Fergie does it again!!

Sid Monday, December 27, 2010

By the end of last season most people had written off Anderson. He was struggling to perform well on a consistent basis and then in January of this year he defied Sir Alex by flying back home to Brazil without permission from the club, after which he suffered a serious injury when he ruptured a cruciate ligament in his left knee, ruling him out for the rest of the season, and then this summer he was involved in a car crash in Portugal. Anderson’s woes seemed to never end!

The Red Report: Rio's importance, Obertan's future and the Champions League

Sid Sunday, December 12, 2010

Welcome to the ninth issue of The Red Report, the round table discussion of all things Manchester United by your favourite United blogs: The Busby Way, Stretford-End, Bangalore To Old Trafford, ManUtd24, United Youth, and Red Force Rising. This week we discuss Twitter's favourite English footballer, Rio Ferdinand; consider how Gabriel Obertan is progressing and we reflect on Champions League qualification.

The Curious Case Of The Owens

Sid Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sid's Note: I'm always ready to help any aspiring bloggers by publishing their
articles on the blog, and this article is by a new blogger Abhinav CJ who 
has his own blog. Abhinav takes a look at the two Owens at United and their
future at the club.

Recently, I talked to some of my fellow Red Devils on Twitter
regarding the futures of two of my favorite United players - Owen
Hargreaves & Michael Owen. In this feature, we give a glance towards
these two players whose careers at Manchester United are hanging by a
thread at the moment. Especially since their contracts end in the summer of
2011. Both of them are invaluable to any team when 100% fit, but
their once-fledging careers have been constantly hampered by
career-threatening injuries.

Stick with Jonny

Sid Monday, December 6, 2010

Jonny Evans ended last season being hailed the ‘Future of Manchester United’, he was one of the reasons we managed to finish the season only one point behind Chelsea. With Rio being absent for the majority of the season, Jonny and Vidic had formed a formidable pair at the back, making the loss of Rio not really a big problem. But then who would have thought that 4 months into the new season that people would be asking for Jonny to be sold, and questioning his ability too!

The Red Report: Premier league new boys, Jonny Evans and FIFA = Corrupt?

Sid Sunday, December 5, 2010

 Welcome to the eighth issue of The Red Report, the round table discussion of all things Manchester United by your favourite United blogs: The Busby Way, Stretford-End, Bangalore To Old Trafford, ManUtd24, and Red Force Rising. This week we welcome United Youth to the Red Report team as we take a look first at new Premier League teams, then Jonny Evans and we finish by discussing the World Cup bid results.

A Silver lining to the defeat

Sid Friday, December 3, 2010

Tuesday saw the end of our 29 game unbeaten run with a very humbling 4-0 defeat at the hands of relegation candidates West Ham. It was a performance to forget and except for a few brief periods in the game we never looked like we were going to get anything from the fixture. West Ham thoroughly deserved their win and unfortunately we weren’t able to match up with them!


The Red Report: Ando's future, Welbeck on a roll, Georgie Best and Chelsea

Sid Sunday, November 28, 2010

Welcome to the seventh issue of The Red Report, the round table discussion of all things Manchester United by your favourite United blogs: The Busby Way, Stretford-End, Bangalore To Old Trafford, ManUtd24, and Red Force Rising. This week we look focus on three players - one currently playing for the club; one out on loan; and one true Red legend. After three defeats in four games we also assess what's going on at our rivals, Chelsea.

The Red Report: Lindegaard, PIK, Kiko and Country or Club?

Sid Wednesday, November 24, 2010

 Welcome to the sixth issue of The Red Report, the round table discussion of all things Manchester United by your favourite United blogs: The Busby Way, Stretford-End, Bangalore To Old Trafford, ManUtd24, and Red Force Rising. Unfortunately this week The Busby Way have had some technical issues. If we are able to fix them we will include answers from The Busby Way as a later amendment. This week we discuss a potential new player; take on the contentious topic of PIK and debt; consider Kiko's progress; and we try to settle the club vs. country conundrum.

Rise of Rafa

Sid Sunday, November 21, 2010
A distraught Rafael after getting sent off against Bayern

Since his arrival, Rafael was always going to inherit the right back position, but the big question was when would he be ready to play regularly in the position?

Preview: Manchester United v Wigan Athletic

Rob Bromilow Thursday, November 18, 2010

Manchester Utd v Wigan
Old Trafford
Saturday 20th November - 3pm Kick Off


The Red Report: The Manchester Derby, Our baby faced assassin, Carrick's return to form and Andy Carroll

Sid Sunday, November 14, 2010

Welcome to the fifth issue of The Red Report, the round table discussion of all things Manchester United by your favourite United blogs: The Busby Way, Stretford-End, Bangalore To Old Trafford, ManUtd24, and Red Force Rising. This week we look back at the Derby against Manchester City and explain what it means to us; discuss Ole's departure; praise Michael Carrick; and run the rule over free-scoring Andy Carroll.

A Day to forget!!

Sid Saturday, November 13, 2010

The only way to describe today’s performance against Villa is Horrendous!! We were simply not in the game for almost 80 minutes. We were outplayed for most of the game, especially for most of the second half, and we came away from Villa Park with a lucky point and Villa dropped two points!

A Blue moon that failed to rise!!

Sid Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rafael showing he's no pushover!

So much was promised from the Manchester derby and it delivered so little! IT was supposed to be the game where city showed us why we should fear them!! but the 0-0 stalemate was such a let down as city never really looked like they even wanted to play proper football. Many city fan's went around predicting huge victories for their team and how they would  roll united over, etc. but the performance that their team put up would have left most of them embarrassed.

Preview: Manchester City v Manchester United

Rob Bromilow Tuesday, November 9, 2010

After the weekend's last minute victory for Manchester United, we head into the Manchester derby in confident mood if not a full compliment of players. A virus has swept through the training ground since the club's trip to Turkey and the likes of Anderson, Carrick, Berbatov and Evra have all been struck with the illness. Nani could return to the team, but he won't be fully fit, Giggs is ruled out although he has been training for the last 10 days.

Young Devils on the brink! Part 1


Macheda's brilliant goal on debut against Aston Villa

The academy at Manchester United has over the years produced several talented footballers, some of whom have made a career for themselves at the club or at other clubs around the world.

The likes of Scholes, Giggs, Fletcher, Beckham, Gary Neville, etc all emerged from our famed academy and went on become huge stars at Old Trafford. Similarly Gerard Pique, Giuseppe Rossi, Jonathan Spector, Phil Neville, Phil Bardsley, etc. have gone on to establish themselves at other clubs.

The Red Report: Van der Sar, Owen's future, Transfer dealings & Filipo Inzaghi

Sid Sunday, November 7, 2010

Welcome to the fourth issue of The Red Report, the round table discussion of all things Manchester United by your favourite United blogs: The Busby Way, Stretford End, Bangalore To Old Trafford, ManUtd 24 and Red Force Rising. This week hasn’t been any less hectic in terms of news at the biggest club in the world with the Wayne Rooney saga still lingering in people’s minds and the derby just around the corner, the club is in a very fine balance and some of the topics we discuss today show this.

