Posts Tagged ‘manchester united’

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

Robert Lewandowski is interesting Sir Alex Ferguson – summer move on the cards?

By Stefano on December 21st, 2012

Some interesting news this morning on Goal which is reporting that Sir Alex Ferguson, who has been reasonably quiet about Manchester United’s transfer plans of late, has lined up the highly regarded Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski for a summer move.

Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc recently admitted “the departure of Robert Lewandowski end of the season is a done deal.”

If true, the 24 year old Polish striker, who has already banged in 15 goals this season, will join an embarrassment of attacking riches at the club including Rooney, Hernandez, Wellbeck and one Robin Van Persie.

Apparently Lewandowski, who will cost between £12-14million, is keen to link up with former colleague Shinji Kagawa at Old Trafford.

Lewandowski’s arrival could however mean that Ferguson may cash in on one of his other striker. So United fans who would you be prepared to lose – Wellbeck or Hernandez?



Football

Champions League draw; Arsenal face Bayern Munich and Man United tackle Real Madrid

By Stefano on December 20th, 2012

So here it is. Arsenal have been drawn against Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the Champions League while Man United will face Real Madrid in the plum tie of the round.

The draw means that Ronaldo will be returning to the stadium that made him famous. In 2000 and 2003 the two sides played with Real winning both ties.

At least Arsene Wenger will be cheered that he has managed to avoid Barcelona who have put the Gunners out twice in the last three years.  The last time Arsenal played the Germans, Bayern put them out of the Champions League in 2005 winning 3-2 on aggregate. Bayern are currently an ominous nine points clear in the Bundesliga.

The first legs of the Champions League last-16 ties will played on 12-13 and 19-20 February and the second legs are on 5-6 and 12-13 March.

The full draw is

Galatasaray v Schalke

Celtic v Juventus

Arsenal v Bayern Munich

Shakhtar Donetsk v Borussia Dortmund

AC Milan v Barcelona

Real Madrid v Manchester United

Valencia v Paris St Germain

Porto v Malaga

 



Football

Question marks over Liverpool targets – Ince, Huntelaar and Sturridge

By Stefano on December 20th, 2012

It does seem as if things are never straightforward for Brendan Rodgers in his bid to strengthen the Liverpool squad, for three players who he has been targeting all now appear to have other options than joining the Reds.

One of the Red’s top striking targets Klass Jan Huntelaar, who was yesterday apparently in talks with Arsenal, now might be staying at Schalke after all. Two German papers DerWesten and kicker said the the striker, who has an incredible track record in the Bundesliga, would be staying with the club and that a new deal would be announced this week.

Meanwhile the journey to sign Liverpol’s other main striking target Daniel Sturridge appears to have hit a bit of a hurdle. The Daily Mail reports that there is a sticking point in the amount of money that the club would have to pay to the player’s agent. Liverpool spent £31.3million on agents fees since 2008 – only Chelsea (£31.8m) and Manchester City (£39.02m) have paid more in the same period

Finally Goal are suggesting that the done deal to sign Thomas Ince might not be so concrete after all and that Manchester United might try and scupper the deal with a bid of their own. The club needs a box to box midfielder to reppace the well, irreplaceable Paul Scholes.



Football

Secret talks? Is Fergie lining up Pep Guardiola as the next Man United manager?

By Stefano on December 13th, 2012

There’s an intriguing bit of journalism from the Daily Mirror this morning which seeks to add one and one and make seven.

According to the paper Pep Guardiola is now in the hot seat not for a job in London with Chelsea or even Arsenal, both of whom could be looking for managers come the summer, but United.

And how does the Mirror come to this conclusion?

Sir Alex Ferguson will spend next week in New York… raising the intriguing possibility of fresh talks with Pep Guardiola.

Manchester United boss Fergie will fly to the States after Saturday’s game against Sunderland, to conduct business in the Big Apple relating to his role as the club’s ambassador to the Americas.

Ferguson owns an apartment in the city – where his eldest son Mark lives with his young family – which makes him a neighbour of former Barcelona manager Guardiola, who is renting a property overlooking Central Park for a year.

So they will be in same city at the same time. Also one of Fergie’s sons is Guardiola’s neighbour. On that evidence it seems like a dead cert that the ex Barca man will be leading the Reds out next season then.

Seriously though the hot gossip in Spain is that Guardiola will end  up managing a Manchester and not a London club. The thoughtful, and rather stylish Spaniard, is unlikely to want the lack of job security offered by Chelsea and although he has good relations with Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal board, it is unlikely that he would take a job of a team that wasn’t in the Champions league – a very real prospect for Arsenal next season.

Fergie can’t go on forever and as attractive as Jose Mourinho might seem, both the Scot and and his board would probably favour a less controversial figure.

Btw don’t take The Mirror too seriously – it was predicting that Pep would be an Arsenal man yesterday.

Also check out why we think that Pep is the most stylish man in football.

 



Football

Arsenal to sign Nani. Walcott to United. Has Arsene Wenger completely lost the plot?

By Stefano on December 11th, 2012

Ok, so it is just weeks before the transfer window moves from being a squillion speculative articles to a precious few days when deals can be done, contracts signed and managers re-asessed. So we are still in silly season mode.

