Posts Tagged ‘alex ferguson’

Football

Should Man United fans be worried about RVP’s goal drought? 1 goal in 13 games…

By Stefano on April 12th, 2013

There is one certainty in football this season and that is that Robin Van Persie will score for Man United when they visit The Emirates on Sunday April 28th.

If his current form is any barometer too it will be the Dutchman’s second league goal in 15 games.

For after a blistering start to the season Van Persie has struggled at United. His overall play has been fine and in many ways he has been unlucky. But one goal in 13 games for the club tells its own story. Interestingly the man who (kind of) replaced him Olivier Giroud has scored seven goals in his last 13 games – and most Arsenal fans would argue that his first season for them has been at best mixed.

It is hard to work out if this mid-season dip is something that RVP suffered at Arsenal. This is largely because in all his years at the club the Gunners only really got two full seasons out of the player. Last year, for example, the longest he went without a goal was four games, in fact it was rarely more than two.

If RVP fails to score next match he will equal Torres’ longest run without a goal at Chelsea.

At the moment it arguably doesn’t matter a great deal. Van Persie’s goals from earlier in the season – and let’s not forget how prolific he was and how many games he won for the club – has propelled the team to the title.

But had it been a much closer race I wonder if Fergie, to say nothing of the United fans, been so forgiving?

There are also rumours of strikers heading to United from Falcao through to Lewandowski. But who are they going to replace – Rooney? Wellbeck?

I do wonder if RVP will be remembered by United fans as a player who excelled for half a season and then quietly slipped out of view.

So United fans – does RVP still have a big role to play at Old Trafford. Or are those injuries starting to catch up with him?



Football

Breaking: Ferguson says Rooney will stay at United

By Stefano on March 8th, 2013

No great surprise this – given that there are very few clubs who could afford him – but Sir Alex Ferguson has reiterated that Wayne Rooney will be an Man United player next season.

Fergie told the BBC

“He’ll be here next year.You can have my word on that.”

The Man United manager added

“There is no issue between myself and Wayne Rooney. To suggest we don’t talk is nonsense.”

Ferguson then explained that Rooney understood why he was left out of the side’s recent game with Real Madrid.

“He understood the reasons completely. Tactically we got it right. We don’t always but we did then. I left out Shinji Kagawa after he scored a hat-trick. I thought I would get more stick for that.”

This always seemed the most likely outcome after several days of wild press speculation. The sad truth for Rooney is that, unlike in 2010, there was no suitable move on the cards. City don’t want him and none of the other north west clubs could accommodate him.

Realistically only Chelsea and possibly PSG would be in the market for him.

Besides United need Rooney given RVP’s current goal drought.



Football

Chelsea fans – do you have any sympathy for United and Fergie?Thought not…

By Stefano on March 6th, 2013

Simon Poulter of What Would David Bowie Do says what a lot of non United fans have been thinking all day.

It would be dreadfully obvious for me to launch into badinage over Manchester United’s Champions League exit last night, but come on, there is surely nothing funnier than Sir Alex Ferguson in full-blown eruption, the hairdryer set to ‘Kill’.

I just couldn’t get enough of Sky Sports News repeatedly showing the clip of an apoplectic SAF leaping (well, sort of leaping) from the exotically furnished home team dugout to protest at Nani’s red card.

At first he seemed unable to decide in which direction he should explode. Like Dad’s Army’s Corporal Jones in full “Don’t panic!” fluster, Fergie appeared to go this way and that, before an unfortunate camera angle (the camera being positioned on the other side of the Old Trafford pitch) caught sight of Mike Phelan with the outstretched arms of his boss emerging from behind him.

When Congreve wrote the oft-misquoted “…nor hell a fury like a woman scorned…” he clearly had no idea of what an enraged 71-year-old Scotsman could be capable of in unleashing such a flamethrower of bile about a refereeing decision that he could be left “too distraught” to speak to the media afterwards. “It’s a distraught dressing room and a distraught manager. That’s why I am sitting here now,” explained Phelan in the post-match press conference, by way of some apology.

