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Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Berbatov Brace As United Cruise Past AAB Aalborg

Dimitar Berbatov struck his first two goals for Manchester United as they crushed Aalborg 3-0 in their Champions League clash.

Berba struck in the second half after Wayne Rooney had fired United into the lead after 23 minutes following a superb pass by substitute Ryan Giggs.

It was no more than United deserved, and Berbatov then took charge with two goals in the second half to put United totally in control.

The Bulgarian volleyed his first goal for United after 55 minutes, but barely moved in celebration of the strike.

Berbatov then added his second and United's third in the 79th minute to cash on a failed clearance following a Cristiano Ronaldo cross.

Giggs was on after only 15 minutes when Paul Scholes appeared to jar his knee and was stretchered off. Scholes could now face a lengthy lay-off, and manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed: "He's got knee ligament damage. We don't know how serious it is obviously.

"We'll have it assessed as soon as we get home."

Ferguson had sprung a major selection surprise by handing 18-year-old Brazilian Rafael Da Silva his European debut. With captain Gary Neville left at home to nurse a groin strain, Ferguson had been expected to select Wes Brown at right-back but instead plumped for Da Silva, who impressed during last week's Carling Cup win over Middlesbrough.

Man Utd: Van der Sar, Evra, Ferdinand, Ronaldo, Berbatov, Rooney, Vidic, Nani, Scholes, Rafael, O'Shea.

Team Line Ups 'v' AAB Aalborg

Rafael Da Silva gets to start tonight for Manchester United and we have Carlos Tevez on the bench.

A good line up, much better than the one that got us beaten against FC Copenhagen.

Berbatov Responds To The 'Oh So Great' Media

He's been at Manchester United for 29 days now and has played in 5 matches and scored no goals. The press are up in arms, he is a waste of money, he can't handle the pressure, wait until he goes into a mood and blah, blah, blah .....

I've never heard anything like it in my life, it's pathetic. I hope he does what Fergie does and just doesn't bother reading these papers. They never have anything good to say when someone wins so when someone goes 3 or 4 games and doesn't score, it's almost like a national disaster, they run round like headless chickens looking for someone to blame or a reason for it.

"I have had to handle expectation and pressure throughout my life," Berbatov told The Sun. "I'm not scared and that's why I'm here. The most important things are to enjoy myself, help the team to win more trophies and entertain the fans.

If I do that, if I play like I did at Tottenham Hotspur, I don't think it will be a problem. I'm at the biggest club in the world and here I can develop in the way I want and that's the most important thing.

“I really hope I'll be successful here."

You sure will Mr Berba, as long as you steer clear of the idiots !!

Monday, 29 September 2008

What's Gone Wrong With Anderson ?

What happened to our Anderson? Many Manchester United fans asked this question recently as the young Brazilian's performances are not up to the standard we've come to expect from him after excelling in the first half of last season.

This season he was ineffective against Liverpool, error-prone against Villarreal and have now produced a colourless display against Bolton. But if it was only this campaign then we could say the Olympics, the lack of rest, the poor form of the team all contribute to it...

But the worrying truth is that since last February-March he boiled off. He was on fire between the end of September and January and thrilled us all. Brilliant 40 yard passes, inch-perfect tackles, great positioning, seemingly unlimited energy reserves... he was a star in the making, a player burgeoning with talent, anyone could see that.

Fergie always warns us that you cannot expect consistency from young players and he's of course right. But it is now quite a long spell with distinctly average performances at best - and we expect more of the guy.

Still, it could be nothing else but a confidence problem. Seeing Ronaldo taking all the plaudits could have diminished him, his confidence. And there's an important issue: goals.

Anderson is blessed with explosive pace and outstanding technical ability so there's no reason why he should not score goals. Yet he hasn't scored for United yet and this dearth is now more than a year old. I do not blame him for it: the tactics we use leave precious little chances for the central midfielders to score, it's not like in the case of Chelsea where they have to help their not too prolific attackers (bar Drogba of course).