Match Preview: Manchester United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Sid Friday, November 5, 2010

Sid's note: I'm delighted to welcome a new writer to the blog, and that too a very talented one at that, Rob Bromilow. This is his first of many more contributions to the blog.

Competition: Barclays Premier League
Date: Saturday, 6 November 2010
Venue: Old Trafford
Kick Off: 3pm

Our Bionic Dutchman

Van der Sar ; The Flying Dutchman

He might be 40, but he’s still going as strong as ever. Edwin Van Der Sar is easily among the best GK’s ever to put on the United jersey, The veteran Dutchman has been ever present at the back ever since we signed him from Fulham back in 2005.

The man we needed Back!

Siddarth Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The last 12-15 months haven’t been the best time for Rio in terms of injuries. First, he spent most of last season troubled with a niggling back injury that refused to go away, finally when he did recover in time to participate in the World cup, he ended up damaging his knee during training with England in their pre-World cup camp, after Emile Heskey fell on his knee!

Agents: Their role, and what they bring to the table

Siddarth Monday, November 1, 2010

Rooney and his agent Paul Stretford

Sid's note: The following article is a contribution from my good friend Chris, and hopefully this will be the first of several more from a writer who's a devout follower of almost all major football leagues in Europe. Below, Chris takes a look at Agents and their role in arm twisting clubs to get what their clients, the player wants.

Football has had agents for decades, they are hired primarily to ensure that their clients get what they would ideally want, but the question is ‘are they needed, and are they damaging the modern game?’


The Red Report: Chicharito, Smalling vs Evans, maRavellous Morrison and more

Siddarth Sunday, October 31, 2010

Welcome to the third issue of The Red Report, the round table discussion of all things Manchester United by your favourite United blogs: The Busby Way, Stretford-End, Bangalore To Old Trafford, ManUtd24, and Red Force Rising.

After a manic second week dominated by Rooney, things have settled down at Old Trafford and the attention has shifted on to one of our other strikers, Chicharito. Read on for some interesting thoughts on our rivals, Arsenal and come to your own conclusions about why Wenger is now taking the Carling Cup more seriously.


BTOT Scout: Steven Defour

Siddarth Friday, October 29, 2010

Welcome to the first edition of the BTOT Scout, today we take a look at Belgian playmaker and Standard Liege captain Steven Defour.


A little pea Galvanizes the Stuttering Giant

Siddarth Wednesday, October 27, 2010

No one could have predicted the impact Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez would have on the united team even a couple of months ago! He’s risen from the title of our most exciting youngster to almost everybody’s favorite united player. Hernandez aka “Little Pea” has captured the imagination of everyone at Old Trafford over the past few weeks, and probably spurred a stuttering United team back to life!


Match Preview: Manchester United vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Siddarth Monday, October 25, 2010
Competition: Carling Cup
Date: 26th October 2010
Kick Off: 20:00
Venue: Old Trafford

The Carling Cup has turned into my favorite competition of the season, the chance to watch future Red Devils flaunt their skills and ability, giving us a taste of what we could see in the future at Old Trafford, is just an attractive prospect!

This Wednesday see’s us face off against Wolves at Old Trafford, a tough opposition, who must not be taken lightly, but given that their main objective is survival in the premiership I can see them play a mainly second string team but that doesn’t mean they should be taken lightly by any means. Mick McCarthy has a decent squad at his disposal, and complacency on our part could lead to a bad end to the day.


The Red Report: Rooney's Antics, Youngsters for Carling Cup, Sinking Pompey & The Nickname we Hate


Welcome to the second issue of The Red Report, the round table discussion of all things Manchester United by your favourite United blogs:

The Busby Way

Stretford End

Bangalore To Old Trafford

ManUtd 24

Red Force Rising

It’s just the second week but you can expect fireworks in what has been a dramatic week at Old Trafford. With Wayne Rooney’s u-turn, games against Bursaspor and Stoke amongst other things, this issue promises to be good.


Wayne Rooney has split opinion amongst United fans with his antics this week, some are happy to have him whilst others are struggling to forgive the Scouser after what was perceived as an slight on our great club so we discussed what is the view on Rooney now?

Chudi (The Busby Way): Wayne Rooney has much to do to rebuild the rapport he once had with us the fans. His words this week were not only confusing but also very insulting as he gave the impression that nothing associated with Manchester United, as a club was good enough for him.

I like Rooney so I didn’t join in with others who insulted and cursed the Scouser, losing a player of his calibre would be a massive knock but as I said I am not happy with him and he needs to let his goals do the apologising!

Doron (Stretford End): Personally, I'm delighted Rooney's signed. We'd be stupid to not want him. However, he needs to look down a camera and apologise directly to the fans. The MUTV interview wasn't much of an apology. Then I'd expect him to work hard, train hard and earn a place in our time. His form's not been good enough to consider a start. Then if he has sense he'll sack Stretford, mind you he's just become our highest paid player ever so I doubt he's complaining. Importantly we must unite and back him; let's give him the chance to win us back. He probably doesn't deserve it but we're a good bunch of fans!

Sid (BTOT): I'm still shocked over the turn of events, Rooney signing a 5-year deal after making so much fuss and insulting the club! I don't think I can ever forgive him. But he's a great player for any team to have and to have him in full flow almost every time guarantees you a win. Hopefully last week’s chaos doesn't happen ever again.

TG (ManUtd24): I may get a bit of stick but I'm genuinely happy he's staying. He's shown his commitment to the club and to Fergie and that's what's important. He'll be forgiven over time; but no doubt, United fans will never forget this. Also, we know he feels quite passionately about trophies now, a reason why he wanted to leave in the first place. I hope United fans accept him as one of their own again - because, boy, is he special.

Alan (RedForceRising): Rooney himself has gone from hero to zero. I will appreciate his goals and efforts and I will give credit where it’s due, but I will never take him to heart like I had until Tuesday. He will also have to make it up to his team mates who will be disappointed AND apologize to the fans –sincerely - but still happy to have him at the club. All in all, player power reared its ugly head, Sir Alex pulled of stunning public relations coup, Rooney ruined his reputation further and insulted his team mates and Manchester United scored another victory over City.

The Rooney situation despite having being ‘solved’ will rumble on for ages and I’m pretty sure will remain a talking point for weeks to come.


This week we take on Wolves in the Carling Cup. The competition is usually seen as an opportunity for younger players or those on the fringes of the first team to give Sir Alex something to think about. Recently we have done pretty well in the competition and are the current holders so we discussed this upcoming tie:

Alan: Sir Alex should practice what he’s been preaching lately and give the younger players a chance. I would love to see a balanced mix of young and experienced players start this match, which should hopefully see Magnus Eikrem, as well as Bebe see some action.

