Thursday, 30 July 2009

'WHO PUT THE BALL IN THE GERMANS' NET?'


It's a decade since Manchester United and Bayern played out the most dramatic European Cup to date. Two goals in the space of 90 seconds at the death of the game saw United beat Bayern 2-1. The moment Ole Gunnar Solsjaer put the ball in the Germans' net still stands out for many as their finest moment as fans of United. Bayern did get their revenge though early into the new millennium albeit at the quarterfinal stage. Since that dramatic night, United are yet to meet the Bavarians in any final of any sort.

That stat will change tonight as the two sides are due to contest the inaugural Audi Cup final at the Allianz Arena.
Unfortunately for United, they are the away team and so the atmosphere will be so hostile that at times it will not look like a pre-season friendly. You see, Bayern are six days from the start of their season so their fitness is at season-proper. It's why the demolished AC Milan last night with such ease. United are a bit fitter than Milan but again we cannot say they have reached season peak fitness. We've only played one testing game and that was yesterday. Moreover, Sir Alex labeled it a poor performance. Hopefully the players today will be up for it. I also pray that he plays a stronger team today. We are yet to get news on the extent of Wes Brown's injury but Fergie seemed to imply that there will be no more pre-season football for him. Nemanja Vidic also picked up a strain in the warm-up yesterday so it's not looking good for our back line going into the new season. Worryingly for United, they have only kept one clean sheet so far in pre-season. It means we are relying on what we get from our forwards. That will certainly concern me especially when we come up against teams that are good defensively--like tonight.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

A DAY OF FIRSTS!---BOCA JUNIORS VS MAN UNITED REVIEW!


I honestly did not know that I'd live to see Anderson score his first goal for Manchester United in open play. After two seasons of close shaves, and after many fans had given up on him finding the net, he comes up with a free-kick that Cristiano Ronaldo would have been heavily lauded for if it were the Madeira magician to score it. It certainly did take the everyone by surprise including the goalkeeper who must have been laughing internally laughing his head off at at the sight of Anderson shaping to shoot. To be honest I was too!

Anyhow, we'll now take him a bit more seriously and no doubt he has entered the free-kick specialist category at United.
The other 'first' today was Antonio Valencia who made his debut for United in shirt number 25 and scored what should be surely termed as a solo goal. Many will criticise the goalie for letting the ball through his body but what about crediting the power of the shot?
If Valencia can shoot more often at goal, I have no doubt that he will improve his goalscoring ratio. Ronald0 only became something at United when he started shooting often at goal. The point is given the law of averages, one or two are all are bound to hit the back of the net, and in a generation where footballers are recognised per the number of goals scored, shooting is more important than playing that extra-pass. For instance it is shooting at goal on sight that has made Frank Lampard, Kaka and even Paul Scholes legends of the game.
I mean you look at Michael Carrick--a very important player for United because of his accurate passing but because he rarely has a go at goal, he is not recognised when it comes to personal accolades, so hopefully, Valencia will learn to shoot more often at goal--no matter the distance.

Otherwise United did win the game 2-1 thanks largely to some desperate defending. Sir Alex gave young Craig Cathcart a chance alongside Brown in defence and I have to say that but for the spectacular own goal he nearly scored, he was as good as Jonny Evans--which is only good news for United. Unfortunately for us, Wes Brown limped off in the first half. Now Sir Alex recently said that if Wes stays fit throughout the season, we would be in business and I'm afraid I share his view. If the news is not good as far as his latest injury, then we should start biting our nails already.

Wayne Rooney was given the man of the match award but he played down his efforts. I thought Anderson deserved it as he had his best pre-season match so far--and he scored as well. That is a milestone of its own!

United will now play Bayern Muchen in the final tomorrow---a final that I'll give my opinion on later.

NOW FOR SOME REAL FOOTBALL---BOCA JUNIORS VS MAN UNITED!











Away with the cotton wool of the Asian tour. We shall get to know exactly how far this United team has gone as far as preparing for the new season when they take on some of the best sides in the world in the space of two days in the Audi Cup. The two day tournament features European giants AC Milan, South America's Boca Juniors, German side Bayern Munich--the only team in the world that has reason to hold a grudge against Manchester United ('99)

So United take on Boca in the semi--a team that will, unfortunately for us, not be taking this game as a friendly. They are a competitive side and its good Sir Alex knows that. For that matter, you would hope that United don't try to ease their way through the Boca defence like they did in Asia--when at times defences just let them have it. Middle penetration should come along with maximum usage of the flanks. We of course want to see what Valencia can do.