But this is a monkey on Anderson's back now even though he's not a striker. He's a Brazilian, he loves attacking football and he wants to score goals. Opening his account would be a huge boost for him which could finally raise his game up to the levels he's capable of.

Real Madrid Give Up On Manchester United And Ronaldo AGAIN !!

Real Madrid’s sports director Pedja Mijatovic has hinted the Spanish giants have given up on trying to sign Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo for now.

The La Liga outfit chased the Portuguese winger all summer and the 23-year-old was initially tempted to move to the Bernabeu after winning the Champions League and Premier League with United last season.

But Ronaldo decided to stay at Old Trafford and Mijatovic says he doubts Real will renew their interest in him.

Mijatovic told AS: 'He is a professional who was trained in Manchester, who owes much to the club and (manager Sir Alex) Ferguson.
'He never said clearly: 'I want to go to Madrid'.

But at least now, finally, it's all over and we can look forward to CR7 winning the FIFA World Player Of The Year now. He does have a very, very good chance according to the great Eusebio. The Portuguese legend is certain Cristiano Ronaldo will scoop the FIFA world player of the year prize in December.

Ronaldo is expected to start his first Champions League game since last May's final triumph over Chelsea in Moscow when Manchester United tackle Danish minnows Aalborg looking to record their first win of the current campaign.

The 23-year-old has only just returned from ankle surgery but already he has shot to the top of United's goalscoring charts, netting against Middlesbrough before taking advantage of Rob Styles' generosity by converting the Red Devils' controversial penalty in Saturday's win over Bolton at Old Trafford.

Ryan Giggs Set To Be Offered A New Contract By Manchester United

Giggs is approaching his 35th birthday,
but is still seen as an integral part of the
Manchester United set up, having made
43 appearances last season.

The last of those came in the Champions League
final, in which Giggs surpassed Bobby Charlton's
all-time appearance record for the club - 758.
The former Wales international signed a one-
year contract extension 12 months ago, extend-
ing his terms to 2009, and has seemingly suff-
iciently impressed to earn another renewed deal.
His new contract would take him beyond his 36th
birthday, but Sir Alex Ferguson recently declared
his continued confidence in Giggs' abilities.

Ferguson hinted yesterday to the press that Giggs
is no longer considered an out and out wide-man
by the club, he is seen as a central midfield player
or second forward, in a bid to stave off the effects
of a near 20 career running the flank at Old Trafford.

I had even written him off myself two years ago.
Since then he has won two MORE Prem League titles.
I'll just keep ma gob shut in the future.

Bolton To Receive An Apology From Rob Styles

I bet this news has turned their match against Manchester United at the weekend round and really made it a joyous ocassion. Rob Styles is actually going to own up to making the biggest cock up anyone has ever seen. Who needs 3 points in The Premiership when you can have Styles shuffling about like the clown he is whilst mumbling some weak apology.

It means nothing anyway. He should have gone to the Bolton guys right after the game and said: "Hey guys, what can I say, I fucked up". The problem is half of these referees are on an egpo trip. They couldn't make it in the game themselves so they were clutching at straws by becoming refs, just to be a part of the glory.

I've got something now that will make Styles gesture completely worthless. He passed on the apology to the referees association and asked if they would mind dealing with it for him. Pathetic !!

From us the fans, to you the ref Mr Styles, we all say................... YOU TOSSER !!!!

After this, Bolton seemed to roll on their backs with their legs in the air, "a la" dead dog style. Unitedf scored again courtesy of Wayne Rooney. The back heel from The Slave was actually mesmerising but the little 'shimmy' Roon did to send the defender the wrong way was even better........and the finish was even better again, it was a beautiful goal. United didn't impress much in this game, it seems we are still dogged by this 'slow start' problem !!!

Hargreaves And Neville Not With Manchester United In Denmark

Owen Hargreaves and Gary Neville were missing from the Manchester United team as it arrived in Denmark for a Champions League match against Aalborg.

Hargreaves was left home because of a knee injury that has bothered him since he joined the team from Bayern Munich last season. It wasn't immediately clear why Neville wasn't in the squad. He didn't appear injured in United's 2-0 win over Bolton this weekend.

