldn't help it. The last big news to come from the official United site was the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid so I found no reason to make this blog a tabloid of its own by commenting about all the shameful transfer rumours this past week. For instace, how can a paper dare link United to Fernando Torres? I mean what are the odds of that happening?
Anyhow, United fans should brace themselves for the departure of another big name star in Carlos Tevez. Apparently, it seems the little Argie is not going to stay for he should have settled all this business if he was. I'll definitely welcome him if he stays but Sir Alex will never let a player dictate proceedings at the club. I mean Tevez sulks because he does not start every game for us and I wonder how many players at United do have fixed places in the team. The way he has gone about this is as though he's the only player who has been seated on the bench all season. Disgusting for me!

After seeing off Ronaldo, Sir Alex will not beg Carlos to stay any more than he already has so I think he'll leave...and while the press will have a field day with that story, I must say I have been impressed with the way in which Sir Alex has handled the two cases involving our best players. Ronaldo was clearly one that thought he was bigger than the club and so nothing next to club commitment applied to him. We got the best out of him in his time at United and the only way we could have tolerated him for more years would be if he realised how lucky he was to play for United. Unfortunately, he did not and so he was off in a deal that even profit master Arsene Wenger will never get for giving away his stars.
Tevez, for me has insulted the United fans by even pondering moves to Citeh and Liverpool. No need to elaborate how that goes gown with United supporters.
In the end though, Sir Alex has maintained the virtues and principles upon which our club was built and I hope the rest of the team from now on will realise that nobody is irreplaceable at United--it might not be like for like, but the club will was there, is there and will always be there before, during and after the current crop of players.
I've always thought that United is a club that is bigger than life! The media make me yawn with all the nonsense about how Ronaldo and Tevez's departure will affect United, and then you wonder what some of those journalists would have written after the 1958 Munich disaster. If the Legend that is Man United could live on after such a disaster, then how can the departure of a mere soul affect the Legend? Martin Samuel and co. Think Again!

Friday, 12 June 2009

RONALDO WAS INDEED A VIRUS AT UNITED--INCURABLE!




Cristiano Ronaldo is a hell of a wonderful football player and I have no doubt that he has carried United for the past three years but I doubt having him at OT any longer would be worth it.
Forget the hissy fits on pitch, Ronaldo was a major disease off it. In many circles at OT, you'll find that they loved Ronaldo the player but not Ronaldo the person. Such was his petulance, arrogance and indiscipline that United had to swallow a lot of pride, no, all their pride to keep him. At one point, it was Ronaldo and United vs the rest of the England following his antics at the Germany World Cup in 2006. For some reason, the player loved to be hated and continuously gave opposition fans and some United fans reason to hate him.

They say discipline and talent go hand in hand and Ronaldo was a bit too fortunate that he was at United, where Sir Alex has tamed the most 'wild' of animals. His behaviour off pitch in the bars, night-clubs, with call girls, etc were all watered-down by the United manager. Sir Alex's deepest fear must have been the fact that Ron was a negative influence to Portuguese counterparts Nani and Anderson. However, with Fergie at your side, you'll almost certainly develop your talent to the fullest and that is what Ronaldo experienced in 2008. He reached the apex of his potential and so it was a matter of maintaining it through his prime. This, however, is where it gets hardest. If your head becomes larger than life at this stage, then in all likelihood, you'll dramatically decline. Ronaldo, in all honesty, must have thought he's bigger than United at this stage as he dragged the club into his transfer merry-go-round with Real when the club should have been celebrating one of its most successful seasons.

His body language last season said a lot. There are many things fans and manager alike can tolerate form players, but not to show your disgruntledness so publicly especially when you know that half the cameras in the stadium are focusing on you. The flying track-suit he threw at against City was as disgusting to see as it is to see him in that picture up there, with God knows who? Paris Hilton? You can get the link for his night out in Paris from Scott of http://therepublikofmancunia.com/ .