Then there is the sorry issue of defence.I' sorry but the few times we were seriously attacked in Asia led to goals and I can't help but hope for better this time round. For instance we made a certain striker called Dejan look like a god given how easily he scored two against us in 20 minutes.

Scott of the republikofmancunia is in Munich to cover the games live. He posted photos from Munich including a memorial of the Busby Babes at the scene of the air crash in 1958. I must add that the Allianz Arena is STUNNING!

OUR NEW AWAY KIT--GALLERY!







The Oficial website has released clips of our new away kit for next season, and for many, it is the best of the three! Park reckons that the players look like army men in it. Hopefully, they can win all battles on pitch in it.

WHAT WE WON IN ASIA...


For those who might not be aware, we didn't come away from Asia with nothing. We added one or two accolades to our unofficial cabinet.

Monday, 27 July 2009

TODAY'S TALKING POINTS FEATURING MR.JOSE!




Let me save the best for last.
So we shall sstart with Anelka saying that Ronaldo and Tevez' departure will make Chelsea more than contenders for the title---blaah! Boring if you ask me!
How about Mark Hughes coming out to say that the poster in Manchester welcoming Tevex top wastelands is something between the fans. What he doesn't know is that the world is aware that the Bitters actually did sanction for it--OFFICIALLY, ordering a famous and well established company to paint it--which means it must have cost them a few quid as well---I wonder when Adebayor's poster will come out. If I was one of those mercenary signings, I would demand for mine because I wouldn't feel as though I've arrived.

EVDS has come out and said he would consider staying at United a bit longer. As far as the goal-keeping situation is at United, I feel we don't as yet have the ONE who can replace the Dutchman in goal. Foster is good. Kuszack is good as well but neither have that extra bit that I think United require. Time will tell but they still need to learn a thing or two from the Dutchman. Foster for instance saves one too many times with his feet. That is not a safe option.
So EVDS might as well remain in goal till he's 45 for all I care! Was I a bit harsh on our goalies there?

Wayne Rooney is quoted as having set himself a target of 20 plus goals next season. He's got a good record of getting more than the previous season as you can find out on the Official website so here's to 20 plus goals.

Then the biggest story coming out today concerning United is the apparent desire that Mr. Jose Mourinho (whom United fans refer as the TNSSO--The Not So Special One) has to take over once Sir Alex calls it a day. Regular readers of this blog and the media in general should know that this a story that has come and gone. The Inter Milan boss has had this burning desire to replace Sir Alex since he left England and you wonder if the aim is to try and out-shine him as quickly as possible.
He is one of those few coaches who will guarantee you a trophy each season but the bottom line is many a United faithful don't want to see him join the club. For starters, he's never been at a club for more than three seasons. Porto and Chelsea learnt this the hardway and now Inter are facing the prospect of losing him even before they get the three seasons from him.
Secondly, he does not believe in the youth development policy that has worked wonders for United. He also has this rigid style of football that many times compromises the entertainment value.

Having said all that, don't be shocked if the Portuguese becomes United coach after Sir Alex. Stranger things have happened

SO WHO IS OUR NEW PENALTY TAKER?


Cristiano Ronaldo's departure to Real Madrid has left United with more than one or two issues to solve come the new season. This post basically tackles the 'dead-ball taker' role--a position that the Portuguese made his own since the departure of Ruud van Nistelrooy.
For starters, Cristiano, was not a poor penalty taker for us. He scored much more than he missed so we can credit him for that. Unfortunately, he missed the most important ones. I'll never forget the one missed at Upton Park when a goal would have won us the game--we went on to lose the game instead.
Then who can forget the one he missed at the Camp Nou. No European side fancies their chances in Catalonia. But United were given a penalty just 2 minutes into the game--a chance to score a vital away goal and knock the confidence out of Barca before the game proper had started. Incredibly, Ronaldo blazed over the bar to effectively knock the confidence from our lads--no wonder we defended for the rest of that match. Thankfully, we made it to the final via the home leg back in Manchester.
After that game in Barcelona, you'd think that Ronaldo had missed his important penalty for United and he as well as we were over it. It's why you could bet your mortgage on him to beat Petr Cech from 12 yards in the Champions League final. Shockingly, he missed! After that I kind of lost my trust in him from 12 yards as he had developed this disease of stopping half-way through his run to shoot the ball. I mean you could see the nerves all over his face when he stepped up to take the kick against Spurs last season in our 5-2 win. He shot straight--which in my opinion is the safest place to put the ball. There are minimal chances of the goalkeeper staying on his spot.
Ronaldo was indeed the best player we had from 12 yards so I cannot fault him for what didn't go in.

