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Saturday, October 30, 2010

United Determined To Maintain Their Excellent Record Over Spurs

After a midweek win by United's second-string against Wolves thanks to a last-minute strike by Javier Hernandez, Sir Alex's men get back to business in the league... Up against them will be Harry Redknapp's side Tottenham Hotspur, who amazingly pipped moneybags Man City to finish fourth last season & secure a Champions League berth...

Harry Redknapp's men from London are no mean side, having one of the finest & exquisitely assembled sides in England... No other club boasts of a midfield four comprising the likes of star winger Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Aaron Lennon & probably 'signing of the season' Rafael Van der Vaart... What they lack (a bit) in defence, they compensate with their options upfront... Although Spurs haven't won at Old Trafford since 1989, Sir Alex's Devils surely face an uphill task of warding off their threat...

United have their own problems with Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen, Owen Hargreaves & Ryan Giggs recuperating from their injuries... The attacking trio of Berbatov, Hernandez & Nani will be looked upon to provide the goals while Scholes, Fletcher & Anderson will battle it out in central midfield... The position of right-back will be a headache for the gaffer as he will have to tackle the brilliant Bale... Brown & Rafael should be top contenders for the spot ahead of O'shea... The duo of Vidic & Ferdinand, after a week's rest, need to be at their best against Crouch & Van der Vaart...

My Starting XI: Van der Sar, Brown/Rafael, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Fletcher, Scholes, Anderson, Nani, Berbatov, Hernandez

Red Devils Reign, United Again!!!

That's all Folks!

Yours,
CJ

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Carling Cup Match Preview: United vs. Wolves

Manchester United take on Wolves tonight at Old Trafford in their bid to secure a third successive League Cup title... United have been known to blood their young rising stars by giving them gametime through this competition & this season promises to be no different... Similar happens to be the case for the club's fringe players - to try & prove their contention for a berth in the regular starting XI...

However, United fans will be anxious to see if injury-plagued midfielder Owen Hargreaves finally makes his highly-anticipated comeback to the squad after missing out on almost two seasons... The English midfielder, whose United career is hanging by a thread at the moment, needs to make a point sooner so as to save his once-fledgling club career... There has been much speculation in the past weeks over Hargreaves's return after his surgeon Dr. Richard Steadman declared him fit to play... He possibly will start on the bench tonight & I hope he plays some part in tonight's game...

Talking of the young stars, reserves captain Magnus Eikrem may finally earn his first start for the club after consistently performing for the last two seasons... The Norwegian midfielder has been an impresive campaigner, especially during last season when Solskjaer's side won the Reserve Premier League... Also, 'Britain's most gifted teenager' Ravel Morrison may be present on the bench after being handed a first-team squad number yesterday...
                                                   Magnus Eikrem

England striker Michael Owen may return to the starting line-up after a ten day groin injury lay-off following the game against Sunderland... The striker has an impressive tally of 7 goals in 9 League Cup appearances & will look to make a statement for a regular spot in the United squad... Also playing upfront will be Italian wonder kid Kiko Macheda besides him...

Supposing Hargreaves is not starting tonight, Anderson will probably take his position in central midfield with Eikrem & Gibson vying for the other spot... Gabriel Obertan is most likely to start on the wings following impressive cameos in the past week, accompanied by Portuguese U-21 winger Bebe...

Speaking of the back four, Fabio Da Silva looks to start ahead of John O'shea at left-back & with Wes Brown seeking more games, will probably play as full-back on the right... In case Jonny Evans isn't fit, he may take up his duty making way for O'shea at right-back... Chris Smalling will start following a strong performance against Bursapor...

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy will possibly field a weaker side tonight since his priority will be to avoid the relegation zone in the league with games against City, United & Arsenal in the upcoming fortnight... As a result, this should be a good outing for United's youngsters aiming for a comfortable win..

My Starting XI: Kuszczak, Brown, Evans, Smalling, Fabio, Obertan, Anderson, Gibson/Eikrem, Bebe/Park, Macheda, Owen

Red Devils Reign, United Again!!!

That's all Folks!