Well, we’ve all been there before, either through travesties of officiating calamity or literal applications of the law. Cast your mind back to the 2004-05 Champions League semi-final between Liverpool and Chelsea when the red team – managed by one Rafael Benitez – beat the blue team by a single goal. This was later described by the then-Chelsea boss, a certain Jose Mourinho, as a “ghost goal”, on account of the fact that Luis Garcia’s fourth minute strike didn’t actually cross the Chelsea goal line, and that William Gallas – in a career-rare example of commitment – cleared it off the line.

Cast your mind back, as well, to the 2008-2009 Champions League semi-final between, yes, Chelsea and Barcelona, during which the hapless referee Tom Henning Ovrebo managed to turn down four nailed-on penalty appeals by Chelsea in a game largely dominated by the gravitationally-challenged behaviour of Barca players, and capped by Didier Drogba’s industrial rant down the lens of a live television camera. Ovrebo had to be smuggled out of England. All round, not exactly football’s finest evening.

So, then, last night’s result couldn’t really have happened to a nicer team. The rationalist in me can see the point many neutrals made last night, that Manchester United were grandly injusticed. But I’ve seen United get away with too much over the years to care; Fergie’s hectoring of fourth officials, and his impetuous wristwatch-tapping when trying to shorten extra time, like an irascible pensioner complaining that his mobility bus is running late.

Man U have had plenty go their way, so an injustice, even one as perceptibly heinous as last night’s, only generates so much sympathy in me. Yes, from one angle Nani appeared to go in studs-up like Bruce Lee, and, yes, from another angle, he looked like he was trying to hook down the ball, and Alvaro Arbeloa merely clattered into him.

Even as a Chelsea fan, with previous with Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir (he sent off John Terry at the Nou Camp last year for that kneeing incident with Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez in the Champions League semi-final), one ultimately has to agree with the Nani decision. Cakir was correctly applying the letter of the law. Studs up – early bath. Even if it was clear, from the more advanced optics of TV, that Nani’s eyes remained trained throughout the incident on the ball.

But, Roy Keane – being somewhat disingenuous, perish the idea – had a point: “It’s dangerous play – it’s a red card. You have to be aware of other players on the pitch. Does [Nani] think he’s going to have 20 yards to himself?”. One wonders what Keane himself would have done…

The pain of accepting the red card decision being the right one is that with Nani walking on 56 minutes, Mourinho merely had to send in Modric and the odious Ronaldo to pull United asunder. Rarely has a red card inflicted such obvious pain on a side: Modric’s equaliser was top-drawer, the winner from Ronaldo – who wears so much hair product these days you expect to see dead seabirds appearing on beaches – proved fatal.

The irony of last night, then, is that the man walking away from Old Trafford quietly, and with the smug grin we have all seen before, was Jose Mourinho. With a barely concealed smile, Mourinho shed a few crocodile tears in his own post-match interview: “Independent of the decision, the best team lost,” he non-blubbed, adding: “We didn’t deserve to win but football is like this.”

Could you have blamed Mourinho for declaring the result sweet revenge for the Liverpool incident nine years ago? Course not.

Article originally published here.



Football

Man United boss Fergie meets Wilfried Zaha – £15 million deal imminent

By Stefano on January 21st, 2013

It seems as if Sir Alex Ferguson might have shunned the odd glass of Merlot – or maybe something warmer – with AVB last night as he had other business to attend to.

The Mirror is reporting that the United boss made a beeline for a London hotel to meet Crystal Palace’s highly rated tricky winger Wilfried Zaha.

The Mirror says

Manchester United have agreed a staggering £15 million deal to sign wonder kid Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace.

Boss Sir Alex Ferguson has been backed by his money men in his bid to land the England starlet and Palace have accepted a fee that guarantees them £10 million.

