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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

Siddarth


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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!




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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:

http://twitter.com/BTOT_MUFC

http://twitter.com/stretford_end 

http://twitter.com/ManUtd24

http://twitter.com/TheBusbyWay

http://twitter.com/RedForceRising

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:
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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

Chudi:

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!

Sid:

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!

TG:

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 heard...it must, must, must continue until we finally get our wish.

Kyle:

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.

Yolkie:

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 http://Stretford-End.com/Stretford-End.com 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!

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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.

TG:

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!

Kyle:


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!

Yolkie:

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.

Sid:

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.

Chudi:

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.

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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:

http://bangaloretooldtrafford.blogspot.com/2010/10/united-are-in-transition-should-we-be.html

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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:

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Was the performance against West Brom really bad??

Siddarth
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 
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