Yours,
CJ

Monday, October 25, 2010

EPL Weekly Round-Up: United Finally Get A Win On The Road, City Gunned Down At Home While Chelsea Stay On Top

Things finally got on track for Manchester United in the league as they put up a strong performance to beat Stoke City 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium... This happened to be United's first away win this season in 9 league games... Summer signing Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez netted twice for the Red Devils as United finally overcame their away woes... Turkish international Tuncay Sanli threatened to split points when he cancelled out Hernandez's magnificent opener, but Hernandez proved to be the 'right man at the right place' as he tapped in Patrice Evra's poor shot into the goal four minutes from time... United face Wolves up next this Wednesday at Old Trafford in their defence of the League Cup...

In the biggest game this weekend, Arsenal beat 10-man Man City at Eastlands to move to 2nd spot in the league table, ahead of United & City on goal difference... Wenger's side took full advantage of Dedrick Boyata's sending-off as Samir Nasri, Alexander Song & substitute Nicklas Bendtner each netted for the Gunners...

In other games this weekend, Chelsea maintained their lead at the top with a rather unspectacular & dull display against Wolves, beating them 2-0 at Stamford Bridge... Also, Liverpool seemed to improve their record this season with a victory over Blackburn Rovers 2-1 at home...

Weekly Verdict:

Player Of The Week - Javier Hernandez

Team Of The Week - Arsenal

That's all Folks!

Yours,
CJ

Sunday, October 24, 2010

United Seek Their First Away League Win As They Gear Up To Face The Potters

 A reinvigorated United side - bolstered by talismanic striker Wayne Rooney's decision to stay at the club - take on Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium in what may be one of the toughest away fixtures in the league... Tony Pulis's side, which finished 12th last season, have built a reputation of being a strong opposition at home due to their physical style of play...

Though Rooney's out for 3 weeks with an ankle injury, United will feel relieved that this saga will cool down atleast for now which will be an added boost... Also joining Rooney on the injury list are Ryan Giggs (hamstring), Jonny Evans & Michael Owen (both groin) while Valencia's out till February... Hargreaves though claimed to be fit, remains doubtful even for the bench today...

Stoke City may be without striker Ricardo Fuller, who aggravated a shoulder injury at Bolton... Midfielder Dean Whitehead will serve his one-game ban after collecting his fifth booking of the season last weekend...

United will look to grab their first league win on the road after a sturdy midweek performance against Turkish champions Bursapor... Sir Alex will seek to field a strong side for this encounter - Ferdinand will return to the starting line-up after being rested for the Champions League game... Also returning to the line-up will be veteran Paul Scholes, who didn't play on Wednesday... If Fergie sticks to the 4-4-2, Berbatov may again pair up with Hernandez with Anderson/Carrick/Fletcher fighting for a spot in cental midfield... Obertan should get his first league start this season following his impressive 20-minute cameo against the Turks but it is likely that Fergie may opt for the more experienced Park... Also, Van der Sar will look to make amends for his schoolboy error last week with a stellar display...

My Starting XI: Van der Sar, Rafael, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Nani, Scholes, Fletcher/Anderson, Park/Obertan, Berbatov, Hernandez

Red Devils Reign, United Again!!!

That's all Folks!

Yours,
CJ

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wayne Rooney Does A U-Turn, Signs A New Five Year Deal With United


Shocked? Horrified? Pleasantly surprised? Or did we already know in the back of our minds that this will happen? Well, I remember reading some guy's tweet yesterday which said that he was confident that Rooney will resolve his differences with the club & sign a new agreement... At first, I felt he was being too optimistic & way cocksure, but as I read this piece of news on BBC, I must admit that I was quite relieved by Rooney's decision to stay at Old Trafford coz without a doubt, he's one of the world's best strikers & one of United's most important players... I'm actually feeling happy at the moment!


One may argue that I'm being too forgiving after all that's happened during the last 2-3 weeks... I myself admitted that his behaviour has been so disappointing that he must never don a United shirt again... But then, this move will surely benefit the club if Rooney plays like his former self, right?