Two of Aalborg's key players, midfielders Jeppe Curth and Kasper Risgaard, skipped practice Monday with minor injuries but were included in coach Bruce Rioch's squad for Tuesday's match.

After a frustrating 0-0 draw with Villarreal in their Champions League opener, United needs a win at Aalborg to get their title defence back on track.

Darren Fletcher said on "It is not going to be quite that easy to beat them. Aalborg might not be a household name but this is the Champions League. It is a top-quality competition and they are a quality side."

The Danes managed a 0-0 draw at Celtic in their first match. Aalborg defender Michael Beauchamp said the underdog tag would be an advantage against United.

"They must win and we are just going to enjoy the game," Beauchamp said. "Football can be a very funny game and if we can get a draw, it will be a great achievement."

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said it was important to "get it right against Aalborg" after dropping two points against Villarreal.

Aalborg is struggling in the 12-team Danish league, where it is in 10th place, but Ferguson expects the Danes to get fired up for what will probably be their biggest match of the season.

"They are playing Manchester United. They will have a sellout crowd and the whole town will be up for it," Ferguson said. ``Danish clubs are always battlers."

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Wigan Boss Bruce: "Hughes Is No Friend Of Mine !!"

Wigan Athletic boss Steve Bruce admits he's no friend of former Manchester United teammate Mark Hughes. I think that's such a shame too. After all the success and good times they had as part of the same team.

Hughes' Manchester City faced Wigan today and Bruce admits he's still upset over losing his former Birmingham No2 Mark Bowen .

The pair fell out when Bruce was at Birmingham and Hughes was manager of Wales. Hughes tried to tempt Bruce’s assistant Bowen to become a permanent part of the Welsh set-up.

Although Bruce initially won the battle, Bowen did later quit to join up with Hughes.

And before long he was installed as Blackburn’s assistant when Hughes took the job in 2004.

That was followed by Robbie Savage also heading to Rovers against Bruce’s wishes.

Bruce said: “We are not really pals although I have a mutual respect for him.

“I don’t think I have spoken to him for him years. The Mark Bowen issue tainted it a bit.”

Berbatov Is Warming Up

Man Utd
Sir Alex Ferguson says he has no worries that new striker Dimitar Berbatov will produce the goals for Manchester United soon.

The Bulgaria international, signed from Premier League rivals Tottenham on deadline day, has yet to open his account for the champions but caught the eye in the 2-0 win against Bolton at Old Trafford yesterday with his touch and vision.

Ferguson has complete faith in the talented 27-year-old and feels he finally has a focal point to his embarrassment of riches in the attacking department.

"We learned today how good Berbatov is," Ferguson told MUTV.

"You don't need to pass to him in space all the time. You can pass to him when he's marked - he's brilliant at that and he produced some great moments, as did a lot of the players. His touch was fantastic at times."

Or Maybe Ronnie Didn't Dive ?

Cristiano Ronaldo sprawled inelegantly in the Bolton penalty area as a furious Jussi Jaaskelainen and Gavin McCann leant down and bawled at Manchester United's world-class trickster. So every picture tells a story?

Not this time, it doesn't. 'Ronaldo was on the floor saying, "I didn't want a penalty!",' reported Bolton skipper Kevin Nolan, who saw his team's sterling efforts wiped out by referee Rob Styles' inexplicable decision to award a spot-kick after JLloyd Samuel's perfectly timed tackle on the Portuguese.

Nolan said: 'I don't think one of them put their hands up asking for a penalty. Fletcher's going, "It's not a penalty", Tevez is going, "It's not a penalty". Twenty players who were in the box at the time knew it wasn't a penalty.

Scroll down for more


Best foot forward: JLloyd Samuel makes the tackle on Ronaldo in the Bolton Box

'But the man who was in black had the final say. They couldn't believe their luck. But you're at United and unfortunately that happens. It does strike fear into you when you look at this magnificent stadium. Maybe that's what's happened to the referee. He said he thought JLloyd took Ronaldo before the ball. It didn't make sense to me at all. But I can't say too much or I'm going to get done by the FA.'