However, now that he's gone, United will need to come up with a consistent player in charge of penalties. Nani for starters will lay claim in the absence of Hargreaves to all the penalties and free-kicks. He wants to show that he can take every responsibility that Ronaldo took at United. He's not a poor penalty taker but I think he's not worth taking a free-kick. Either way, it's not guaranteed that he is a sure starter next season. He has to earn it.
As far as free-kicks go, you pray that Hargo will be around for most of the season such that we make better use of them.
The Canadian-born German speaking Englishman is also an expert from 12 yards but you wonder if he will be in the side long-enough to claim both roles.

Michael Carrick is a sure starter for United when fit and I've never seen him miss a penalty. Forget the ones he's put away in shoot-out competitions for United, but last pre-season saw him net a couple of penalties when Ronaldo was injured and I was impressed. The players who aim once in a while for the top corner are in my opinion specialists from the spot---and since Carrick and Hargreaves were prepared to do that in a game as big as the Champions League final, they a the top choice for me. You see the top corner is a risky place to target as you could actually blaze it over. But again, it's one of those corners in a goal which if you find will nullify the goalkeeper's presence in the goal!
One thing is for certain
Let me just end bu apologising for this long post!

Sunday, 26 July 2009

AT LAST, A ROUT!


Don't know about you guys but when my team goes out on a pre-season tour such as the one United are involved in, I expect to rout one or two opponents as there is the general idea that these sides are not up to the level we are.
So after playing three games and failing to produce more than three goals, I must say I was abit disappointed with United, not today though, as the boys managed to put 8 goals past Greentown--the final game of our Far East tour.
To cut the long story short, it was a fantastic performance form all that played the game. Michael Owen scored twice--his second a sublime volley after a magical flip by magic-feet, Berbatov. It is his best so far for United--and he's now scored four goals on tour--not bad for a free signing.
Nani got on the score-sheet as well and did also contribute with two assists. Berbatov scored and made two whilst an 18year old Ryan Giggs got himself a second half hat-trick.
It could really have been double figures for United as we hit the wood-work three times in the second half. Evra and Anderson all came close to grabbing rare goals, but for the latter, it seems he'll have to be given a chance from 1 yard if he's to convert.

As far as partnerships go, the Berbatov Owen one has been the best so far this pre-season. Hope Fergie tries out Owen and Rooney on Wednesday against Boca Juniors.
United of course do fly out tonight for Germany to compete in the two-day Audi Cup.

MANCHESTER WILL NEED THE BRITISH ARMY TO STAGE THE TWO DERBIES NEXT SEASON!


If you thought that the Manchester Derby has seen its most heated days, then think again. I'm not going to dwell so much trying to bring out my point here because the title of this post does that. We all know the mercenary signings that Mark Hughes has made and the fact that Carlos Tevez chose to become a bitter for the money.
Indeed there will be lots at stake when the Manchester Derby comes round next season. Tevez wants to show Fergie what he's missed. Mark Hughes needs to show his employers that he can finally compete with the biggest club in Manchester (TM), the City fans would love to get one over United and the City players will want to show us how balanced a team they are. It's not just about bragging rights this time--that's for sure.

This derby has always naturally been heated, but this is the first time we've had mudslinging in pre-season between the two clubs--so what will it be like in the week leading up to the game.

I'll leave that for September but this post was actually supposed to be dedicated to the comment that Sir Alex has made in the press today that City's Adebayor made contact with United and Chelsea before opting for a move to Wastelands. You wonder how this will be interpreted bu City fans. It seems the Togolese was reluctant to go to a club as small as City before making sure that the other big sides in England were not interested in him. I have to say I remember that rumour coming out of the press earlier this month. It's a shame really!
Hopefully, this post will find its way to Gordon Brown who should meet with the FA about how many soldeirs to use in the Manchester Derby. Believe me, THERE WILL BE BLOOD!