Here's what Rooney said to the press after signing a new 180,000 pounds-a-week deal that will keep him at United till 2015:


"I'm sure the fans over the last week have felt let down by what they've read and seen. But my position was from concern over the future. The fans have been brilliant with me since I arrived and it's up to me through my performances to win them over again.
"I'm delighted to sign another deal at United. In the last couple of days, I've talked to the manager and the owners and they've convinced me this is where I belong. I said on Wednesday the manager's a genius and it's his belief and support that have convinced me to stay.
"I'm signing a new deal in the absolute belief that the management, coaching staff, board and owners are totally committed to making sure United maintains its proud winning history – which is the reason I joined the club in the first place."

So Rooney has apparently admitted that he did disappoint the fans, but he has vowed to win back the trust of the Old Trafford faithful... Then again, there's the possibility that he will be accused of being greedy coz he agreed to stay at the club only after becoming the highest paid player in the history of the club... But I'm sure that he will make a point soon with his performances on the field!

Sir Alex Ferguson sounded happy over the player's decision to resolve all contract disputes & commit his future to the club. Here's what the gaffer said:

"It's been a difficult week, but the intensity of the coverage is what we expect at Manchester United. I said to the boy that the door is always open and I'm delighted Wayne has agreed to stay.
"Sometimes, when you're in a club, it can be hard to realise just how big it is and it takes something like the events of the last few days to make you understand. I think Wayne now understands what a great club Manchester United is.
"I'm pleased he has accepted the challenge to guide the younger players and establish himself as one of United's great players. It shows character and belief in what we stand for.
"I'm sure everyone involved with the club will now get behind Wayne and show him the support he needs to produce the performances we know he is capable of."

I read sometime back on a fan blog that we need to show Wazza what he'll miss at United by getting behind him till the time he stays at Old Trafford... So on similar lines, I appeal to my fellow Red Devils to forgive him - if not immediately, then atleast as time passes by...

That's all Folks!

Yours,
CJ

Manchester United Release Statement Regarding Rooney's Future

United have released a press statement after manager Sir Alex Ferguson met club CEO David Gill to discuss the future of striker Wayne Rooney at the club... It runs as under:


"We are aware that there is intense
public and media interest on the
club at the moment, but there are no
developments of note to report
today.
"I can confirm a number of meetings
have taken place today, including
with the player's representative. The
outcome of those meetings will
become clear in the near future. In
the meantime, fans are asked to be
patient."

Good news for the tabloids, coz it gives them more to speculate until the club comes out with another press release!!!

That's all Folks!

Yours,
CJ

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rooney Releases Press Statement, Sir Alex Retorts Strongly

So Rooney's finally out with his reaction to Sir Alex's press conference on Tuesday... He's released a statement to the British press which goes as follows:


"I met with David Gill [United's chief executive] last week and he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad. I then told him that I would not be signing a new contract.
I was interested to hear what Sir Alex had to say yesterday and surprised by some of it. It is absolutely true, as he said, that my agent and I have had a number of meetings with the club about a new contract. During those meetings in August I asked for assurances about the continued ability of the club to attract the top players in the world.
I have never had anything but complete respect for MUFC. How could I not have done given its fantastic history and especially the last six years in which I have been lucky to play a part?
For me its all about winning trophies – as the club has always done under Sir Alex. Because of that I think the questions I was asking were justified.
Despite recent difficulties, I know I will always owe Sir Alex Ferguson a huge debt. He is a great manager and mentor who has helped and supported me from the day he signed me from Everton when I was only 18.
For Manchester United's sake I wish he could go on forever because he's a one‑off and a genius."

After reading this, I inferred that he's trying to strike a chord with the anti-Glazer protesters among the club's support by questioning the financial muscle of the Glazers... He says that he's got no assurances from David Gill about the club being able to attract stars to Old Trafford in the future... He cites that the club lacks ambition to win any major trophies & as a result, he wants to leave so as to win more trophies...

Now, it is true that United have been very frugal about their spending over the last 2 summers, but have we ever been like Man City - buying every other player on the planet? Paying them astronomical wages that amounts to almost 2/3rd of the club budget? As history points out, United have often tasted sour grapes with big names - most notably Juan Sebastian Veron bought for 29 million pounds... And United have never been a club spending on big names coz the club has an excellent academic structure which nurtures youth, which has been fruitful for the last 2 decades, right???