Sir Matt Busby must be turning in his grave. Ronaldo has been a success on the pitch for United, but that is no excuse to drag the name of the club, that was painfully built, into all sorts of dirty hang outs.
I remember when Sir Alex let the likes of Kanchelskis leave and then fans or the media set a poll to call for the sacking of Fergie.
Nobody knows United any more than the gaffer and he was knighted years before Ronaldo joined United so all those questioning Fergie are either young or uneducated. Morality has won here! He will not let the name of the club be used by the press every summer to sell papers. I've already wished Ronaldo all the best of luck at Real but I doubt he will be looked after like he was at United. Ronaldo might become too big even for the so called mighty Real Madrid. The most recent example of wasted talent was Ronaldinho at Barcelona who after two seasons of winning the World Player of The Year Award, he could not get a place in the team. His antics in the clubs led to a rather steep fall from glory.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

GOOD LUCK RON, YOU'LL NEED IT!


He's got to match and better the 8 trophies he won with United at his new club!








RONALDO LEAVES UNITED, BUT WHAT A PROFIT?


If anything, the transfer fee will only serve to make him more arrogant as he's officially the world's most expensive player!
Cristiano Ronaldo has requested to leave United and the Portuguese will now join Kaka in a midfield that is starting to look even more scary than the Xavi, Iniesta one that was praised beyond words in Rome.

I'll not dwell much on this just yet as it's still breaking news at the time of posting but United may have reaped the ultimate from Ronaldo and yet left with a profit of 68m pounds as Real will pay 80 million for him. If Kaka left AC Milan with he funds to survive, the Ronaldo has pretty much financed our transfer budget this summer, it's time for Fergie to act now. More to follow.

ONLY THREE CAN REPLACE RONALDO AND TEVEZ!


By now, United fans must be getting the hang of a possible next season without Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. Personally I've never had any problem with players that leave United as I believe that we should only keep those that want to play for us. Many have left before and we have remained The Great Manchester United, therefore the departure of two of our best players should not put any fan in doubt about what to achieve next season. The targets will remain the same.

However, Sir Alex is one of the few managers who know how to replace quality with quality. If we are to lose the above mentioned pair, then I think the money that we could get from the Ronaldo transfer could finance three good buys in the market. We've been linked with Frank Ribery, Karim Benzema and Antonio Valencia and I think if we can get all three at whatever price, it wouldn't take us long to forget our two players above. I think Valencia has that energy and drive that Tevez adds to us and he can answer Wayne's dream of being relieved of left midfield duties. Ribery is not such a bad replacement for Ronaldo as he makes up for his low goal tally with a large chunk of assists. We all know what Benzema is capable of so no need to elaborate on him. He can provide us with the extra goals to cover for Roanldo and Tevez' contribution. If we can land at least two of these targets plus if we manage to get Hargreaves and Brown fit for a whole campaign, I believe we can hang on to our crowns as we search for more glory in Europe.

Having said all this, you wonder what Sir Alex is cooking for us. Last summer by this time, he was already up in arms against Ramon Calderon, stating firmly that Ronaldo is still a United player, but this time though, he has been a little quiet about the whole deal and you wonder what he and David Gill are preparing for us. It will be very interesting when the media finally locate his hideout and pose the Ronaldo and Tevez questions to him. We might be here debating amongst ourselves when the deals are as good as done, pending publicity!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

BEST OF THE REST 2008/2009!






















Obviously I couldn't do a review for every player at United but honourable mentions go to Rafael da Silva, Kiko Macheda, Danny Welbeck and Darren Gibson. If Rafael works on his defending and positioning, he could be a long term success at United. We haven't seen enough of his brother to say a lot about him but how I wish the two could break into the first team proper in a few years' time. Macheda, for me. deserves a Premier League medal. I thought that he contributed as much as anyone as far as our title challenge is concerned. His two late winners against Aston Villa and Sunderland dug us out graves we had dug ourselves. The Villa goal in particular was probably the most important of the season as I think that had we failed to win there, then Liverpool would have wiped out our seven point lead in the space of three games.

For all his successes in his prime, Ran Giggs, the premier league's most decorated payer, never won the PFA Player of the season award. This past season though, he won it! It was more of a case of seeing a genius at work. He reinvented himself to play a sort of attacking midfield role in which he blossomed. His best game for us of the season was the 3-0 victory over Chelsea at home in which he was named man of the match even without scoring. His leadership has also helped the otherwise young squad to mature. The one aspect I enjoyed about Gigs last season was his delivery from set pieces. Vidic scored most if not all his headed goals from corners or free-kicks delivered by the Welshman. I really hope somebody in the team can take up the mantle of best deliverer especially now that he is departing soon. He should still be squad player next season though.