Saturday, 25 July 2009

ONE LAST SHOW IN ASIA!




It's not that we shall never be in Asia again, but as far as this particular pre-season is concerned, United will end their Far East tour with tomorrow's lunchtime (our time) kick-off against Greentown of China. They are essentially a mid-table club in China and will not pose as much a threat as our previous opponents IF United don't doze through the match.

Going into this game, Sir Alex has praised United's forwards who have responded to the urge to 'step up' by scoring the goals that have won us all our games so far. Owen has 2 and so do the pair of Macheda and Rooney. Berbatov got our winner on Friday so it does give them a little confidence going into the much tougher fixtures next week.

That aside, Sir Alex was asked at his pre-match press conference what he thought about the Man City Carlos Tevez poster and in summary, he called it 'arrogance'. The United boss said since his arrival at United, City have always had a problem with their neighbours--and long may that continue!
Sir Alex also reckons that Owen could get us 15 goals next season if he plays 25 games. That, in my eyes, would make him the signing of the summer. If Tevez who we were going to pay 25m for only got 10 goals or so in 52 games last season, then I'll take the 15 if Owen can get them. He certainly has shown he can.

If you thought that the fanaticism of United in China was any less, the above pictures taken from http://www.therepublikofmancunia.com/ should inform you otherwise! Enjoy the game!

THREE OUT OF THREE!


Well that was almost embarrassing! I mean the ease with which a certain Serb called Dejan breached our almost first choice defence at will will have given Sir Alex something new to include in our preparations for next season. Granted, FC Seoul are in the middle of their season and leading their league but you have to give that first half to them. A few changes half-way the second half and we were suddenly comfortable enough. I mean United treated us to the frustrating 'foreplay' that Arsenal would have been proud of. Passing the ball up to the six-yard box but failing to get the final shot away. Scholes in particular could have played in Michael Owen to score but opted to smash the ball against the post. I mean for whatever reason Scholes would want to shoot that hard four yards from goal when picking your spot is the ideal option...we'll never know.

Anyhow, goals from Wayne Rooney, Federico Macheda and at last Dimitar Berbatov won us what should be our most difficult match of the Asia tour. I thought Kiko took his goal well and if he can keep himself level-headed and take advantage of whatever chance he gets to play in the team, he'll succeed in the first team. Fergie certainly does think he can be our fourth striker.

Club Captain Gary Neville picked up a new injury and has been sent home. It's unfortunate for him because the competition we have for the right-back position is quite a lot.
United's third and final stop in the Far East will be in China against Greentown---tomorrow lunchtime. That should be easy! But I'd like to see United basing their attacks more on the wings as we do have goal-getters in our team. One of the reasons as to why we did so poorly in the first half was because we wanted to penetrate FC Seoul's defence from the middle where they were crowded and yet there was enough space to exploit on the wings. This is the part where I say I can't wait for Antonio to link up with the squad.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

KOREAN FEVER AS ENGLISH CHAMPS PREPARE FOR EXHIBITION MATCH!


You don't have to be in South Korea to know that the country is in a frenzy over the visit of Manchester United. The Red Devils do have a gigantic fan base down there not least because Park Ji Sung--a national icon in the country is playing his trade with the English Champions. In 2007, Park missed United's fixture in Korea because of a cruciate knee ligament injury, but this time round, even a lack of match fitness is not about to hinder him from taking part in tomorrow's encounter.

Sir Alex reckons that his appearance will be a massive lift to the fans over there. In his media press conference today, the Gaffer has spoken about how Park impressed him over two quarter-finals for PSV Eindhoven. His understanding of how to use space prompted United to sign him. Park's contract runs out after next season and David Gill was quick to point out that United will be soon opening discussions over a new contract as he is an important player for Manchester United. At least now we also know that he is important as far as marketing in Asia is concerned.

More news coming out today suggests that United have 60m pounds left to spend in the transfer market. A spokesman for the Glazers told the media that United do have 43m pounds of interest to pay annually as it finances its 750m debt. Unfortunately, Fergie has not been able to find the right type of players to play for United so he cannot spend the money. The one part that I will always agree with Sir Alex is that United are not the kind who sign mercenaries. There is no point in paying a lot of money for players who will not give their all for the club!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

UNITED IN PHASE TWO OF ASIA TOUR!