Starting X1 4-5-1: Kuszczak, Brown, Smalling, Evans, Fabio, Obertan, Carrick, Anderson, Eikrem, Bebe, Macheda

Subs: Amos, Neville, O’Shea, Stewart, Gibson, Park, Owen (if fit)

TG: I'm pretty excited about this one. Carling Cup fixtures have become some sort of 'spin-off'; where teams tend not to take it all that seriously and fielding many second string players. We may witness the return of Owen Hargreaves, the inspiration behind Manchester United's double winning season of 2007/08. I'd also like to see Magnus Eikrem, Gabriel Obertan and, being greedy, Bebe feature in this game as this competition is obviously a fantastic platform for our fringe players. Having said that, I'd expect Wolves to give us a fight, despite their below par start to the season.

Sid: A game I'm really anxious to watch, mainly to see if Eikrem finally plays a 1st team game! I love the lad and I'm pretty sure he's going to be a special player. Also looking forward to Bebe and Fabio getting some more game time.

Maybe if we're lucky Ravel Morrison might make the bench and come on?

It's the chance to see youngsters make a mark that's making the Carling Cup such a big hit! Rumours about that Hargo might make his comeback in the game, so another reason to be excited about the fixture.

Wolves will be a difficult challenge, but they'll be concentrating on survival in the league so I see Mick McCarthy putting out a weaker team. We should be able to win the game.

Doron: I was gutted this was a home tie. Something about away games in the cups gives the games an edge. Seems a shame to play at Old Trafford with empty seats and no atmosphere.

In terms of the personnel finally Eikrem should grace our first team, maybe from the bench. Obertan, Bébé and Smalling should all start along with Amos who missed the Scunthorpe tie due to an arm injury. I guess if Hargreaves gets over his calf injury he may feature too. Long shots for a place on the bench - Will Keane, John Cofie and Ravel Morrison.

As per usual it'll be a good opportunity for 'squad' players to get minutes and hopefully a win and a nice away draw will follow.

Chudi: The Carling Cup should be the game in which we bleed in young talent, we have a plethora of it here at the club and a number of players I feel that are/will be good enough for the first team so they should be playing in these games more often.

For me Magnus Eikrem is the closest to crossing over and I will be disappointed if he doesn’t play a part this week.

Last season we saw Josh King make a promising cameo against Wolves but he didn’t immediately break into the first team and become a star so I’m under no illusion that anyone that gets a chance this week will but if these youngsters are to become the stars of tomorrow they need to be given the chance.

As you can see we all have high hopes, not only the game but also our future stars. Tuesday should be interesting!


As per usual we decided to look at a non-United topic with that being the situation at Pompey:

Chudi: Pompey are a decent well-supported club so everything they have been through is quite sad really. It appears they have been saved but for how long? We’ve heard it before and yet time and time again they find themselves in precarious positions.

Many people don’t seem to care because it’s not their club but put yourself in a Pompey fan’s shoes, imagine if it was United that was being threatened with administration? Mismanagement of clubs is a major problem and more should be done to prevent it. The check the FA does before someone is allowed to take over is a step in the right direction though.

Doron: Gutting stuff at Pompey. I’ve got Pompey supporters in my family and it's horrible to think that the team they support may just not exist. My own personal favourite memories are Peter Crouch enjoying the banter of circus music being sung in his direction every time he stood for a corner in front of the Stretford End; and their FA Cup final win against Cardiff. I was at Wembley that day with my Cardiff supporting dad and we both recollect how their fans didn't stop singing all game. A club with great traditions that must be saved.

Sid: Portsmouth have been literally a rags to riches story and now they seem to be going to non existence, its really sad if you consider that just a few seasons ago they had players like Sol Campbell, Niko Kranjcar, Peter Crouch, Defoe, etc. They have really good and loyal fans that do not deserve this, all because of dodgy owners! I hope they survive and are able to return to the Premier League one day!

TG: Oh, Pompey. I recall a game an FA Cup against Arsenal in which they were losing 6-0; yet their travelling fans were so full in voice that they put the home fans in shade. Someone also told me how, on their last visit to Old Trafford, their fans brought G & G scarves as a mutual protest. Those fans don't deserve this - they are one of the most passionate on these shores and I pray that they survive liquidation.

Alan: The FA needs to stop pretending they are mere spectators in this and realize that football clubs are not companies. Say what you will, but football clubs are woven into the social fabric of their communities and the fans are NOT just customers. They are the reason clubs exist and their presence at matches are not just to be entertained but to also support their team.

Football clubs should be protected from exploitive investors and their expenditure should be limited relative to their turnover. There would be some imbalances at first, but ultimately it would prevent clubs from taking on excessive debt they are unable to cope with.

As a team who have had issues with our owners I’m sure we can all sympathise with their plight, good news that they have apparently been rescued.


And finally we come to the public part. Last week we were asked to discuss the term ‘ManU’. Having seen it used on Twitter and the backlash that follows, this is definitely a sore point amongst our fans and rightly so:

Alan: I personally never use the term. I love the club enough to say Manchester United, United or Man United. Besides, ‘ManU’ sounds too much like ‘menu’ or ‘manure’, which you will have heard too often by moronic rival fans. However, I am not too offended when other fans use it.

There seems to be some disagreement on the internet about how insulted United fans are supposed to feel about the term since it is referenced in some insulting anti-United songs, but some older United supporters say it all the time. You can also hear several ex United players use the term in interviews or when they work as pundits on TV. So if it’s ok for them, I don’t see why it’s not ok for United fans to say and to be honest, how many fans were aware of its negative connotations before the Internet?

TG: It's only in the last few years that I've felt strongly about this subject. I won't deny that I've called our great club 'Man U' a few too many times, everyone has really, but I'm pretty sure that the majority are aware of the offence it may cause. Thanks chiefly to the power of the Internet Saying Man U is now a no-no nowadays. No worries, because 'Manchester United' will suffice.

Sid: Like TG, I have to admit that I have unfortunately let my tongue slip, though haven't used the term in quite a long time now. The more I learn about the abuse directed towards the legends who died in the Munich crash by opposition fans the more I hate the word. I think if you know what the term means and how it's been maligned, being a United fan, using it should make you shudder! But at the same time I think it's important to mention that using the term out of innocence isn't a crime really.

Doron: To be honest, saying Man Yoo has only become more of a taboo due to the Internet and people typing 'Man U'. It's lazy and whilst it doesn't bother me I understand why some people take offence.

Chudi: I got saying ‘ManU’ out of my system early. The moment I learned the negative connotations I dropped it out.

It’s a derogatory term, so as a United fan, why would you continue to use it? I don’t expect to hear many Chelsea fans refer to themselves as the renties or Liverpool fans refer to themselves as the dippers.

It really does make me cringe when I hear it and I try to explain to United fans why it is so negative, non United fans will say it regardless so they are a lost cause!


That concludes another Red Report for the week. Hopefully this edition keeps you entertained until next Monday. Were always open to hear from you so you can catch us on Twitter:

But don’t forget to check out our individual sites if you think we have missed something, as it is likely at least one of us will have covered it there:

Stoked to have finally won!!