The extra £5 million will come in appearances and achievements and the whole total is more than the Eagles could refuse for their young attacker.

In the race to sign the winger United always seem to have the edge over their rivals Arsenal in spite of the fact that Zaha is a Gunners fan. The winger is apparently happy to move to Manchester and it shows how keen the United boss is to sign him.

Arsenal have spent big on young Championship talent in the past with the £15 million forked out for Alex Oxlade Chamberlain. However the club is eerily silent on Zaha, even though Wenger is known to be a huge fan.

If the deal goes through it does throw up the question of what will happen to Nani? The Portuguese winger was lined with moves to Arsenal and other clubs in December and in spite of the that it was reported that he was going nowhere he might now be deemed surplus to requirements at Old Trafford.

There’s also no word on whether Zaha would stay at Palace for the rest of the season or head straight away to Old Trafford.



Football

Arsenal and Man United to start talks with Wilfried Zaha this week

By Stefano on January 14th, 2013

The extended saga of the transfer of Wilfried Zaha from Crystal Palace to a Premiership club seems finally to be heading for a conclusion. According to Goal, both Man United and Arsenal will have talks with the player (Sky Sports News is also running the story) and that ‘Zaha’s destination is “50-50″ between United and Arsenal, with the final decision to rest with the player himself.’

That might prove to be good news for Arsenal, given that Zaha is a fan of the club. However Palace manager Ian Holloway is reputedly keen to keep Zaha on loan for the rest of the season as his side pushes for promotion to the Premiership. Alex Ferguson is said to be happy with this arrangement, but Arsene Wenger, aware of his the lack of depth in his squad, would want Zaha immediately.

Zaha’s decision might also come down to money. Again this favours United as Ferguson has consistently spent big on players that he deems to be essential. Meanwhile Wenger’s cut price offers have seen him lose players to other clubs in the recent past most notably Gary Cahill and Juan Mata who both ended up at Stamford Bridge rather than The Emirates.

The bidding is likely to start at around £10 million.



Football

Pepe Reina on his way to Man United? David Dea Gea heading for the exit door?

By Stefano on January 7th, 2013

Pepe Reina to Arsenal was a key story before the transfer window opened, but now it appears that the Liverpool FC Spanish keeper is interesting not just Arsene Wenger but Sir Alex Ferguson too.

According to The Mirror Fergie is ready to sell David De Gea and buy a new goalkeeper this month with Liverpool’s Pepe Reina a target.

Ferguson has apparently asked David Gill and the club’s American owners to provide funds for a new keeper, and the Scot is understood to be keen to find a goalkeeper who can play in the Champions League during the second half of the season.

Reina looks like he is surplus to requirements at Liverpool with the form of Brad Jones and the mooted move of Birmingham City’s Jack Butland.

Still, although De Gea hasn’t quite worked out in the Premiership – he seems very suspect on crosses – replacing the keeper who Ferguson spent big money on after so short a time seems bizarre.

If Butland does arrive Reina will be available and with Arsenal’s courtship of the Liverpool keeper seemingly gone cold, Fergie could easily tie up a deal. Butland is apparently interesting Arsene Wenger too.

Read our top transfer targets of the window here.



Football

Theo Walcott to sign new Arsenal contract. Wenger ends interest in Zaha, says Talksport

By Stefano on January 2nd, 2013

Talksport has an exclusive, which if proved true, could be one of the hottest transfer stories in January. They believe that Arsene Wenger is about to make his first signing of the window - Theo Walcott.

They say

“Reports have emerged from the Emirates that the former Southampton winger is ready to agree a new deal, having had various requirements met.”

Sky Sports is also reporting that Walcott is in news talks with the club today and that they expect a clear position on his future by the end of the day.

The down side for Arsenal fans is that Talksport also believes that Walcott signing will mean the Gunners cool their interest in Crystal Palace’s precocious star Wilfried Zaha.