The lads today arrived in Seoul ahead of their next scheduled match against FC Seoul at the World Cup Stadium on Friday.
I can only imagine the frenzy over there as United are indeed a huge brand over in South Korea--not least due to the fact that it's the native country of Park Ji Sung or Ji Sung Park.
Anyhow, I think they are more f a footballing side than the Malaysians so it will be a relatively tougher game for United but we should do okay. Most of the players have tasted a bit of football on the pitch so the fatigue and carelessness should be getting out of the players by now and soon, we should start seeing the kind of football that we are going to play last season--at least that's what the Audi Cup will demand.

Stories making the news today are not so heavy that they demand commenting about but Fergie holds no doubt that Ben Foster will be England's goalkeeper...if only he could stay fit and prove his worth.
Now that is the line that I've kind of gotten tired of hearing these past few weeks. Michael Owen, Hagreaves, Wes Brown, Ben Foster, Rio Ferdinand--the list goes on. It seems as though our performance next season largely if not entirely depends on whether our players stay fit. I'd like to think that manager, players and fans of United alike are aware that injuries--regardless how many they are, are part and parcel of a footballing season. For instance I expect Michael Owen and two or three more players to pull a hamstring some time next season. Then one or two lads will be out with flu or illness for a game and so on. Of course the only thing that you do not expect is that a player will be ruled out for the whole season--but it usually happens. For instance last season, Chelsea lost Joe Cole, United lost Hargreaves and Wes, Arsenal lost Tomas Rosicky and Eduardo--all for nearly the entire league campaign.
This is why I think that managers ought to work around solving foreseeable problems during pre-season. The whole world knows how good we can perform in a season without injuries but they don't know how we can perform next season if we had major injuries to our stars. I'm therefore happy to see the likes of Macheda, Gibson and Fabio being made part of first team pre-season training and on the tour as they could be the ones that we look up to when the going gets tough.

Oh and just to make it clear how popular United are in South Korea, 1.2 million people have Manchester United credit cards!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

A BETTER DISPALY ON OUR SECOND DAY OUT!


Okay, we failed to score as many as we did in the first 'leg' but Manchester United did improve a lot for the second game of their Asia tour--albeit against the same team.

Sir Alex made nearly wholesale changes from the side that started on Saturday and instantly, a new partnership was formed between Kiko Macheda and Michael Owen. The pair got us a quick couple of goals in the first few minutes and that was it as far as the scoring was concerned.



Pre-season gives us a chance to know what many young players are about and I thought that Zoran Tosic did put on a good show on the left wing. The young Serb is not quite the finished article as far as being a winger is concerned but he does put in delicious crosses in the box. One of his accurate balls led to the second goal scored by Michael.

Then how about Fabio for competition for Evra on the left. I thought he did a fine job. He looks every bit as good as Rafael. I really ope that those two twins can one day make the starting berths their own at United and for the Brazilian National team.

Now, in an interview with the Daily Mail, Sir Alex has given a comprehensive assessment of the events that have been transpiring in the past few months as well as giving his honest personal analysis of the season ahead. The best part of it is when he dismisses City's challenge next season. The boss points it out that most managers are eager to see how Mark Hughes handles his 10 attacking options next season.
The United boss also pointed out that Chelsea and Liverpool and maybe Arsenal will be United's main threats next season--and not Man City! Apparently, the only thing that City is challenging United for are the back pages.

The war of words against Tevez continues with Sir Alex claiming that the new Bitter is not worth 25m--Ooouch!
And just to please those who still think United did not go out full throttle in the market, he reveals a 35m pound bid for Benzema and another bid for Ribery. Bayern did not want to sell and Madrid were ready to pay over the odds for Benzema so United couldn't do much about those deals either. That interview must have left many a United fans satisfied.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

HOWLERS GALORE BUT UNITED WIN PRE-SEASON OPENER!




So shall we say that EVDS misjudged the ball or should we blame Patrice for missing a basic header. Either way, it's the howler that granted a Malaysia XI a way back into a match that we should have won more comfortably. Obviously that minor error is not what made Sir Alex replace the great Dutchman with Ben Foster, but after watching the Englishman contribute with a howler of his own, I think pre-season is indeed vital to football players. Anderson for instance was carrying more weight than necessary and I thought Darron Gibson was a touch too heavy as well. If anything, I thought that 35 year old Ryan Giggs looked fitter than anybody else when he came on--indeed, his burst into the box allowed Michael Owen to get the chance to score his first goal for United--and boy that goal will improve his life!