Paul Scholes has not had as good a season as Giggs has had but the Ginger magician has done the job whenever called upon. His best game was the Fulham game at home where he rolled back the years for 90 minutes. Just as he confessed earlier, I think his legs are failing him abit so he can't play as many games as we would all like him to. For Scholes, it's a case of the mind willing but the body weak. That he has been sent off twice this season for handball offences virtually at the goalline means that his body is not supporting his brain-work. Nonetheless, it is having such experienced old heads in our team that makes us a cut above the rest of the Premier League!

Darren Fletcher has made the most of the absence of Owen Hargreaves by making himself a regular in our team. His ability to win the ball for us and challenge for everything in the midfield has made him one of our players of the season. That we badly missed him the Champions League final is testament to his growing importance to Manchester United.

Now a lot has been said about Park Ji Sung's energy and drive that he gives to the United team and I dare not dispute that, but for me, I think the lad needs to score more goals to justify his place in the first team. Often times the lad has had an open net to score but somehow has failed to find the net. I appreciate the fact that he contributes a lot to our team play but you see, Park plays in such a position that more often than not he will have a goal-scoring opportunity. We need to have a team that can get goals from anywhere on the Park. In the 2006/2007 season, United had 20 different goal-scorers by the end of the season. Everybody on pitch was getting on the act--including defenders. The one reason as to why Ronaldo is what he is today is because he took it upon himself to shoot on sight. Park needs to try the same (don't know about his power though). I'm I being too harsh on the player? Well I wouldn't if chances weren't falling for him. The thing is, Park is has that gift of being in the right place at the right time. He has time and time against found himself in scoring positions but I think he has missed most. A case in point was in the Champions League final when twice he had an open goal to tap in the ball but due to mis-judgement and quick reactions, the chances went begging! On the plus side, he does create a lot for the team upfront so that almost makes up for his incompetence in front of goal.

RIO FERDINAND AND NEMANJA VIDIC 2008/2009!
















The telepathy between the pair is so good that it was difficult for me to post an article for each of them. The partnership of Rio and Vida is the cornerstone upon which our current trophy winning side is built. The pair have been a revelation to United no wonder comparisons with Garry Pallister and Steve Bruce.
Rio has had a stop start campaign given his injuries but Vida has played almost every game for United this season. That he won the Premier League Player of the Year Award--an accolade that has been won by attackers over the years--is testament to his contribution to our cause this past season. For me, he has been our player of the season, hands down! There aren't enough superlatives to describe his importance to the United back four.
Many ABUS would like to refer to the one bad game he had against Liverpool to waterdown his achievements but any manager would take 1 bad game from his defender out of 67 games!
It is also important to note that Vida has protected Jonny Evans a lot when playing alongside the rookie defender. I thought it helped Evans to develop his confidence.
Much as Vida has whatever is required of a central defender, he lacks that authority and leadership that Ferdinand will bring. Rio's importance to our backline was evident when he returned from injury in time to get us a much needed clean sheet at Porto in the Champions League. In the absence of Garry and Giggs, Rio leads and his game reading plus the abilities of Nemanja mean that we have one of the best central defence pairings in the world.
The good news coming out yesterday was that Vida will stay with us next season despite interest from Barcelona.
Unfortunately for us, this past season has gone by without us enjoying the ideal central defence partnership, largely due to Rio's back injury. Recently, a calf problem has seen him miss International duty with England so one hopes that next season he can be seen more regularly. I really hope that he, Wes and Owen are fit for us next year. That way, we can surely match and beat even the likes of Barcelona!

WAYNE ROONEY 2008/2009!





