The article also suggests that Arsenal remain in the market for other players with David Villa and Arda Turan on Arsene Wenger’s radar.

There have been positive noises coming out of The Emirates about Theo Walcott, so I don’t think many people will be too surprised if he re-signs. Arsenal are also not short of wide players, though they will lose one of them, Gervinho to the Africa Cup Of Nations, so cooling interest in Zaha isn’t too much of a shock. Not buying a winger thought would also rule out Turan. I do wonder if Arsenal’s main deal this winter will turn out to be Adrian Lopez who can play anywhere across the front three.

United are known to be very keen on Zaha, as are Spurs. Ferguson could even let him stay at palace on loan for the rest of the season. Zaha recently stated that he was ready to play Premiership football.

Here’s who else Arsene Wenger is considering signing this winter.



Football

Is Ronaldo really coming back to Man United? Can they afford him?

By Stefano on December 31st, 2012

The phoney war ends tomorrow and the 2013 transfer window finally opens. One story that is likely to rumble on throughout January though probably won’t reach any conclusion, revolves around the future of one Cristiano Ronaldo.

According to The Sun the Portuguese striker has been making noises recently that he is unhappy with his lot at Real Madrid. He has two years left on his contract and suggested that he would not be renewing it. The Sun also reported that he would consider a move back to United, but could they fund the mega bucks deal needed to sign him?

Today’s Sun thinks they could. It says…

If Ronaldo genuinely wants to leave, then Real’s asking price will tumble and players will come into the negotiations. The fee would be around £60m with David de Gea and possibly Nani joining Real.

So does he want to go? Who knows? After all this might just be a ploy to wrangle a few more million pounds a year to stay. If he does want to go then there are very few clubs in the world that could genuinely afford him. Front runners would be Paris St Germain, but Russian team Anzhi Makhachkala would also be in the frame and possibly a Chinese team or two.

And then there’s United. Fergie is apparently still close to the star and The Sun thinks that funded by shirt sales United could breaking the bank and make him an astronomic wage deal. The Sun thinks they could go as high as £300k a week. So would you break the bank to bring Ronaldo back?



Football

Robert Lewandowski on his way to Man United says German paper – but who is leaving?

By Stefano on December 27th, 2012

A pretty reliable source – German newspaper Bild – has claimed that Borussia Dortmund star Robert Lewandowski will join Manchester United this summer.

Polish striker Lewandowski had an impressive Euro 212 and has scored fourteen goals for Dortmund so far this season. Sir Alex Ferguson also sees a major advantage in linking Lewandowski with his former Dortmund colleague Shinji Kagawa.

Bild says that a €22million bid will be enough to land the 24-year-old, and he will pick up £100,000 a week at Old Trafford.

If true the big question then is who, if anyone, will be leaving Old Trafford in the summer? In Van Persie, Hernandez, Wellbeck and Rooney Ferguson already has the most potent striking force in the Premiership. Five strikers, three of which are on very sizable wages might be difficult to maintain from a financial point of view. Also would Rooney or Van Persie expect not to be an automatic starter. Rooney’s form has been inconsistent this season. He has been sporadically brilliant but then has disappeared in games too. Lewandowski’s arrival does raise the tantalising prospect that Fergie might consider cashing in on his English striker.

Images PA



Football

Spurs make the first move for Wilfried Zaha – but Arsene and Fergie are waiting in the wings

By Stefano on December 23rd, 2012

Last night Wilfried Zaha added a few more pounds to his price tag. In the game between Crystal Palace and Huddersfield he scored the kind of wonder goal (watch it here) that will have Premiership managers drooling.

It seems to have spurred at least one manager into action with The Daily Mirror reporting that AVB is about to hit Palace with £8 million bid, that’s a guaranteed sum up front of around £6m, plus extras and bonuses Although Palace boss Ian Holloway has continually stressed that Zaha is going nowhere in the window and has even sent hands off messages to Arsene Wenger, if the money gets too high the England starlet is likely be playing Premierhsip football in 2013.