From the fans' perspective, it was good to see Rooney, Nani and Owen--three of the players whom the fans expect to step it up next season get on the score-sheet as it will naturally spur them on to hunt for more goals. Nani did well to get us a goal but it's like when he got it--which was pretty much early in the game, then he relaxed abit.

For the manager, I think it was good to give most of the players some competitive action and given the conditions we played in, I think he expected the difficult match that it was.
News coming in suggests that we shall have a re-match with the same opposition on Monday as our tour to Indonesia was called off earlier due to terrorist threats at our team hotel. Now that the lads have got a bit of playing time under their belts, better will be demanded from them come Monday!

Friday, 17 July 2009

PRE-SEASON ROCKED BY BOMB BLASTS AS UNITED MAKE YET ANOTHER 'MYSTERY SIGNING'


Just as I was preparing to enjoy a feast on football on Television from what many would think is a 'different' United team, news comes in that United's tour in Indonesia has been called off due to bomb blasts in Kuala Lumpur. Apparently one of the blasts was at the luxury hotel where our players were supposed to reside. It must be gutting news to fans that side who were anxious to see the reigning English Champions. The game was a 100,000 sell out so you can imagine the disappointment. The club will have to re-arrange their tour in the Far East--hopefully, it means we get to play another side.

It's Friday morning here so I was a bit taken aback when I read that United arrived yesterday on Friday--I hadn't taken into account the different time zones that we're in. At a press conference on arrival, Sir Alex stunned the journalists by revealing that United had signed a 21 year old Norwegian whose name has been withheld until it is officially announced. The United boss claims that he was worried that other clubs were making contact with him and so they had to act quickly. The 'mystery' signing will not join United till January. As if to stress his earlier stance the Gaffer went on to add that he was the last buy United were going to make this summer!

Meanwhile, a certain Portuguese footballer called Cristiano Ronaldo has backed Michael Owen to be a hit in the United team. I won't add anything to that!
UPDATE: SKYSPORTS has just revealed that the young lad we've signed is called MAME BRIAM DIOUF from FK Molde.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

WAS SIR ALEX PLAYING TRICKS OR...







We have over a month left in the transfer market but you will find it difficult to get a player linked to United these days because Sir Alex came out this week and said United were done with signing players this summer.

Now considering the surrent financial state of the transfer market, you would understand where the boss in coming form, but Sky Sports' Transfer Centre claims that Chief Executive David Gill is not rulling out the possibility of further arrivals this summer! Hmmmm....

16TH JULY!


This is a birthday post for me, so I thought that I would display for all y'all the perfect present for me. Scott posted this earlier on and just in case you missed it, how about that for a shirt for next season!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

MAN UNITED SHOW CLASS IN THE TRANSFER MARKET!


Remember those times as a teenager when your parent or guardian told you not to be taken up by peer pressure? How about these days when your conscience tells you not to 'bandwagon' in everything that your friends do?

In football terms, we can safely assert that Manchester United along with a host of other big clubs in Europe are peers of Real Madrid. Both clubs have just about the same expectations each season and the pressure from the fans is equally demanding for success.
Real Madrid and Manchester City have taken advantage of the numerous resources at their disposal to sign what the public see as 'big-name players' for obscene prices whilst paying them wages that have re-defined the current economic-crisis.

You see there is nothing wrong with signing players for 30 million when you have the money but beyond that and you must start questioning yourself. United did have a lot of money from the sale of Ronaldo but that never at all meant that we had to splash 60 million on one so called 'big-name player' to show that we have actually spent t money with the aim of replacing Cristiano.
What Fergie has done is simply what he has always done at United--getting value for money. There will be the odd cases of Juan Sebastian Veron or Kleberson, but which club has no flops.
When United lost Ruud to Real, the media went on about signing a 'god' to replace him but Fergie signed little admired Carrick and we went on to win the league the following season-=-without buying a replacement.
Benzema was never going to be worth the money if we had out-bid Real to 40million pounds because in two years he would have started talking about how Madrid were his dream club and secondly, he was a striker scoring goals in the 4th best league in Europe! That tells me the Fergie had a valuation for him beyond which he was never going to sign him anyway so he looked at the feasible option of Michael Owen who was for free anyway and has a proven goal scoring record in the very league that United compete in. I must say that at first, this deal put Fergie down in my estimation but now I'm getting to see the very reasons as to why the Gaffer went in for Owen.
The club has not taken the bait of throwing its money around just because City and Real have a thing to prove to us next season. Look at Barcelona who won the treble last year. After watching Real round-up all the best players in the world on offer, you'd think they'd be panicking because they stand a serous chance of winning nothing next season but that has not led them into the transfer frenzy--even though they nearly lost one of their main strikers. It all comes down to class. It's a case of 'we shall not be moved'.