For some players because of the visible commitment, energy and love they have and drive towards the success of the club, they cannot be evaluated as having poor seasons. Wayne Rooney is one of those players. There is nothing I can write about hiss commitment that nobody knows and that is testament to hiss importance to Manchester United's cause.
The one are he has come under criticism is his temper but I must say he has improved on that this season.
The one time I was really irked by his temper was in Japan when he came on and wanted to take the ball off a Gamba Osaka player who was down and after a few seconds of fair battle to win the ball, he started literally kicking at the player in the name of winning the ball.
Anyhow, after promising to play Rooney in his favourite position upfront, Sir Alex found it necessary to have him play wide on the left for most of our season and you cannot say that it has not helped United. Towards the business end of the season, we were faced with games where we needed Rooney's energy both at the front and at the back and the left position was the only way Fergie would do it. Given that Ronaldo has a habit of 'forgetting' to track back, I think it was wise to throw the Portuguese upfront and leave Rooney on the left. I think that is what won us the games against Spurs in the league, FC Porto away and the one at the Emirates in the Champions League. Much as many think that Champions League final was handled poorly tactically, I think that we would all have been praising Sir Alex if we had won the game by an early goal to nil!
Anyhow, Rooney has had his second most successful season for us as far as goals are concerned (despite playing a lot on the left) and I think that's down to the fact that he has remained injury free for most of the campaign. His performance in the game against Spurs was top notch. His season individual milestone must have been netting his 100th goal in the Manchester Derby at Wastelands. His celebration must have equalled the amounts of watts needed to light up OT!
Now, having underlined his importance to us on the left this past season, I'd like him to play upfront next season. Fergie should sign up a left sided player in the window if he feels that we are lacking there. Wayne can clearly do for us a wonderful job at the front so he ought to be there more often. I think that is one of the reasons as to why the Dippers outscored us this season. If Nani and Park have not satisfied Fergie on the left, I think someone like Antonio Valencia could do the trick for us there. He has pace and has been at a club where tracking back is daily bread. He should not have problems adapting to our style of play as he is no 'mechanic'. Also he has this powerful shot that beats keepers before the ball reaches them.
The point is, if we can focus Rooney's energy upfront only next season, then we could be more than a force to reckon with next season!

MICHAEL CARRICK--2008/2009


If only he could shoot more often! The times that Michael Carrick has actually had a shot on goal have resulted into at least something positive. The thing is that there will be some games where the slick passing is not recognised due to opponents tactics and so the only aspect worth relying on is shooting.
The times Carrick has shot at goal are unfortunately countable. The one time he opted to shoot more often in a game was the home tie against Everton in which I thought he had his best game for us this season. He shot at goal in the league game against Sunderland at the death and the ball rebounded off the post and was met by Vidic to tap in. His initial shot created the chance. He shot in the league fixture against Hullo and the ball nestled in the bottom left corner. He also shot in the league game at home against Pompey and got us the crucial second goal. It was his shot that met the boot of Macheda away to Sunderland and the ball found it's way into the net to give us another crucial win! Then who can forget the shot he took against Wigan that virtually won us the title! Quite simply, his shots have reapped big for us so you wonder what we might get from him if he shoots as often as Ronaldo does or at least Rooney.
Anyhow, the Englishman is still one of the best passers of a football in the league which has been an asset to our play. I'll personally never forget the assist he gave Berbatov in the FA Cup tie against Spurs. It was inch-perfect!
Besides all that Carrick has this habit of dashing into the penalty box unexpectedly. I does help! He will either score or win us something. His dash in the box against Everton won us a penalty and then the controversial one against Spurs which kick-started the comeback.
I Carrick could assert himself more on opponents that are tough, I'd be happier It's no use being on pitch these days waiting to give a pass only when you receive the ball. A good player in my eyes is the one who is as good off the ball as he is on the ball. That he inherited a shirt worn by a tough United captain who loved to get dirty does not help issues but if he can improve his shooting, then the lad could bury the Roy Keane ghost that still lingers at the back of his shirt!

EDWIN VAN DER SAR 2008/2009!