Siddarth Sunday, October 24, 2010
No one would have believed me if I had told you 2 months ago that we’d have to wait till the 24th of October, in our 5th away game of the season, for the first away win! Unfortunately that’s how bad our start to the season has been, but the hard fought 2-1 win finally ended our torrid form away from home and hopefully it’ll be the beginning of a very long run of wins.

The man of the match has to be Chicharito, a great performance from the Mexican as lead the line along with Berbatov, looked composed in front of goal and scored two important goals. He showed great presence of mind to improvise with the header for the first goal; the header off the back of his head was unexpected and brilliant, it even caught Sorensen off guard. His second goal was more of him being in the right place at the right time, and scoring with an easy tap in following good work from Berbatov and Evra.


Match Preview: Stoke vs Manchester United

Siddarth Saturday, October 23, 2010
Date: 24 October 2010

Kick Off: 13:30 BST

Venue: Britannia Stadium

We have had quite an exciting week at Old Trafford, emotions ranging from anger to joy, frustration to relief, we’ve had it all. It was like an award winning play directed by Sir Alex that ended in an anti-climax that surprised most of us! Now with the Rooney saga put to bed finally, at least for now, it’s time to get our minds back to Football where it matters, on the Pitch!

Sunday’s fixture against Stoke will be difficult one; Stoke’s physicality as well as their stubborn & organized defense can be a tough test for the team. With our defensive problems finally solved we now seem to have forgotten how to score! It’s clear that the team is struggling to attain the balance, but we’re improving with every game so it’s only a matter of time before we get into to top gear and everything clicks.


Be gone with the Traitor!!

Siddarth Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Well by now the title for the most hated Manchester United player has surely got to go to Wayne Rooney, his betrayal hurts for several reasons, The news is a low blow to every Manchester United fan in the world, none of us could have ever dreamt it even in our worst nightmares that Wazza would become a turncoat and betray the millions of fans who adored and idolized him!

From Sir Alex’s press conference it’s clear that Wayne had decided to leave the club even before the season had begun! It’s infuriating that he then casually went on with life as if nothing had happened, he is shameless enough to ditch the club and the fans that stood by him and supported him when news broke that he had cheated on his wife with a prostitute. To make matters worse, he then tried to malign Sir Alex by claiming he was never injured and that Sir Alex was actually trying to chase him out of the club!


The Red Report: Rio Ferdinand & England, The Glazers and finally, the Scousers

Siddarth Sunday, October 17, 2010
Welcome to the inaugural ‘Red Report’, the weekly United round up from your favourite United sites.

The brainchild of ‘The Busby Way’, ‘Stretford End’, ‘Bangalore to Old Trafford’ and ManUnited24 we aim to give you a weekly dose of all your United needs.

As we are coming off an international break United news was initially slow but it didn’t mean United players were out of the press. At the start of the week Rio Ferdinand regained the England captaincy under much press scrutiny so we stopped to discuss what all the furore was!

Yolkie Stretford End:

I can’t see why it exists. He was captain, he wasn’t fit, but he’s fit now. Regardless of people’s opinion of Ferdinand’s fitness, you have to evaluate whether Gerrard has done a good enough job to keep it in his absence. My opinion? No, he hasn’t. The secondary issue is is it really good for team morale to change official captain twice in a matter of months? It’s a non-issue, as Rio should always have been captain, it shouldn’t have been open for debate.

Kyle Stretford End:

I don't see why this was even a debate. Rio got injured, Gerrard filled in as captain. This is normal in a captain's absence. What did Gerrard do in Rio's absence that warranted changing the captain? As long as Rio is fit and willing to play for England, the armband should be his. If anything, Gerrard being captain during what was arguably England's worst showing at a World Cup should've confirmed that Gerrard did not deserve to keep the armband.

Chudi The Busby Way:

He is the best man for the job, he has shown a proficiency in the role at club level where he was in charge during the double winning season so why all the commotion when the man that was duly chosen returned to the role?

Siddarth Bangalore To Old Trafford:

It's just the press finding another way to fill pages. Rio was supposed to be the captain for the World Cup but was ruled out, so when he does return to action it is natural that he should carry on as the Captain. Rio hasn't done anything to be stripped of captaincy and is an excellent choice to lead the team. Fabio wouldn't have chosen him initially if he didn't think so himself!

TG ManUtd24:

It's all a bit strange in the sense that Ferdinand has done nothing to warrant being 'stripped' of duty. But, I guess you can't blame the papers for making an issue of the story having seen Sir Alex do something similar already - having revealed that he handed Nemanja Vidic the armband for this season, he said his decision was purely because Vidic is "consistently available", unlike Rio who has obviously seen his past two campaigns ravaged by injury. However, it must be asked whether Gerrard deserves the captain's armband himself, and the answer is a simple no. In fifteen games as skipper, he has tasted defeat five times. Not happy reading for Gerrard, that.

All very strong points as I’m sure you will agree.


Last Friday I’m sure you are aware the club released financial figures detailing record profits but also record losses. We decided to discuss our own personal stances on the Glazers.


I remember being young at the time of the takeover and not fully understanding the implications of the whole thing but now with my own eyes I am seeing it.
A lot of people are in the boat of lets just support the club but if we turn a blind eye to the Glazers then it’s likely the situation will get worse.

I think we should carry on breathing down the back of their necks; we must remain diligent as in reality we are dealing with the future of our club. Many people are still in the frame of mind that we are Manchester United we are too big a club to go down the route of other clubs but when it come time to collect their money the people the Glazers have left us in debt to really won’t care!


I always thought a football club must be owned by someone who’s a fan of the club or at least knows the sport. I’m a supporter of the G&G movement and I think it’s time the Glazers leave. The Club can’t be really expected to spend millions to buy players, and then also pay $80 million yearly too.

No matter what David Gill says, short term or long term, it’s just sad to see United loaded with such huge debt!


Manchester United's financial situation looks to be perilous, yet you have to admire those who are trying their utmost in getting their voices heard. I'm fully behind the Green and Gold protests, as it has, without doubt most importantly, raised awareness for the cause. Others may see it as an army of deluded Norwich City supporters, but to us United fans, it is a symbol of hope. It's gained plenty of coverage, not only in national papers but on the web too, where potentially the support can grow in number. United fans are making their stand, making their voices must, must, must continue until we finally get our wish.


My views on the boycott are probably not the most popular. I despise the Glazers; I feel I need to make that absolutely clear. I want them out as much as everyone else, but I don't think boycotting is necessarily our best option.

Fans complain that we don't have the money to reinforce the squad, but at the same time they are starving the club's of funds. The Glazers and United are now intertwined from a financial standpoint, we need to accept that. Boycotting the Glazers financially means boycotting our club financially. The truth is the club needs money now more than ever.

I like the green and gold campaign as it is an excellent protest in terms of gaining awareness to the cause. It has generated headlines and coverage in the press, and it's an incredible sight to see the stands at Old Trafford decked in green and gold. I understand where people are coming from with the boycott, and if it were possible without hurting the club, I'd be 100% behind. Sadly, even if the boycott was successful in chasing the Glazers away, I can't help but think it would come at the cost of the club's success, which I don't think should be sacrificed.