Today's news is basically about Tevez' transfer to Citeh! He called Fergie a liar but I think he's the liar here because he claims Fergie talked to him after the Roma game and yet we have many quotes from him dated 2008 and 2009 that suggest that the two talked more often than we know! Does he think there are no records?
Anyhow he played 52 games for us last season, he'll not get past that total given that City are not in Europe next term and what are the odds that he'll play every game given that I'm just reading breaking news that Mark Hughes is talking to Adebayor! Now that we have known how big his ego is, I'm glad that we saw the back of him. The clubs that will progress in the future are those with players who think they are lucky to be playing for their club, not those that think they are more important than the club!


Monday, 13 July 2009

NO MORE ARRIVALS AT UNITED, OWEN IS THE NEW NO.7!


When Sir Alex brought Owen to United, surely every United fan must have thought that the boss was not done yet...he went on to sign a little known French kid, Gabriel Obertan, and you can bet that nobody expected Fergie to stop there. The press went ahead to link all sorts of players to United and even today the likes of Douglas Costa are still being rumoured to come to OT, but after presenting the trio of new signings at the club today, Sir Alex has confirmed that United will not be signing anyone else. We still have over a month left in the transfer window but United fans must start picturing a campaign with the current crop of players.

My opinion: Manchester United will be significantly weaker next season especially if they retain the same system but we cannot say that our rivals will be much stronger. There is a big chance that the many of the players will be liberated by the departure of Ronaldo and that we might benefit from having a predator in the box for the first time since the days of RVN. Michael Owen has a lot to prove and that could work heavily in our favour. We might just be as prolific as we were last season so there is no point in writing off United just yet. Trust Fergie to maintain the pride of United!

The boss also spoke about the transfer fees that sky rocketed this summer. I must admit, when in a hundred years Historians and are studying about the current economic recession, it will not go unnoticed that football was not affected. There was considerable pressure on Ferguson to bring in a big-name player after the departure of Ronaldo but I was against it if it was for the sake of spending the 80m we got from Madrid. The gaffer has said that we'll not waste the money and I'm fully behind him--wait till the prices are reasonable and then get more bargains. We've hardly touched that money and I hope that some can even finance our debt.

Lastly but not least, Tevez is a Bitter! He looks bitter alright!

Friday, 10 July 2009

GOING INTO THE WEEKEND...




We're heading into our final boring weekend as far as 'no summer football' is concerned but there are bits of news that need to be touched on.

Firstly, Sky released the final kick-off times for clubs till November and not surprisingly, United have no 3 o'clock kick-offs on Saturdays. There is something about watching United that gets Sky so excited....anyway we have most of our games late on Saturday or early on Sunday! They have denied us Saturday early kick-offs, but you can be sure that when the Champions League gets us tired, we shall have them! So much for fairness!
The big news though is that we'll start, like last season, on a Sunday!

Benzema tells the press and United what they already know..he snubbed us. If I were him, I'd tread softly!
The players returned for pre-season training this week and it was nice to see some of the lads back in business. Owen was in the mix too!
As far as transfers are concerned, Huntelaar, Eto'o, Ibrahinovic are all linked to United while another paper claims Berbatov will make way for Aguero! Quite simply, Not gonna happen!

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK...

Apparently, United have signed 20 year old winger Gabriel Obertan from Bordeaux. Not much is known about him so he is one of those players we shall have to wait and see what he's made of.
This policy of bringing in young players at United keeps me hoping that Fergie still has a fairly long future at United. I doubt he's building anything for somebody else.