Rooney claims that he has immense respect for the club & the manager but his behaviour in the last few weeks has been just contadictory... And funny hearing Rooney talking about ambition when his own displays have been lacking any ambition this season... After all this, I am fully convinced that he must never play for the club again...


Sir Alex spoke to the press after United's Champions League group stage win over Bursapor... He reacted strongly to Wazza's statement, saying that this matter needs to be put to rest as soon as possible... On Wazza's stance citing ambition as his reason to leave, Sir Alex's response was just this - “Is it 30 trophies I’ve won, or what?” The gaffer said that he will meet CEO Gill today to talk about Rooney's future at the club & whether he's to be sold this January or not...

That's all Folks!

Yours,
CJ

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Rooney Saga Ahead Of Tonight's Champions League Game

Since the last few months or so, the British press has been constantly focusing on Wayne Rooney - be it the ankle injury he picked up in March against Bayern Munich, his poor display for England in the World Cup, his poor scoring streak that he hasn't scored for United in open play since March or more recently, his alleged affair with a prostitute... And yesterday, United fans received the biggest shock when manager Sir Alex Ferguson, at a press conference, admitted that Rooney wanted to leave United - just months after publicly saying he wanted to be at Old Trafford for life!!! With just 20 months left on his contract, he may leave as early as the January transfer window...

As I saw Sir Alex speak to the press, I could clearly see the honesty in what he was saying - glimpses of utter disappointment, sadness & maybe even silent anger... He said that the club had offered Rooney a new lucrative contract (believed to be 160,000 pounds a week) but Rooney had refused to sign it & clearly declared his intentions of exiting the club unless offered a contract of 200,000 pounds a week... However, Sir Alex has said that the door is open for Rooney to renegotiate a deal with the club...

Rumours were around for the last week or so about a fallout between the gaffer & Wazza since Wazza publicly contradicted Sir Alex's statement about him not being match fit... But we United fans always believed it would be a matter of time before Sir Alex resolved everything between them... Never anticipated this would go so far...

Imagining United without Roo would be really hard to imagine, coz I've watched him play for us since I started following Man United, plus his superb form last season makes it even more difficult to visualise the team without one of England's most naturally gifted footballers...

It's therefore essential for the club to start preparing for times ahead without him, and in case he remains firm on leaving, search for a long-term replacement... Real Madrid & Man City are the realistic options for him, since his current valuation of around 50 million pounds can be met only by these clubs...

Talking of tonight's game, United will be taking on Turkish side Bursapor at Old Trafford... Though Rooney won't be playing due to an ankle injury he picked up during training, we must look to grab maximum points to overcome the weekend blues against West Brom... If Fergie sticks to the 4-4-2, hope to see Hernandez starting upfront with Berbatov, Scholes & Fletcher back in central midfield, with Nani on the right... Hope the gaffer gives Obertan his first start this season on the left wing tonight ahead of Park... In all, a full strength side to play the Turks!

My Starting XI: Van der Sar, Rafael, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Nani, Scholes, Fletcher, Obertan, Hernandez, Berbatov

Red Devils Reign, United Again!!!

That's all Folks!

Yours,
CJ

Start Of Something New

Inspired by a very dear friend of mine, I've ventured into this entirely new world of blogging... I had been thinking about this for the past few days (or months!) I can say... Well I'd like to tell everyone out there what I'm gonna write about in my blog...
As the background of my blog suggests, I'm a hardcore fanatic of the BIGGEST football club in the world - yeah! you got it right - it's Manchester United!!! I'll be writing mostly about the club, the transfer rumours, the players, the young stars & European Football to say the least... However, that won't be all that I'm gonna write about! I'll try to write on other issues too apart from football, though the soul of this blog remains dedicated to my favourite club...
This is all I gotta say in my first blogpost... Hope the readers (if I manage to gather a few!) will surely express their opinions on what I write... And I openly invite suggestions from fellow bloggers about improving my blog, whether in terms of outlook or most importantly - content...

That's all Folks!

Yours,
CJ