I’ve been getting grief about my own opinion but maybe that was the way I put it across on Twitter.

I don’t like the Glazers, I thought they were a nightmare waiting to happen, I made the decision to boycott in 2007 and it hasn’t been great. I started a Green and Gold campaign for and wrote to Nike and the club asking them to help protect what little relationship exists with the club and the fans.

The most important thing is that we need to let United supporters worldwide know they have a voice. It’s brilliant that fans locally are making a stand but with the advent of the Internet, there’s actually a real possibility for some of the estimated 300m worldwide supporters to make their opinions heard.

Of course you have to account for the number of fair-weather fans who thought the Glazers were ok when they took over or just want to see big money signings but those proper supporters who want what’s best for the club, even if there is only a mere 10% of “hardcore support” worldwide, that amounts for 30million people, almost half the population of Britain in number!


Finally we looked at the situation over at Anfield with their issues with Gillette, Hicks and RBS. Liverpool despite being massive rivals of ours are a massive club and the fact that they too are/were suffering at the hands of foreign owners resonate with us as United fans.


Even as a United fan, you must feel sympathy for Liverpool fans. While it's admittedly enjoyable watching their plight on the field, I hope nothing as disastrous happens off it. Like Glazer, Hicks and Gillett are certainly to blame for their downfall, but they are due new owners so things could look up. In contrast, United's situation is far more complicated because of the huge figure that the club is valued at, meaning the Glazers will Liverpool are the lucky ones in that sense providing they overcome current obstacles. Taking that into account, good luck in the Europa League!


Where to begin on this one? Well, as much as I'd love to bask in Liverpool's downfall, it's serves as a reminder that our owners are horrible and we could face a similar fate sadly (though I do think we're on slightly more stable ground and using a better business strategy compared to the Anfield bunch). I don't think I can comment too much on RBS because I simply haven't read much about it over here in America. It's just not in the news.

To an extent, Liverpool deserves it. Hoping your team loses so that United doesn't win the title is sickening. And Stevie G's "assist" was shameless. You wanted to lose, and now you're doing exactly that. Have fun in Europa League, if you can even qualify for that!


There are obvious similarities to be drawn with Liverpool and ourselves. Both are proud football institutions and both have USA owners that aren’t welcome. However, speaking with obvious United tinted specs on, I think the two scenarios couldn’t be any more different.

Many United supporters opposed Glazer’s takeover because of the principle of it. Liverpool fans welcomed the takeover when it happened because they wanted a sugar daddy to build them a stadium and give them lots of new players. Their overachievement in 2009 meant supporters had a wrongly inflated opinion of their squads worth and ability.

For about a year, Hicks and Gillett have made clear they want to sell if and when they get the price they want; they have drastically lowered their asking price, and at the end of the day, they bought a business and want their money back. As much as I despise the Glazers, how do our emotions matter to people who own a business and want a certain amount of money for it? United were valued by Forbes as over a $1bn, the Glazers aren’t going to sell the club for less than that. Especially when the revenue they have helped to generate has been huge.

The Liverpool fans protest video was painful but as the sale of the club is inevitable, they can pretend they have succeeded. Past all of this, I must confess I’m envious of their position, they are due to have new owners one way or another. I still hope their on pitch turmoil continues though. I blogged in May, after their Chelsea game, that their wish for on-pitch failure might come back to haunt them. It is doing, and it’s a pleasure to watch.


The damage that the Hicks and Gillette regime has done at Anfield might be a bit too much for Liverpool to recover quickly. They have been abysmal lately, and the squad is probably the worst that Liverpool has had in decades. The American’s have done a quick demolition job of Liverpool and there are still reeling from the blow; hopefully they can recover quickly enough!

I'd hate to see Liverpool struggle in the premiership or even get relegated. Hopefully RBS can stop Hicks and Gillette from ensuring that he takes the club down with him! The next few weeks will be very interesting.


I don’t want to see Liverpool go down the drain, as deplorable as they are they are an institution and I respect them for obtaining that standard. That being said they were happy for the Yanks to come in so they must face the consequences. I won’t lie I am slightly jealous to see some kind of action taking place and I wish the gears started turning for us in the process of getting the Glazers out.


Best of the blogs:

*The Stretford End looked at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to pass on the job at Molde to remain at Old Trafford:

*ManUtd24 addressed the enigma that is Anderson after he was (mis)quote as saying he wanted a move away from the club:

*The Busby Way had a nostalgic look back at some of the players United missed out on over the years:

*Bangalore to Old Trafford worryingly questioned if we are a team in transition like in the middle of the last decade:


The Red Report is always open to suggestions so if you want to see what we think on a specific subject don’t hesitate to get at us:

But don’t forget to check out our individual sites if you think we have missed something, as it is likely at least one of us will have covered it there:


Was the performance against West Brom really bad??

Having finally calmed down after a good night’s sleep, I finally was able to give yesterday’s result against the Baggies a good think; surprisingly I wasn’t as upset as I was yesterday! Yes we did drop 2 points, but were we really that bad? Bad as we were against Sunderland or Bolton??

The game for me hinged on two key moments, one was the injury to Ryan Giggs, which led to Darron Gibson’s introduction, our worst player on the night. The second was the substitution of Carrick and Anderson, both of whom had been very good, especially Carrick; he was thriving as the Deep lying playmaker, controlling the midfield. Rooney and Scholesy’s introduction seemed inevitable, but removing Carrick turned the game to West Brom’s favor as they started to dominate in midfield almost immediately. Another concern was that we had no winger on the Bench, Gabriel Obertan seems to have unfortunately gotten on Sir Alex’s bad side, I can’t see any other reason why he wasn’t on the bench.


United are in transition, should we be worried?

Siddarth Sunday, October 10, 2010
Manchester United is clearly a team in transition, as one golden generation retires, a new one gets ready to take over, but should the fans be worried? As the team shifts from one period to another, will we be able cope?

These days most of us would associate the terms “transition” and “football” with Arsenal, who were supposed to be in transition over the last few seasons and still are. Though I don’t think they are a team in transistion, since Arsene Wenger basically rebuilt the team from scratch, I don’t think any player who was a regular during the early half of the decade is still playing for the gunners and most of the players are either new signings or from their academy.


Future of United's midfield?

Siddarth Thursday, October 7, 2010
Over the years several players have graduated from our famed academy, many of whom have gone on to establish themselves at various levels of professional football, several of them are playing regularly at top tier of various leagues.

We currently have several starlets emerging from the academy, who look very promising. One of them who has caught the eye off late is Norwegian, Magnus Eikrem, best described as a playmaker. The Norwegian youngster, who joined United in summer of 2006 from FK Molde after he was spotted at Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s soccer school, has been in scintillating form since the start of last season producing several impressive performances for the reserves.


Time for the Heir apparent to stake his claim!