One story that Gunners fans probably hope is the product of a over active imagination is the mooted move of Manchester United’s out of favour winger Nani to Arsenal for what one paper says could be around £20 million and others are suggesting might be a straight swap for Theo Walcott. By the reaction of Arsenal blogs and forums this really would not go down well.

What Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal board need at the moment is to re-earn the trust of the Arsenal fans. Signing Nani would torpedo that potentially for good.

Ok, in the interest of balance let’s look at the positives. Nani is undoubtedly a talented player who had his moments at United. I remember him tearing Arsenal apart at a game at The Emirates a few seasons ago.  He has also had several years experience of playing in the Premiership – unlike a lot of Wenger’s mooted signings – so there would be no settling in time. He is also quite a marketable player. If he were a success expect to see lot of shirts with his name on around The Emirates. In these recessionary times we shouldn’t forget that Nani is lot cheaper to display on the back of your shirt than say, Oxlade Chamberlain!

Many Arsenal fans though have a real downer on the player believing that his inconsistency betrays a very real talent. From laziness through to a propensity to fall over at the slightest nudge he doesn’t seem in any way to be the answer to Arsenal’s rather pressing problems.

Even if he weren’t playing for United I guess most fans would be aghast at the signing. But taking a reject from one of the team’s biggest rivals makes you run the risk of being seen as a laughing stock.

Over the last three years Arsenal have sold their best players and replaced them with signings who are on balance 20% less talented. Carzola may be great but he is not Fabregas. Giroud is no Van Perise and Gervinho no Nasri. Nani is a downgrade on Walcott – 20% less talented, committed and useful.

To make things worse one possible option would have Walcott going the opposite way in a swap deal. Losing Walcott would be terrible. Losing him to a Premiership club would be disastrous. Losing him to the team that already has the player he teamed up so well with at the end of last season is unforgivable.

I am sure that most Arsenal fans are hoping that the Nani deal is little more than a bit of old school paper talk and that Wenger has Zaha already lined up. If Nani does end up at The Emirates though and isn’t amazing in his first four games, then Arsene Wenger might find that even fewer people, still subscribe to the Arsene Knows creed.

Btw here’s why tonight’s game against Bradford could be the Gunners biggest game of the year so far.

 



Football

Shock stats – If Robin Van Persie had stayed at Arsenal they’d be top and Man United would be 10th

By Stefano on December 3rd, 2012

So says The Daily Mail’s Martin Samuels.

So another difficult weekend for Arsenal in which they were outplayed by Swansea in the first half and then couldn’t find the net in the second only to succumb to two superb late Michu goals.

It was also business as usual – this season anyhow – for Manchester United in going a goal behind and then staging a great fight back to win three points against Reading.

It once again highlights the key differences between the two sides – Mr Robin Van Persie. Just as he scored for fun last season at the Emirates, his goals have propelled United to the top of the Premiership.

Now here’s an amazing statistic. Martin Samuel in the Mail has worked out that had Arsenal kept Robin Van Persie for another season and his goal rate stayed the same then the situation would be reversed. Arsenal would be top of the Premiership and Man United would have been mid-table stragglers.

Martin’s theory runs like this.

United have gone behind to the first goal of the game in 10 Premier League matches and in seven have come back to win. Of those seven, five have featured crucial goals from Van Persie, including the equaliser against Fulham, a hat-trick against Southampton and the winner against Liverpool.

Now consider Arsenal with Van Persie’s 10 league goals this season added to their total. Supplement a single goal from Van Persie to the draws with Sunderland, Stoke City, Manchester City, Fulham, Aston Villa and Everton; add an equaliser to the one-goal defeats by Chelsea, Norwich City and Manchester United. That is a difference of 15 points, or the current spread between Manchester United (top, 36 points) and Arsenal (10th, 21).

Ok, so it isn’t an exact science. For starters United would have another striker, and I don’t just mean Hernandez or Rooney – they would have made a big signing. Also Arsenal’s key problem at the moment appears not be actually getting the ball in the box to their strikers. They simply aren’t creating enough chances at the moment.

It does however underline the folly of Arsenal letting their talismanic captain and goal machine go to one of their biggest rivals. Ultimately Wenger could have kept Van Persie at Arsenal and seen him run out his contract. The Dutchman is professional enough (and savvy enough to know that a good season would keep his price tag high) to have continued his scoring  feats even though both sides knew he would be off at the end of the season. There is of course the argument that his presence in the dressing room would have been a major distraction, but then winning so few home games is a pretty serious distraction anyhow.

Ultimately Arsenal trousered £24 million for selling VP, money that is still sitting in their bank account. Failure to qualify for the Champions League will probably cost the side around that figure and at the moment, and unless they invest heavily in the winter, that’s still a big ask. Also Wenger has seven games to go before he can make any changes, on current form they could be closer to a relegation fight than the CL places.

The event that could change this season significantly would be a Van Persie injury, but there seems to be no sign of that occurring.

So is this another call that Arsene got wrong? Would a Van Persie injury scupper Man United’s season? What do you think?



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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