There are certain people you never want to see leave OT as their presence has almost certainly meant that we win a trophy. For instance, since United lost Roy Keane and spent a load of money on Michael Carrick, we have won the league in each of those seasons that Michael has been with us. Of course the trend is bound to end but you get the feeling that he is one of our lucky charms.
EVDS arrived at United when we could hardly find a keeper who had the confidence to keep a run of clean sheets. Tim Howad started well but a string of blunders,including one that knocked us out of the Champions League, meant he had to follow, Raymond van der Gouw, Fabien Barthez, Tabbi, etc out of OT. The desire to sign a long term goalkeeper at United was clearly failing. In a bid to halt the club's poor defensive record, Sir Alex brought the then 35 year old Dutchman to United and my! my! my! how he regreted not signing him a earlier in his career after when Schemichael had left.
Many still think that the Dutchman has been made to look good by a wonderful defence but I think it;s the player's intelligence that is really what makes him what he is. the United players all agree that EVDS is the most intelligent in the dressing room. Anybody who still doubts this should look at last season's penalty shoot-out victory against Chelsea in the Champions League final. After failing to save the first five penalties, Nicholas Anelka stepped up. The Dutchman used his experience to step out of the goal aand delay Anelka, making him nervous. After being warned by the ref to get back in goal, van der Sar, cleverly pointed to his left, teasing Anelka to go that way. Instinctively, he knew that the Frenchman would take it the other way and that's where he dived to win us the European Cup! Clever! You could say that he cut Anelka's options to just one and hence made it difficult for the Frenchman to score.
Unfortunately for us, the Dutchman only has a season left in him so we have to find a replacement soon. He has looked suspect at times but when you weigh the pros and cons, EVDS is still the best we have in our ranks. If Ben Foster was always fit then he could have given the number 1 some competition.
Having said that, the Dutchman set a new Premier League record for successive clean-sheets--a run that propelled us to the top the league and enabled us to defend our trophy.
The thing about being a United goal-keeper is that you need concentration for 90 minutes. You might not have what to do for almost an entire game but when the other team gets its chance, you must be able to keep it out. I think it's fair to say that Edwin has that ability. That we have won the title with less goals scored is testament to the contribution of the Dutchman to our title triumph. Sir Alex was so pleased with his record-breaking run that he rewarded him with a contract extension. Personally, I wouldn't mind having him between our sticks till he is 40!

Monday, 8 June 2009

DIMITAR BERBATOV--2008/2009!






















The good news coming out for us today from the Bulgarian is that he will be a United player next season despite rumours of his pending exit. That basically means that should Carlos Tevez decide to stay at United, then he will know what to expect.
Berbatov actually joined United in September as the transfer window was extended by a couple of days. His arrival immediately drew comparisons with King Eric Cantona--which was rather unfair as there will always be one King of Manchester. He was signed to give height to our otherwise dwarfed attack of Wayne and Carlos but by the end of his debut month, it was clear that the Bulgarian was more of a link-up player for United. Not the job he was signed for but still a good job nonetheless. Much as many viewed him as a player who slowed down United, he actually did bring fluidity to our game.
He certainly did start his OT career with a bang--setting up an assist for Tevez to score at Anfield within two minutes.
His first goals for us came in the Champions League against Aalborg and after another r quiet spell, he came up with an amazing assist for Ronaldo in the league game against West Ham. He did it with such skill that Ronaldo was almost embarrassed to score it.
Berba however saved his best contributions to our season for the middle of the campaign when United were beginning to tire. He set up a vital goal for us at Stoke on Boxing Day and then scored the winner in the league game against a Boro side that had come to pick a point. The Bulgarian then scored an injury time winner against Bolton that propelled us to the top of the league--a position we defended well since. Fourteen goals as well as 10 assists in total is not bad for a player who is supposedly lazy. The thing is, Berbaatov is world class and therefore does merit his place at United. If you think that Berba has done poorly at United, then look at his hardworking mate Robbie Keane who couldn't last the season at Anfiled. The two were unbelievable for Spurs but given that our man has thrived in his first season without his usual partner, a little more adaptation should make him much better for us in the next few seasons. Having said all that, I think he will have to fight for his place if Tevez stays as I believe the 'honey moon' for welcoming a new player is done for him!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

JOHN O'SHEA--2008/2009!