Siddarth Monday, October 4, 2010
Last week was a mixed bag in terms of results and individual and team performances, while we pulled off a hard fought win in Spain, we were dominated by an excellent Sunderland team for most of the game, but one player stood out both at the Mestella and the Stadium of Light, surprising given that it was his first start in both competitions and his performances spoke for himself. The player is Rafael da Silva.

Rafael had to wait for more than a month before his first start against Scunthorpe, but he was played out of position at LB. His first start of the season at his natural position, Right back, was against Valencia at the imposing Mestella, and also the player he was to ensure remained quiet on the night was Juan Mata, who was in red hot form and so a tough test for the youngster.


Match Preview: Sunderland vs Manchester United

Siddarth Friday, October 1, 2010
Date: 2nd October 2010
Kick-Off: 15:00 BST
Venue: Stadium of Light

Sunderland have so many United connections to them, from ex-players playing for them to even their managers, they have Frazier Campbell, David Healy, Phil Bardsley and Kieran Richardson currently playing, also United starlet Danny Welbeck is currently on loan with the Balck Cats, United legend Roy Keane was their manager and current boss Steve Bruce also happens to a United legend.

Steve Bruce has faced Sir Alex 15 times in the past but never come away with a victory so far, and it might be his best chance to make a change to that. Sunderland might be positioned 11th on the league table but their position is deceptive to the good football they have played so far. They faced Manchester City, Wigan, Arsenal and Liverpool in their last 4 premiership fixtures and shockingly have been beaten in only one, against Wigan. They were successful in defeating Manchester City away from home and also came away from Anfield with a 2-2 draw, where they outplayed the Reds for most of the game. They actually even managed to out pass Arsenal in their draw against the Gunners.


Alexis Sanchez: The Wonder Boy

Siddarth Thursday, September 30, 2010
Special thanks to Srinath for the excellent information and description of Alexis Sanchez, based on which the Article was written.

He is known as “El Niño Maravilla” (The Wonder Boy) in his homeland, the English media call him “the next Ronaldo”, and he has done more than enough to justify that tag. The player I’m talking about is Chilean winger Alexis Sanchez.

Currently plying his trade in the Serie A with Udinese, Alexis has been consistently linked with a move to Manchester United over the last few years, and unlike most so called “Wonder Kids”, Sanchez has been improving constantly and more than justifying the hype surrounding him. Already the main man for the Chilean national team, the 22 year old is an exceptional player.

Sanchez started his career in Chile with local club Cobreloa, and was soon signed by Udinese for $3 million, after which he was signed on loan by Chilean team Colo Colo for the 2006-07 season, the following season he was signed by River Plate on loan, and he made quite a big impression during his time with the Argentine side, including in the final of the Copa Revancha where he dribbled past 5 Boca players and then got fouled in the penalty box, earning River a penalty. He rejoined Udinese in 2008, he joined them along with fellow Chileans Isla and Corvetto and since then hasn’t looked back, a very popular figure with the Udinese fans thanks to his great dribbling skills, and he’s already a mainstay for the Italians. He along with Quagliarella and Di Natale had formed a very dangerous trio for Udinese in attack.

Alexis made his debut for the Chilean national team aged 17 against New Zealand in a friendly; he was also part of the Chilean U-20 team that performed superbly in the 2007 FIFA U-20 championship, where they managed to reach the semis. Sanchez was pivotal in Chile’s qualification for the 2010 FIFA world cup, and was one of the star performers in the World Cup, his pace and skill made him a handful for all opponents. His performances over shadowed the likes of Rooney, Messi, Ronaldo, Eto’o, etc.

Sanchez can play on either wings and also as a striker, his main attributes would be his explosive pace, impeccable technique and skill. He is known for his dribbling and great ball control, his style of play is reminiscent of Cristiano Ronaldo, and hence the comparisons between the two. His crossing and the plethora of tricks that he has up his sleeve make him a very dangerous winger. He does have an eye for goal, but he’s isn’t the most clinical in front of goal, an area he needs to improve on. He may not be physically the strongest, and this is also another area he needs to work on if he wants to make his mark on Europe.

Only 22, he has time on his side and will surely improve even more, a move to a bigger club looks likely, it would make sense if Sanchez wants to really become one of the best in the world. Manchester United have been constantly linked with him, and there is no one better to learn from than Sir Alex; Ryan Giggs and Cristiano Ronaldo can testify to that!

Sanchez has so far fulfilled the initial promise that he had shown, but he must improve further if he ever wants to be compared to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, etc. If he wants to further his reputation then he must move on from Udinese to a bigger team, I would love to see him play at Manchester United, he would be a prized asset for any team in Europe and his stock is constantly rising.

If he continues to improve like he has, it won’t too far in the future when people will be calling other emerging talents “the next Alexis Sanchez’!

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Match preview: Valencia vs Manchester United

Siddarth Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Date: 29th September 2010
Time: 19:45 BST
Venue: Mestella

Manchester United travel to the Mestella to face La Liga leaders Valencia in a crucial Champions league encounter, this following United’s disappointing draw with Rangers in the 1st game of the campaign, United come into this game not in the best of form, with the defense struggling off late.

United had a unimpressive 2-2 draw against Bolton at the Reebok on Sunday, and the defense was again shown up, there were lapses in concentration on occasions and they were totally bullied in the air by Elmander and Kevin Davies. Even though we came back from behind two times, it is unfortunate to see us concede two goals against Bolton.

Last time in the opening week of the Champions League, Sir Alex made 10 changes to the team  for the game against Rangers, but they were unable to break down a resilient Rangers team who were bent upon getting a point from the fixture, Valencia will be tougher opposition for sure, even though they are missing David Villa and David Silva, who were sold in the Summer, they are unbeaten in the La Liga and lead the table with 13 points from 5 games so far, Juan Mata has been in scintillating form off late and he’s so far been more than an able replacement for Silva. He’s going to be the main man for Valencia.

United will be missing Wayne Rooney, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes through injury, they didn’t travel with the squad to Valencia. Michael Carrick makes a return from injury and even Bebe made the trip to Spain. With Rooney out for 3 weeks, the onus is now even more on Berbatov to continue his good form, Michael Owen who’s been in good from off late, with 3 goals in 2 appearances so far will also play a key role in the coming few weeks.

This will be a tough fixture for United, and the defense will be tested for sure by a very tough opposition, lapses in the defense will surely be punished! Hopefully Rio Ferdinand’s return should bolster the backline, so Sir Alex’s starting lineup should be interesting, with Owen in fine form, he might start alongside Berbatov in a 4-4-2, or Sir Alex may opt for a 4-5-1 with Berba as the lone striker and, Anderson-Gibson-Carrick/Fletcher in midfield.

It should be tight game, and a draw seems the most likely result, but if United do even perform at 90% of their best they can beat Valencia, the performance of the defenders will be key, they are sure to be under severe scrutiny!

Goalkeepers: Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Amos. Defenders: Smalling, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, O'Shea, Evans, Rafael, Brown. Midfielders: Anderson, Bebe, Nani, Carrick, Gibson, Fletcher, Park. Forwards: Hernandez, Berbatov, Macheda, Owen.

