Saturday, 25 July 2009
Thursday, 23 July 2009
I used to watch him as a kid with my mouth wide open, I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing from this guy. Even now, twelve years after he retired, a clip will come on TV, an advertisement might appear with him in it or I see a clip from his movie “Looking For Eric” and I can still feel the excitement in my stomach, the butterflies that used to fill me with anticipation, it’s all brought back by just hearing Cantona’s voice, just seeing him is enough for me to have a head full of memories of him playing for United. He had such a presence on the field and in so many of our hearts.
After a nomadic career in France involving six clubs in eight years,Eric Cantona made a shock move to England, ‘L’Enfant Terrible’ signed for Leeds United in 1992 – and helped the Yorkshire club to the title Fergie then announced he had signed Cantona for £1.2 million and I was dumbstruck, what a bargain, maybe the best bargain in the history of football.
In five seasons at Old Trafford, Cantona won four Premiership winners’ medals and the FA Cup twice, scoring the winner in the 1996 final against Liverpool. His only season with no medals was in 1994-95, during much of which he was suspended after his most infamous act – a karate kick at a Crystal Palace supporter who taunted him as he left the field after being sent off.
True to form, the eccentric Cantona told a press conference afterwards: ‘When the seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea’ After being persuaded to carry on playing by Fergie who flew over to Paris to see Cantona, he led United to yet another title in 1996-97 before retiring abruptly aged just 30. His final match for United was against West Ham on May 11, 1997.
He lived football as it is supposed to be lived. Like a game you have to play honestly. The first thing is to work hard, without losing the notion of pleasure. That is what he did. More players need to do the same. There is the ‘football’ Manchester United and the ‘merchandising’ Manchester United, these two worlds coexist, but for Cantona Manchester United is the club, it is football. A culture of the “beau jeu”, a philosophy that has been existing for years.
Manchester United always show us how to win with class, with fire in their bellies, with attacking, fast football that sweeps sides aside with ease. Eric Cantona revived all of these things in Manchester United, and then some. He was so convinced of his own abilities and talents that he would score an outrageously difficult goal, then just stand there hands on hips and wait for the crowd to explode in ecstasy at his brilliance.
Even the other players would run up to him and stop, waiting for him to allow them to mob him, but only after he had milked the applause from the supporters.Twelve years on they still sing his name loud and clear from the terraces! He was the catalyst that finally dragged United over the finishing line in first place after a long 26 year wait for the title. Down the years there have been some truly great United players…
…I could list 50 of them right here, right now. But for me the best of the best is Eric Cantona, ‘L’Enfant Terrible, Le Roi du Monde’.
Friday, 17 July 2009
United arrived in Kuala Lumpur this morning to news of the explosions in the Indonesian capital, one of which took place at the Ritz-Carlton, the hotel the Red Devils were to be staying at for four nights from tomorrow.
After seeking advice from various parties, including the Foreign Office, United confirmed they would not be flying to Jakarta tomorrow.
"Following the explosions in Jakarta - one of which was at the hotel the team were due to stay in - and based on advice received, the directors have informed the Indonesian FA that the club cannot fulfil the fixture in Jakarta on the 2009 Asia tour," said a club statement.
We are deeply disappointed at not being able to visit Indonesia
United were to play an Indonesia Super League XI on July 20.
The match had been a 100,000 sell-out. The club must now decide how to reorganise the tour.
"We are working on a revised itinerary outside Indonesia with the promoters and we will make a further announcement when these decisions have been made," continued the statement.
"We are deeply disappointed at not being able to visit Indonesia and thank the Indonesian FA and our fans for their support.
"Our thoughts go to all those affected by the blasts."
Unless another game can be arranged to replace the match in Jakarta, which was due to take place on Monday evening, United would appear to be left with two alternatives.
They could remain in Kuala Lumpur until Wednesday, when they are due to fly into Seoul for a game on Friday. Or they could leave Malaysia on Sunday and go straight to South Korea.
A decision will have to be made quickly, although it is unlikely Monday's match will be re-organised at this late stage.
Saturday, 4 July 2009
The colour grey has always been a sore point with Fergie ever since the last one they used.
They trailed Southampton 3-0 at half time and Fergie ordered that they all take off that grey kit and don the third kit for the rest of the match, which they went on to lose 3-1.
Now we have another grey creation manufactured by Nike.
The Sky Blue is a nice touch, reminds me of another team with loads of money who can't sign a good player for love nor money, now what's their name ?
