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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rooney Ready for Another 10 Years

Manchester United and England striker, Wayne Rooney has revealed his desire to play on for another 10 years; a prospect that will no doubt cheer the United fateful but will send a chill through premier league defenders up and down the country.

Rooney, 26, has been terrorising defences since making his debut for Everton against Tottenham 10 years ago, and, despite the time that has passed; he says that he still feels fresh now, over 400 games later, something punters betting on the Champions League will be happy to hear .

“I'm still fairly young,” he said. “I feel young anyway.”

Despite being a star on the international stage, having won 76 caps for England since his debut in 2003, and being a star in European club football, it seems that Rooney is still more than happy to be plying his trade in the Premier League. “It's great to have played in the Premier League for 10 years” Rooney said. “It's an exciting league and I still feel exactly the same about my football as I did when I made my debut..... It does feel like a long time ago, though” he added.

When Rooney left Everton for Manchester United following the European Championships in 2004 it was clear that he was destined for big things but even could he not have expected the domestic and European success that he has had. Since his Old Trafford switch, Rooney has won the Premier League four times and the Champions league once and, it seems he is hungry for yet more success; “I just hope I can play for another 10 years and have as much enjoyment as I did in my first 10” Rooney said.

The current campaign has not got off to the best of starts, with the Red Devils going down 1-0 at Rooney’s old club Everton on Monday night. However, with Robin van Persie now on board, the duo have the potential to form a deadly strike partnership.

If he can continue to play at the same level for the next ten years then Wayne Rooney will go down as one of the greatest English footballers of all time. And if he sees out his career at Manchester United then Sir Alex Ferguson’s side can surely look forward to much more silverware in the coming seasons.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

United avoid Shield distraction

Manchester United fans should be rightly pleased that they took no part in the Community Shield last weekend, with Sir Alex Fergusson able to focus solely on the new season.

Although not participating in the Shield means United were unsuccessful in claiming either the FA Cup or Premier League title last term, their absence should prove productive in the opening stages of the new season.

For while Man City and Chelsea both proved their squads are somewhat under-strength, exposing weaknesses that can be capitalised upon by opponents early in the season, United remain an enigma going into a new campaign - something punters betting on the Champions League or Premier League have found frustrating.

However, for Sir Alex it is a blessing that he has had the opportunity to hold his cards close to his chest. The fitness of Jonny Evans and Nemanja Vidic won’t be strained for another week, and it gives new boys Nick Powell and Shinji Kagawa more time to settle down - see Eden Hazard’s performance on Sunday for an example of a player trying to do too much, too soon.

Last season United beat a City side buoyant off the back of their FA Cup win and hurting from seeing the Reds win a record 19th league title. City looked as much a mess as Chelsea did this time around, and were it not for a swerving Edin Dzeko shot that caught David de Gea off-guard on his debut United would have run out clear winners that day.

Granted, United used their Shield win as a springboard to five Premier League wins on the trot and 12 games without defeat, but this season is different in that Sir Alex has a settled squad focussed on the task in hand; Kagawa and Powell enter a team rather than a bunch of new faces.

The Premier League is our number one priority this season, and the sooner we get stuck into the action the better.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Fletcher Presence should Boost Scotland

The news that Scotland captain, Darren Fletcher, is to train with his national team-mates next week will be warmly received by Craig Levein’s squad, as they prepare for another World Cup qualifying campaign.

Fletcher will not play any part in Scotland’s friendly with Australia at Easter Road later this month, but his mere presence at the training ground will do wonders for the team.

The Manchester United star has not played competitive football for 10 months, after being diagnosed with a chronic bowel problem. He was greatly missed in the heart of United’s midfield, his absence prompting Paul Scholes out of retirement to fill the gap.

Although still a long way off full fitness, the Scot is back on the training ground and preparing for a comeback this autumn.

In continuing his captain duties for Scotland, the 28-year-old has demonstrated his desire to aid his country to World Cup qualification, and act as adviser for new players in the squad.

For Fletcher has no obligation to join the Scotland squad for a meaningless friendly. He is still unwell and he could have opted to stay at Carrington and continue his rehabilitation closer to home.

It is commendable that he has such a strong passion for his national side that, even though unable to play a part on the pitch, he is willing to take time out to join the squad and aid its development.

Watch out for Fletcher’s return, and see how Scotland reacts during their October qualifiers against Wales and Belgium.

The Scots have a solid base, with Levein as manager, and a long-term leader in Fletcher. We can only hope his fitness can regain its former high standard, and maybe the Scots can once more embark on a World Cup tour.

Follow the link for the latest Premier League news, including Harry Redknapp’s outlook for Sunday’s season prequel: City can pip Chelsea in close Community Shield.