Possible starting XI:
Kuszczak; Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Nani, Anderson, Fletcher, Gibson, Park; Berbatov.

Predicted Score: 1-1

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Van Der Gea in Goal?

Siddarth Monday, September 27, 2010
Sir Alex’s scouting mission to watch Valencia wasn’t all about the Spanish outfit it seems, photographed with United’s goalkeeping coach Eric Steele, it is believed Fergie was also scouting Atletico Madrid’s wonder kid David De Gea, who at the tender age of 19 is already their no. 1 GK and keeping out another excellent goalkeeping prospect in Sergio Asenjo.

De Gea is the latest in a long list of exceptionally talented goalkeepers that Spain boast, including the likes of Pepe Reina, Victor Valdes, Sergio Asenjo, Gorka Iraizoz, Diego Lopez and of course the best of them all Iker Casillas. De Gea has had a meteoric rise from being Atletico’s no. 4 GK at the beginning of last season to the regular no. 1 by this season.


He's no walk in the Park!

Siddarth Sunday, September 26, 2010
He may not be the most highly rated player at Manchester United, but he’s a national icon back in South Korea, the most successful Asian footballer in England, and the first Asian to captain Manchester United, he’s also one of the most under rated players at the club.

Having joined United from PSV Eindhoven in 2005 in a 4 million deal; it was reportedly he had been scouted by United for over a year on a mind boggling 100 different occasions before Sir Alex finally signed the Korean. Park was a big success with the PSV fans who often sang about him from the stands yet his signing was considered to be a publicity deal to market United in Asia. But Park isn’t content with just being a passenger and since has more than proved his worth.


Ritchie De Laet signs for Sheffield

Siddarth Saturday, September 25, 2010
Sheffield United have signed Manchester United’s Ritchie De Laet on a 1 month loan to bolster their injury hit defense.

The Blades are missing defenders Rob Kozluk and Chris Morgan through injuries, so De Laet arrival should provide cover for the defense. His versatility is a boon as he can play anywhere in defense, with Right back being his best position.

Having lost Chris Morgan with a hamstring injury and Rob Kozluk to injuries already, Blades boss Gary Speed moved to cover the gap, confirming that Ritchie is in contention for a start this weekend’s trip to Leeds "We need versatile cover in case of further disruption and Ritchie will go straight into our squad at Leeds on Saturday.” he told “I have seen him play loads of times, he's a good, solid player and I'm very pleased to get him here."


Match Preview: Bolton vs Manchester United

Siddarth Friday, September 24, 2010
Date: 26th September 2010
Time: 12:00 BST; 5:30 IST
Venue: Reebok Stadium

Manchester United make the short trip to the Reebok this Weekend to face Bolton Wanderers as we try to close in on Chelsea, who play their first decent opposition of the season in Manchester City on Saturday. Currently placed 3rd on the table, we are 4 points adrift of Chelsea, but also unbeaten so far.

The team will be on a high after last week’s victory over the Scousers, the 3-2 score line does flatter to deceive as Liverpool barely created any chances and scored off a penalty and set piece. Berbatov, Nani and Scholesy are in excellent form, and we should hopefully build on last week’s performance and go on to get all 3 points against Bolton.


Frustration to Brilliance: Nani's story so far

When one mentions Nani now, any United fan will say “our best winger at the moment” and one word to describe his game would be “Brilliant”, rewind to January 2010, fans might have said “Nani has potential to be good, but not the right attitude”, and one word to describe his game would have been “Frustrating”.

The transistion that Nani has made has been just amazing, he went from being the bad boy of Manchester United, to simply World class in a short period of a few months, it begun after he was injured for about a month, during which rumors started spreading about him being offered dirt cheap to every club in the world!

He returned to action against Burnley on the 17th of January 2010, his first start since October 2009, he put in a good performance, he might not have set the game alight but he did show glimpses of his ability, including a sublime overhead kick, after he chested a cross. And this turned out to be just the start, next game was against Hull at Old Trafford, and here the new Nani slowly started emerging. With great Passing and excellent crosses, he was a huge threat throughout the game, the biggest noticeable improvement was his decision making.  He went on to provide 2 assists for Rooney and also created two more good chances that Park and Owen squandered.

One could see Nani’s confidence was building, but still doubts over his consistency lingered, we all had seen Nani perform well before, but could he continue to do so?

He produced another strong performance against Manchester City in the Carling Cup Semi’s as United upturned a 2-1 deficit to go on and win 4-3 on aggregate. The expectation was building up, Nani was on a roll, it seemed like he would explode any game, and that was exactly what happened, and he couldn’t have found a better stage to do so, At the Emirates, he produced possibly the best performance of his career so far. 32 minutes into the game, Nani created a moment of magic as he squeezed past two Arsenal players before feinting past another, and then chipping it over Almunia, only for Almunia to help it into the goal as he tried to push it over the bar. And then he provided the assist for Rooney’s goal as United hit Arsenal on the classic counter attack after defending a corner, Rooney passed to Nani and he ran almost the entire length of the pitch with the ball before passing back to Rooney, who slotted it past a helpless Almunia. Nani was dominant in that game as he kept charging at Arsenal defenders; He went on to be the Man of the Match in the 3-1 victory.

This man of the match performance set the tone for the rest of the Season, as he became one our best performers in the second half of the season. Since his comeback in Jan 2010, Nani started in 18 games and played in 2 more games as a substitute, during which he scored 5 goals and provided 6 assists.  This is was the first time since he had joined United that Nani has performed so well on a consistent basis.
What was different with Nani? Well for one he seemed a much more mature player, always smiling, he was clearly enjoying his football. In terms of his playing style, his crossing was better, and he seemed to have saved the party tricks for when they were actually needed, and most importantly Nani had finally realized there is nothing wrong with putting in an early cross, it wasn’t necessary that he try to dribble past his opponents every time he got a chance. This new Nani was clearly the player United had spent all that money to get from Sporting Lisbon; he was finally realizing his true potential.

Nani has continued his great form into this season and has been excellent so far, already having provided 3 assists in 4 starts and also scoring 1 goal. His contribution is going to be even more vital now following Valencia’s horrible Injury, as he’s our only good and established winger left, with Giggsy too old to play on the wings every week.

As we continue into the season, Nani continues to improve continually and hopefully we see this new avatar of Nani continue to maraud down the wings for a long time to come!

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Match Preview: Scunthorpe United vs Manchester United

Siddarth Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Competition: Carling Cup 3rd Round
Date: 22nd September 2010
Time: 19:45 BST or 01:30 IST
Venue: Glanford Park

The Carling Cup has taken a new dimension, it has been rejuvenated since many managers started using the tournament as a chance to blood youngsters into the competitive football, and Sir Alex isn't one to be left behind, as the youngsters went on to win the Carling Cup last season. The excitement at being able to watch the latest batch of young reds in a competitive game is just immense!