Back To Home Page...
Wednesday, 1 July 2009
Sir Alex Ferguson has long tracked the forward dubbed 'Chile's answer to Cristiano Ronaldo' and may be forced into a summer move for the 20-year-old as a number of European clubs are preparing to make bids. Udinese are braced for a renewed approach from Manchester United for Alexis Sanchez. The 20-year-old Chilean striker has become one of the most promising youngsters in Italian football, due to a number of impressive performances as Udinese’s number 11.
He began his professional career with the Chilean club Cobreloa. He played one season there before being signed by the Serie A team, Udinese. Udinese had to pay nearly $3 million for his signature. Colo-Colo then paid Udinese nearly $150,000 for his services in the upcoming Clausura tournament and the following Apertura tournament in the Liga Chilena.. ....Back To Home Page...
Friday, 26 June 2009
Sport says United have informed Atletico they will pay the massive figure for the Argentina international, though the Spanish club's president Enrique Cerezo continues to refer them to the striker's £55 million buyout clause.
United chief executive David Gill is expected to hold talks with Cerezo next week in an attempt to find a compromise. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is eager to find an agreement for Aguero before preseason training begins next month.
Back To Home Page...
The Kenya international is very similar in style and stature to AC Milan star Rino Gattuso and United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has the youngster under consideration as cover for injury-plagued Owen Hargreaves.
Parma sources say president Tommaso Ghirardi will demand Kiko Macheda in part-exchange for Mariga, though the chances of that happening are rather slim.
Mariga started his playing career at Ulinzi Stars before moving to Pipeline FC. He was a member of the Kamukunji High School 'Golden Boys', which also included Kenyan striker Dennis Oliech (Auxerre, France), that won two consecutive National Championships in 2002 & 2003.
The central midfielder went to Sweden in 2005 to play for third Division side Enköpings SK. After only one season at ESK, he signed for Helsingborgs IF before the 2006 season. His success at Olympia was immediate. Following initial interest from Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp, McDonald Mariga looked set to sign for the Premier League team, but work permit issues held up the deal which was supposed to have cost around 2.7 million euros.
He moved to the Serie A club Parma F.C. on loan in August 2007. The Italian club had an option to buy him in the summer for a fee of 20 million Swedish kronor (around €2 million). Mariga agreed to a four year deal to keep him at Serie A side Parma for four years until the end of June 2012, after the club paid a transfer fee for Swedish Kronor 18 million (approx. 1.94 million euros). The deal, brokered by former Swede great Martin Dahlin, now an agent, falls short of the 20 Million Kronnor asking price initially set by Helsingborgs. 25% of the transfer fee will go to Enkopings SK, the club that first got Mariga to Sweden in 2005.
Mariga, who was rated at close to 0.8M euros way back in July last year saw his price tag gradually grow to the current figure fetched in just under a year after great performances in the Italian Serie A since he moved from Helsingborgs at the close of the European transfer window last August.
Mariga played 35 times for Parma in the Serie B during the 2008-2009 season scoring three time to help them back to Serie A for the 2009-2010 season.
Back To Home Page...
Ciftci, the Corinthians coach explained:
"They [Corinthians] want too much money for Dentinho, so the club who are willing to pay that kind of money will land the player. He is a great talent. Another great Brazilian talent. A very good technical player who is good on the ball. The fans will love him in England, the public will worship him. A little bit like Cristiano Ronaldo. He wants to play in the Premier League, it doesn't make a difference if it is Arsenal or Manchester United."
The 20 year old, has enjoyed an immensely successful campaign with the Sao Paulo club, partnering Ronaldo up front and helping the club claim the Campeonato Paulista title earlier this year.
A dangerous striker, Dentinho is good both in the penalty area and when he cuts in from the wings. Composed in front of goal and skillful in the build up play, he has a lot of ability already and will certainly improve; a move to the Premier League will only enhance his prodigious talent.
Bruno Ferreira Bonfim, or simply Dentinho was born January 19, 1989 in Sao Paulo.
In 2007 after being promoted from the youth team he made his first appearance for Corinthians in the Brazilian League in the derby game against Palmeiras, and scored his first goal in a draw against Fluminense.
2008 saw him become Corinthians top scorer during the Campeonato Paulista 2008. Also was the team top scorer(alongside wirh player Herrera) with 14 goals during the championship campaign Campeonato Brasileiro Série B 2008.