The Irishman has always been one of those players who make up the numbers at OT. To many fans, he was just an emergency player--not this past season though! Following injury to Wes Brown, Rafael and Neville, John made the right back position his own. Even though he has been found wanting as far as a quick turn and inventiveness, the lad has compensated with plenty of effort in defence as well as the occasional dash forward that has aided our attack. He has scored a couple of goals this season but none more celebrated than the one in the Champions League semi at home against Arsenal. As always, John has filled in wherever we are short and it would not be unwise to consider him as one of our more important players. People talk about Unite having a big squad, but it's because of players like John that we can handle an injury list of 8 players while others mourn when a couple are out!
That Fergie opted for John in the Champions League final when Brown and Neville were fit is testament to his progress in the United side. I think in future, we shall not raise eye brows when the Gaffer sends on John as a substitute in an important game.

LUIS NANI--2008/2009!


Given the considerably wonderful seasons had by John' O'Shea and Darren Fletcher, Luis Nani has unanimously won the vote of worst player of the season. The Portuguese had a wonderful debut season at OT but, like Anderson has failed to impress us again this year. Whilst the Brazilian would blow hot and cold, Nani has blown cold for nearly the entire season.
The thing is, Nani was and probably is unfortunate that many people are comparing him to his country mate, Cristiano. Just as Ronaldo is a different player form Messi, I think Nani is a different player from Ronaldo. I've always taken Nani to be the creative player on the wings that will score once in a month but will come up with many assists. Unfortunately because of all these Ronaldo comparisons, the lad is intent on beating his man and scoring rather than creating. Incredibly, he has more goals this season than last and yet we still regard this season as the poor one, but if anyone has taken note, it was last season when he had more assists than this one so we can argue that his contribution last season was far more than this one. His delivery from dead ball situations was also top notch so maybe the lad will use the summer to be his own player!
As far as his best moments of the season are concerned, I think the game against Derby in the Carling Cup was a good one for him, and what a goal he scored too! He was one of those 'former first team players' who helped us to Carling Cup glory and to the FA Cup semis.
Sadly, there is a section of fans who want Nani out. I think, like Anderson, the lad should be given at least another season. Besides, we need players like him to step up in case of injuries or suspensions. I mean we don't have to have 23 players who can walk into any team on the planet. Nani is young and it could take him as long as it took Darren Fletcher to be very important to the United set up. Some players mature after 25 so I don;t think our young lads should be pressurised. Is this too kind to the player?

Saturday, 6 June 2009

CARLOS TEVEZ--2008/2009!











You might have realised that I've started my player season reviews with players who are likely to leave OT in the summer. I prefer I talk about them while they are still under contract with Manchester United.
Carlitos was our 'superman' last season--scoring vital goal f=after vital goal for United. He certainly stole the hearts of the OT faithful in his first season at the club. The lad is clearly built for the English game--no wonder he wants to move to another English club.
Tevez however found himself on the bench at the start of this campaign following the arrival of Dimitar Berbatov. It was clear that Fergie was not going to pay 30m for a striker and then sit him on the bench, so the Bulgarian was given his chance. Tevez unfortunately was not content with his sub role and so the rumours of an exit began to surface. Despite the vital contribution he gave the first team when he came on, he barely started a game. It was his exclusion from the first team that propelled us to Carling Cup glory as he starred in the 'Carling Cup team'. He boldly put forward his case for first team action when he scored an amazing four goals against Blackburn in the Carling Cup--two of which were stunning! His equalising goal against Wigan was crucial in our bid to retain the title, whilst his screamer of a goal against City won us the game before half-time. He scored a wonder goal against Fulham in the FA Cup and who can forget his winner against Stoke on Boxing Day. It was a win that the manager thinks propelled us to the title.
Unfortunately though, United may lose out on the services of the Argentine if David Gill does not let the wallet loose. I think that the fans have made t clear to Fergie that Tevez is indeed one of the most important players in our young side and it would therefore be a major mistake to let him go. I think he perfectly suits the Solskjaer role. I mean you need a player in your team that has that midas touch of gold that can give you a goal when you need it most. Tevez has given that to us on a number of occasions so I'd be gutted if we lose him.
He has not had as many games as last season but we can all agree that for the many times he has been called upon this season, he has not disappointed. Infact, I'd rate Tevez as one of our players of the season!