The press claims that United are in the hunt for Huntelaar, I'm not so sure he's the player we'll need after signing Owen.
It's indeed a slow week as far as transfers are concerned. Watch out for Douglas Costa and another surprise form the Gaffer.

Oh and by the way CR9 was unveiled at Real on Monday.

Friday, 3 July 2009

NOW HOW ABOUT THAT! OWEN IS A UNITED PLAYER!


Just so you get the picture here. don't be surprised when one day Wes Brown, in his last moments before retiring signs for Liverpool, and you heard it here first!

So Fergie's second signing is the shock transfer of the summer--well, I must say I was more shocked when Ronaldo joined Real, even though it was a public secret that he would eventually.
Anyhow, Ive already explained my feelings on this transfer in an earlier article so I won't dwell much on it, I'm just wondering how he passed the medical, I mean with such an injury record, you think that the vigorous United medical would keep him out, but it seems the manager badly wanted him anyway..and what Sir Alex feels is good for United, then it is good for United!
If this gamble pays off for United, then I'll worry more about the future of the club when Fergie calls it a day! I mean which other Manchester United manager would have the ** to sign a former Liverpool star, and a Newcastle United reject--no A CHAMPIONSHIP CLUB'S REJECT! Only Sir Alex can do that! ONLY HIM!

AM I DREAMING OR IS THIS LAD ABOUT TO SHARE A DRESSING ROOM WITH NEVILLE!


As much as I know I'm conscious while blogging this, I'd rather hope that this one of those dreams where I get to sleep walk and actually do some 'real' stuff, like blogging!

Regular readers of this blog know that I'm not the kind who will comment about every rumour in the transfer market. In fact I usually get going when United players to be are having their medicals.
I was ready to sleep over the whole Michael Owen story(just like I did to the one of Torres earlier) when I turned on Sky Sports News and red the breaking news---MICHAEL OWEN AT MANCHESTER UTD'S TRAINING GROUND!

I mean WTF?!*#?

Scott http://www.blogger.com/www.THEREPUBLIKOFMANCUNIA.COM explains in detail 29 year old's history and why he's one of those players United fans ought to hate. One goal he celebrated after scoring against us for Liverpool still irks me and here we are about to witness the lad hugging sworn enemy of to the Dippers Captain Gary Neville! Will he be happy to have vermin in our squad?

From another point of view, Sir Alex could be putting himself in a win-win situation. I mean Owen is free, it's a pay as you play contract and it's only 50k, which is by no means close to our top earners. It's only for a year too. I mean, aside the intense rivarly we fans create that extends to players, Fergie has nothing to lose. Fergie cannot let whatever history Owen has against United get in the way of his plans to buy players that can collectively help United hold on to at least their league title. If Sir Matt, the Godfather of Manchester United, once coached the Bitters, if Law once scored a painful goal for City against us and yet he's a United legend, then why not Owen at United? Besides, considering how the Liverpool fans are taking this, I think I'm feeling quite better. They seem to be hurt deeply! And these are the same fans that were excited at the prospect of Tevez playing for them next year!

I still hope I'm dreaming though!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

VALENCIA ARRIVES, RONALDO DEAL DONE!




So whilst one player revels at the fact that he will be playing at the biggest club in the world, another leaves in hope of the same. Such is the irony in football.
In the past 36 hours or so, United have announced the signing of Antonio Valencia on a 4 year deal for an undisclosed fee. He's the first of 2 or three signings that the club hopes to make during the summer and I think he's a good buy. Forget all the comments from those thinking he'll replace Ronaldo because he won't but I think he'll suit the 4-4-2 formation that Fergie is most likely to use next season. You see to replace Ronaldo, the lad would have to be given all the freedom that Ronaldo was given. I mean Ron started games on the right, then switched left and usually ended in the middle. Valencia is essentially a right winger (though I've seen him play in the middle as well) so his job is cut out. He's one of those players you can accuse of being out of position but you cannot accuse Ronaldo for that unless you find him defending--and yet we also wanted him to help out defensively.
Anyhow, I think this buy is more of a liberation top Wayne Rooney. I mean he's the one who has been pleading for his central role once more and so this signing means that he will no longer be needed on the wings. We've now got Nani, Park and Valencia who can do the jobs on the wings. Even Fletcher and Hargreaves know a thing or two about wing-play. The transfer window has officially opened for Manchester United!