This year the player put in very good performances and lead team to the title alongside new Corinthians signing Ronaldo during the Campeonato Paulista 2009.
Back To Home Page...
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
Billy Meredith or the Welsh Wizard as he was also known is one of the most colourful characters to ever have graced the game of football.
Incredibly the controversial Welshman's career spanned the best part of 30 years in which he played for his home town club of Chirk, helping them to lift the Welsh F.A. Cup in 1890 & 1892, Northwich Victoria, Manchester City, who he won his first F.A. Cup medal with in 1904, Manchester United, where he added another F.A. Cup winners medal in 1909 and two League Championship winning medals in 1908 and 1911 and finally Wales, scoring 11 goals in 48 appearances.
After he had plied his trade with the likes of Chirk and Northwich Victoria Meredith signed for Manchester City in 1894 for an unknown fee. He made his debut in City's 5-4 defeat at the hands of Newcastle United in October 1894.
On 3 November 1894 the Welsh Wizard scored two goals in Manchester City's 5-2 win over Newton Heath at Bank Street. and doing so set himself on the road into becoming a Manchester footballing legend.
On 23 April 1904, it can be argued that he sealed his legacy as a Manchester City great, when his team took on Lancashire rivals Bolton Wanderers in the F.A. Cup final at Crystal Palace. Wearing the Captain's armband, Meredith danced through the opposition's defence to score the only goal of the game and take the cup back to their Hyde Road ground.
A year after the proudest moment of his career up to that point, came his lowest point. in 1905 he was handed a 3 year suspension for allegedly trying to bribe an Aston Villa player into throwing a game, and then for illegally trying to obtain payment from Manchester City while under suspension. So severe was his punishment, he wasn't even allowed to visit any football ground.
Manchester United Career
In May 1906 Manchester United manager Ernest Mangnall signed Billy Meredith for £500, even though he still had 11 months of his ban remaining. However, luckily for the forward and Manchester United, the F.A. reduced his ban by 3 months, in order to fit in with the suspensions given to his former collegues at Hyde Road.
On New Years Day 1907 in front of a 40,000 strong Bank Street crowd Billy Meredith made his Manchester United debut ironically against Aston Villa, with Sandy Turnbull scoring the only goal of the game.
Just a year after he had signed for The Reds he helped inspire the team to win the Championship for the first time in the club's history by scoring ten goals in thirty-seven matches and as well as setting up many goalscoring opportunites for his team mates.
One year on a 34 year old Billy Meredith had the chance to add to his two Welsh Cup, one F.A. Cup and One League Championship winning medals when Manchester United took on underdogs, Bristol City in the F.A. Cup final on 24 April 1909 at Crystal Palace. On the fine Spring day the Welsh Wizard stole the show with an man-of-the-match winning performance as The Reds ran out 1-0 winners, with Sandy Turnbull grabbing the solitary goal.
In 1911 and now at the age of 36 many players would be thinking of hanging up their boots, but not the enigmatic Meredith. His insatiable appetite for football and all the joys that came with it drove him on and on, and it was this drive that helped Manchester United pick up their second League title within the space of four seasons, when they pipped Aston Villa to the crown by one point, after they hammered 3rd placed Sunderland 5-1 in their last game of the season.
After the 1911 title winning season Billy Meredith went on to play a further 166 times for Manchester United and bagging himself 10 goals. In 1921 he returned to Manchester City at the grand old age of 46 and played a further 32 games for them until he retired, just a few months shy of his 50th birthday.
The charasmatic Meredith holds the distinction of being the oldest player to have ever appeared for both Manchester United and Manchester City and is also one of the oldest players to have scored in the F.A. Cup, doing so in a 3rd round tie against Brighton and Hove Albion on 23 February 1924 aged 49 years 208 days.
Billy Meredith Honours
Welsh Cup: 1892, 1894
F.A. Cup: 1904
F.A. Cup: 1909
First Division: 1908, 1911
Back To Home Page...
Monday, 22 June 2009
Just before having to be shut down for good, the club received a sizeable investment from J. H. Davies, the managing director of Manchester Breweries.
Legend goes that Harry Stafford, the club captain, was showing off his prized St. Bernard dog at a club fund-raiser, when Davies approached him to buy the dog.
Stafford declined, but was able to persuade Davies to invest in the club and become club chairman.