The 3rd round draw pitted us against Scunthorpe United at their home turf, Glanford Park. The championship team is a tough fixture given the game is away from home and it’ll be a great experience and a tough test for the youngsters when they come out to face the Irons on Wednesday.


Our New King?!

19th September 2010, it’s a date that most united fans and also quite a lot Liverpool fans won’t forget very soon, it was the day Berbatov produced his best performance till date in a Manchester United jersey. Berbatov had transcended to a surreal level before 72000 fans at Old Trafford in 90 minutes of football.

In my match preview I had predicted that Berbatov would be United’s key player, but even I didn’t imagine how true it would turn out to be, Berba couldn’t have picked a better fixture to score his first United hat trick, he was just dazzling.

Berba’s first goal was a header off a Giggs corner, surprisingly it was a free header for which he didn’t have to jump either, Fernando Torres’s marking was woeful as he seemed more interested in giving Berba a bear hug and he paid the price!


Player Ratings: Manchester United vs Liverpool

Siddarth Sunday, September 19, 2010
Score at Half Time: 1-0

Final Score:3-2

Manchester United: Dimitar Berbatov (42, 59, 84)
Liverpool: Steven Gerrard (64, 70)


Match Preview: Manchester United vs Liverpool: A Liverpool fan's match preview

Siddarth Saturday, September 18, 2010
This is the second part in our look ahead to the Manchester United vs Liverpool match.
Part 1 was all Manchester United, now it’s all about Liverpool.

Who better to do a preview on Liverpool than a Scouser, so I hunted out my good friend Srinath for his views on Liverpool post-Rafa, their transfer activity this summer and also his predictions on the game.


Match Preview: Manchester United vs Liverpool.

This is the first part of two part match preview.

The Biggest game of the year for me is this fixture, the animosity and rivalry with Liverpool is an inborn trait that every Manchester United fan must have! This is the game that fires me up every season, no better way to enjoy a Sunday than beating the Scousers at Old Trafford.

United’s record at home against Liverpool is pretty good. In the last 8 games against Liverpool here we have won 6 out of them and lost 2. The last time this fixture ended in a draw was way back in March 2000, this fixture has always produced results and also lots of goals. So it could turn out to be an exciting affair. Last time they came to Old Trafford, we came from behind to win 2-1, courtesy goals from Wayne Rooney and Ji-Sung Park.


Why Bebe?!?

Siddarth Friday, September 17, 2010
In a previous article on the blog, I had mentioned how much the Press loved Bebe, and well yesterday’s game against Aston Villa Reserves was a chance for them to continue to do so. And on cue they provided us with an encore!

Even though the reserves did lose that game 4-1, the performances of 3 players did stand out, namely, De Laet, Obertan and Bebe. Surprisingly, the papers decided to catch hold of only Bebe’s performance, and declare it a flop even though he was one of the better players on the day and incredulously decided to pin the blame for the loss on him.


A One Club Man and a Legend

Siddarth Thursday, September 16, 2010
He ticks all the boxes when it comes to being a perfect fan's player, most City and Liverpool fans hate his very breath, and he gladly reciprocates this love! One of the longest serving players at the club, he’s been playing for us since his debut in September 1992 against Torpedo Moscow.

Well if you haven’t guess yet, I’m talking about Gary Neville, probably one of a rare bunch of players, a ‘One Club Man’, he’s also one the most vociferous fans at the club, not one to shy away from displaying his affection for the Red of United.


Oliver Norwood joins Carlise

Carlisle have moved in to sign Oliver Norwood from Manchester United. He joins Carlisle United on a one month loan deal. They moved for him after it was revealed that their team captain Paul Thirlwell was out injured for four months.

Norwood, already an Northern Ireland International,has been labelled the 'the next Beckham', following his own admission that he would like to be like Beckahm and hoped to achieve what he did at United, and also given his exceptional talents with set pieces. He joins fellow United loanee James Chester at the club.

Oliver Norwood has been tipped to have a great future at Old Trafford by Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington, he expects big things from the lad. “The lad is a genius,” said Worthington. “He is going to be a very good player. What he can do with the ball from free-kicks is remarkable. You always know that eight or nine times out of 10, he is going to score when he places the ball for a free-kick.”

Speaking after completing the signing, United manager Greg Abbott said: "Olly is another good one with an excellent background, and his cap at international level shows how highly thought of he is.

"Technically he is excellent and this will give him a good opportunity to get in and around first team football."

Norwood could make his debut against Brighton as a straight replacement for Thirlwell this weekend.

Wings – Valencia = Problems!!

Siddarth Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tuesday couldn’t have ended on a sourer note for us United fans, first a disappointing performance from the team and then confirmation of what everyone feared, Valencia’s season was most likely over!!

He unfortunately caught his toe in the turf while trying to get past Kirk Broadfoot, and seemed to have dislocated his ankle in the process, the pain was immediately clear to see on his face! And this also sadly means that United will have to play for most of this season at least without Antonio, However this also offers Nani a chance to play as right winger regularly, but the worry begins when we start look for options down the left flank?

Giggsy for one can’t play there every game, especially as a winger, he might be able to put in a shift there once in a while but every week is too much to ask of him though. That leaves United with Park Ji-Sung, Gabriel Obertan and Bebe, there has been a lot of noise about getting Cleverley back from loan, but is Cleverley really best suited for the wings? And its very unlikely we'll recall him just after loaning him out 2 weeks ago.

From the players most likely to step in at the moment, we have

Park, He isn’t the best option if one needs to break down stubborn defenses or teams that are making sure they don’t lose the game at least. His work ethic and closing down make him an ideal player to play against the bigger teams in open, free flowing games. He has great movement and does chip in with important goals in the big games. But in difficult situations, he does lack the creativity and the ability to do produce a stunning moment of magic and break the deadlock.

Bebe, who is still a mystery to many of us, having watched him against England U-21’s and Macedonia U-21’s it was clear that he is very talented but needs to improve a lot of facets of his game before he can really make an impact. Given space to run at players he can wreak havoc, with his great pace and ball control, his crosses are pretty decent too, He has a good physical presence but doesn’t seem to be able to use it to his advantage, clearly showing when he was playing as the lone striker against England U-21’s. But with time and training under Fergie’s watchful eye, by next year I’m sure we’ll have an excellent player.
And finally Obertan, a player I really like, He was very erratic and inconsistent last season and also plagued with Injuries, but this year in the Pre-Season he was impressive and looked to be on the right track until he got injured, and has since been off the radar, he seems to have finally returned to training recently, and this might be his chance to stake a claim at a first team place.

Obertan has great potential, it is clear to see, with his brilliant ball control and the ease with which he gets past opposition players is a joy to watch. But he needs to work on his final ball and also his positional play, hopefully Obertan takes this chance and rises to the occasion, moments like the one against Wolfsburg are the ones worth waiting for! Hope it’s not a very long wait though!!

I hope Valencia recovers soon, and comes back as good he was now. Even though I know it’ll be very difficult to find someone good enough to step in for him immediately, I’m hoping that one these players can help ease the pain of losing Tony for the season.
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