Whether Fergie or Wenger, both long term admirers of Zaha, bid depends much on whether they keep or sell existing squad members. Fergie might need to offload Nani before launching his bid, while Wenger sees Zaha as the perfect replacement for Theo Walcott. Wenger has spent big on Championship players with big potential before. He paid £12million, plus another £3 million in add-ons, to secure the services of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain.

Zaha is reported to be an Arsenal fan, and has lived in London for most of his life, which ought to be music for Wenger’s ears. Then again plenty of Arsenal supporting kids have ended up at The Lane. This is going to be fascinating to watch.



Football

More good news for United – Vidic is back for the Sunderland game. But for how long?

By Stefano on December 12th, 2012

If United have really missed one player this season it has been their talismanic captain Nemanja Vidic. While things look good for Fergie and the boys at the moment with that six point gap opening up against City and other would be rivals like Arsenal and Chelsea in disarray, the Reds clearly have some defensive issues to address.

Vidic suffered a knee injury during a Champions League match with Galatasaray on 19 September. And since then many pundits have said that his absence has been one of the main reasons why United have let in so many goals (21 and counting) this far in the Premiership season.

However even before his injury Vidic played in all four Premiership games which United conceded five goals – including the 1-0 opening day defeat at Everton. So in many ways United’s relatively poor defensive record has been maintained all season.

“It would have been crazy to play him against City, but against Sunderland – definitely. In the last 18 months he has only had 10 games or something,” Alex Ferguson told The Mirror.

“He is a battler, a real competitor. That uncompromising way of his – he likes defending, that’s what it is. Absolutely, he gives us the options.”

Vidic’s return certainly gives Ferguson options. But how long will he play for? Vidic is 31 now and might just be heading towards the end of a glittering career. His lack of match practice might cause even more problems for United in the short term.

However, I doubt is Fergie is losing too much sleep over any defensive frailties for now. With RVP and Rooney on this sort of form you would always expect United to score at least one more than the opposition.  And United remain red hot favourites for the title.

Pic PA



Football

Now Fergie wants Zaha at United, and has a cunning plan to land him

By Stefano on December 9th, 2012

In case you hadn’t  noticed the transfer window is now just three weeks away and one player who is set to become one of the most in demand over that period is Wilfried Zaha.

The Palace winger has long been a target for Arsenal and now it appears other premiership clubs are keen to land him too. Step forward Sir Alex Ferguson who not only has a £10 million bid in the pipeline, according to the Mail, but also is willing to let Zaha stay at Palace for the rest of the season. United have already done a similar deal 2010 when they bought £8m defender Chris Smalling from Fulham but allowed the defender to stay at the club.

The deal could prove very attractive  to promotion chasing Palace whose boss, Ian Holloway  is adamant that he doesn’t want to let Zaha go in the transfer window.

It could be hugely bad news for Arsenal who appear to have earmarked Zaha as a replacement for Theo Walcott, who seems destined to be leaving the club in the window. Wenger clearly would want Zaha in Arsenal colours a lot sooner than August.



Entertainment, Heroes and Celebrities, News

Paul Smith to dress Manchester United Football Club

By admin on May 19th, 2008

paul smith football uniforms manchester united man u.jpgManchester United Football Club have enlisted Paul Smith, to design the team formal wear and accessories for the next three years. The deal follows a similar deal by Champions League opponent, Chelsea and Italian designer, Giorgio Armani.

“The outfits are outstanding. This is a Club with a rich heritage and one that has a clear sense of identity. Sir Paul has recognised that, while providing clothing that will be the envy of every other Club,” said club manager, Sir Alex Ferguson. Paul Smith will supply Manchester United playing staff and officials for all domestic matches, European Cup campaign and pre-season tours.

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