It was decided at one of the early board meetings that the club required a change of name to reflect the fresh start they had been afforded. Manchester Central and Manchester Celtic were among the names suggested, before Louis Rocca, a young immigrant from Italy, said "Gentlemen, why don't we call ourselves Manchester United?"
The name stuck, and Manchester United officially came into existence on 26 April 1902. Davies also decided it would be appropriate to change the club's colours, abandoning the green and gold halves of Newton Heath, and picking red and white to be the colours of Manchester United.
Back To Home Page...
News that Tevez would not return for United's pre-season training broke over the weekend after the club announced he had rejected the offer of a five-year contract. City meanwhile are thought to have tabled a deal worth over £100,000-a-week over five years.
It is also being reported that Ferguson was aware of Tevez's decision to go and as such has been on the hunt for a suitable replacement ever since. So far, United have been linked with signing Wigan's Antonio Valencia, Karim Benzema and Franck Ribery this summer using the £80m generated through the almost complete sale of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Friday, 12 June 2009
His little wink at the Portugal bench after Wayne Rooney had been sent off in the 2006 World Cup said a lot, it was as if we had looked through a window into his soul. There was no Eric Cantona warmth about him. He was not a vulnerable man. Not a football philosopher. Not a man who played with joie de vivre.
But he is a fucking good footballer, there's no question about that. I am an avid Manchester United supporter and I found it hard to like him but it was even harder still not to admire him.
Despite all his faults and his foibles, he established beyond all reasonable doubt during his Manchester United years that he was the best player in the world.
Frank Lampard, Fernando Torres and Ryan Giggs rolled into one. A midfiled goalscoring machine, a classic centre-forward and a wizard of dribble. A man built to terrorise defences and reduce goalkeepers to quivering wrecks.
Take the towering header he scored against Roma in the Champions League quarterfinal back in April 2008. The height he reached with his leap was simply incredible, the way he brushed the defenders aside like they didn't exist, the bravery of his commitment: Any out and out striker throughout history would have been proud of that.
He was just a never ending joy to watch, whether you are a United fan or not.
The goal he scored against FC Porto in Portugal was the goal of the season. An absolute thunderbolt from 40 yards to end the Portugese teams record of never having lost to an English team at home in the CL. That was a magnificent goal.
His one man demolition of Arsenal in the second leg of the Champions League semi-finals was one of the performances of the season, maybe the best performance of ANY player in a Champions League game.
HE REALLY IS THE PLAYER WHO HAS EVERYTHING. Even if Lionel Messi had the last laugh when Barcelona beat United in Rome last month, Ronaldo is still the best player on the planet.
Messi is easier to like than Ronaldo, so he will always have an advantage purely on that basis with those who are rubbed up the wrong way by Ronaldo's petulance and strutting arrogance.
But all this talk of warmth and how easy Messi is to like obscures the fact that Ronaldo is the harder man to play against.
The day before the Champions League final, one of the best defenders the world has ever seen, Marcel Desailly, declared that Ronaldo, not Messi, would have been his worst nightmare.
Unpredictable, powerful, good in the air, lightning fast, an explosive shooter, a fine crosser, a dead-ball expert: there was nothing he couldn't do. United will not miss his attitude. Nor will they regret the absence of his posturing and his selfishness but even if Sir Alex Ferguson is allowed to invest all the £80m from his sale in the purchase of new players, United will be a poorer team without Ronaldo.
The sad thing is that Ronaldo will almost certainly be a poorer player without United, too. At Old Trafford, he had men like Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez who were willing to run themselves into the ground for the team and leave the glory to Ronaldo.
The attacking part of the team was built around him. Others made sacrifices. He reaped the rewards.
Despite all that, he has agitated for a move to Madrid like a little boy tugging at his mummy's sleeve and whining and whimpering until he gets what he wants.
Well now he's got his wish and so to Ronaldo the footballer I say good luck and may you have many, many years of good fortune and success and thankyou so much for all you did for Manchester United and us, the fans.
But to Ronaldo the man consumed by narcissism and hubris, I say grow up and good riddance.
Even if Lionel Messi had the last laugh when Barcelona beat United in Rome last month, Ronaldo is still the best player on the planet.....no one will make me believe otherwise.
Back To Home Page...
Thursday, 11 June 2009
A statement was placed on the official Manchester United website this morning which reads:
Record Ronaldo bid accepted
Manchester United have received a world-record, unconditional offer of £80million for Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.
At Cristiano's request - who has again expressed his desire to leave - and after discussion with the player's representatives, United have agreed to give Real Madrid permission to talk to the player.
Matters are expected to be concluded by 30 June. The club will not comment until further notice.
Back To Home Page...
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
Manchester United are in pole position to beat Real Madrid to the signing of Antonio Valencia. United are embroiled in a tug-of-war for his signature with Real Madrid although agent Diego Herrera says the Spanish giants have yet to make a move. The Ecuador winger has caught the eye of Sir Alex Ferguson this season and the United manager has reportedly made a £16million bid for him.
Madrid were said to have made a bid themselves but Herrera has heard nothing - paving the way for United to pounce. Florentino Perez sanctioned the world record breaking transfer of Kaka from AC Milan but as far as Valencia is concerned, he's kept quiet.
"The only official offer from Real Madrid for Antonio was last January. The offer came from the previous president but Florentino is over there now so I don't know if they are going to go for him again.
"It is the right time for him to leave, now that the manager has left, he feels it is time to move on."
Back To Home Page...
Thursday, 4 June 2009
"And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love.
But the greatest of these is love."
1 Corinthians 13:13
Cristina Corduneanu is one of those people you will only ever come across once in a lifetime. She is a young girl who has so far dedicated her life to helping the orphans and poorer people in my region of Romania. She works for the FAST (Fundatia Pentru Asistenta Sociala si Tineret) Charity in Romania.
Her work has involved raising cash and working tirelessly herself in order to make the lives of literally thousands of people much better. She has given many 100s of children a meaning to their lives and hope for their future in my village of Zizin as well as Sacele and Tarlungeni in the Brasov area of Transylvania in Romania.
Cristina Corduneanu has been stricken with Leukemia last year, and recently the disease has become so aggressive, her life is now in danger.
Below you will see the email sent out from the FAST Charity with an update to what is happening to Cristina. If you visit Cristina Corduneanu's Website you can read more about her yourself.
Here you can read a message from Cristina Corduneanu herself. She doesn't beg for money or feel sorry for herself. She humbly asks for some help in this her darkest hour of need. Read Cristina Corduneanu's message.Dear Friends
Thankyou to all those who have given generously so far.Things are moving very quickly, and Cristina's situation is becoming increasing desperate.Since the last email you received Cristina has traveled to Belgium for medical tests. Her doctor advised that, due to the advanced nature of her Leukemia, there would be no point conducting any further chemotherapy. He advised that the stem cell transplant needed to take place by the 8th of June. Left longer, the disease will become more aggressive and Cristina's chances of survival diminish.The cost of treatment has been revised down from 80,000 euro to 50,000 euro, however the clinic cannot commence the treatment until they have either an official commitment from the Romanian health department, or the 50,000 euro up front. Her family has made numerous approaches to the Romanian health department but they are refusing to help. Cristina has raised nearly 32,000 euro so far, this leaves her with the daunting task of raising 18,000 euro in one week.We again ask all those who can to give generously. If everyone on this mailing list took it upon themselves to raise just 25 euro each, Cristina could have her treatment.Thank again for all your support.RegardsEveryone at FAST
As you can see, the amount needed for Cristina Corduneanu to receive her treatment was 18,000 Euros which had to be raised in 7 days. They now need 7,924 Euros in 4 days.
The sad thing is, if EVERYONE on my Twitter account gave just $2 or £1.50, that would take them to the target they need. So if you can find it in yourself to help with ANY amount, no matter how small or insignificant you might feel it is then please, please do. ANY AMOUNT WILL GO TOWARDS GIVING CRISTINA CORDUNEANU HOPE.
The Human Race has enough bad people at large, we need to grasp people like Cristina Corduneanu and keep a hold of them. She does so much good work and asks for very little in return. Now in her hour of need the world MUST give her something back.
Maybe the Romanian government might step in with the cash, maybe the Belgian government might help but we can't rely on this, we MUST make sure this cash is available to her in case no one helps.
Below you can see a video of Cristina Corduneanu's work with children and poor people. Take a look and find it in your heart to save this young girl's life so she can carry on her great work.
Please don't ask to send cash to me. I am not authorised to collect cash for any charities at all. The places to go for donations are Cristina Corduneanu Website or to the FAST Charity Website
They have British Charity Reg Numbers, VAT Registration and Inland Revenue Registration if anyone has any doubts about this.
Again, thanks for reading this and if you have a little space on the internet where you can provide a link back here, then please do, PLEASE.
Back To Home Page...