Ronaldo, who did not celebrate his penalty, also hit a post and set up the chance for Wayne Rooney to step around Nolan and dispatch United's second against a Bolton side too badly shaken to recover.

I do feel sorry for Bolton and I think it's about time these referees were made to pay for these errors. Styles was in the perfect position for this incident, and yet he saw something the whole world didn't see ..... I'm baffled !!

2-0 But Not Impressive

Defending champions Manchester United gained their first Premier League home win of the season - and left near neighbours Bolton nursing a huge sense of injustice as they made their way back up the M61 and despite loving United I can't blame them either !!.

United's margin of victory may have been deserved but the manner of Cristiano Ronaldo's opener left a sour taste for the Trotters as referee Rob Styles amazingly gave the hosts a penalty when Jlloyd Samuel clearly played the ball when he slid into Ronaldo just before the hour mark.

I've spent four years defending Ronaldo's reputation from the hordes of "He's a diving cheat" chanting fans and it doesn't get any easier. Which means either I'm getting bored of doing it or he just wont learn !! With todays technology everyone knows the TV cameras can slow everything down to 1 frame per second if need be and you can s-e-e e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g so slowly, it's easy to spot a misdemeanour. He went down a bit too easily for me yesterday. He struggled to leave his right food behind in order to get the penalty and his left foot was never touched. Anyway, he went, we got the penalty and the opposition fans now have further 'proof' of Ronnie's minor indiscretions.

Substitute Wayne Rooney also found the net for the first time this season, curling home superbly after exchanging passes with Ronaldo to give the margin of United's triumph a more comfortable look.

But Bolton boss Gary Megson will know his side were frustrating their hosts until Rob Styles intervened

Just 24 hours after he warned his fabulous array of attacking talent they could expect to be rotated on a regular basis, Ferguson left Rooney on the bench. In fairness to the England striker, whose form has been below par during the opening weeks of the campaign, his manager probably reasoned Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez could start to develop some sort of partnership against Megson's side.

Although Bolton did claim a couple of notable Old Trafford victories during Sam Allardyce's reign, if any side looked ripe for registering a first home win of the season against, Bolton was it.

Yet it did not quite work out as Ferguson planned. For a start, Bolton were not as unadventurous as many believed and when, after about 15 minutes, United did get into their stride, they found it difficult to break through a hard-working defence, aided superbly by the midfield industry of Gavin McCann.

Jussi Jaaskelainen was called upon on half a dozen occasions but most of his saves would be regarded as routine for the Finn, including the low Ronaldo free-kick he kept out at his near post.

On his first Premier League start since last May, Ronaldo took plenty of responsibility for United's goal search on his shoulders but while Tevez and Berbatov tried hard, there was no sense of a partnership between the pair.

The only time they were involved in anything meaningful was when they helped set up Rio Ferdinand. But the centre-half bounced his half-volley straight at Jaaskelainen.

Bolton could not claim to have posed even half the threat United had done. But they had established themselves as an attacking force long before Fabrice Muamba was presented with the best opportunity either side had to break the first-half deadlock.

As a former pupil of Arsene Wenger's at Arsenal, Muamba could at least have been expected to force Edwin van der Sar into a save when Gretar Rafn Steinsson's low cross rolled invitingly into his path after Ferdinand had slid in with Kevin Davies at the near post. Inexplicably, from barely 10 yards, the England Under-21 international was so badly off target his shot nearly rolled out for a throw-in.

Having got trips to Liverpool and Chelsea out of the way during an incredibly tough start to the season, now Ferguson was expecting his team to start winning. But as the hour mark approached the opener still proved elusive, despite the improved efforts of Ronaldo.

Yet even Ferguson must have felt a bit sheepish when Styles, perfectly placed, watched Samuel make what everyone in the stadium seemed to think was a perfectly timed tackle on Ronaldo, then point to the spot as the home player hit the deck. Bolton could not believe it. TV replays justified their incredulity. Ronaldo simply stepped up and sent Jaaskelainen the wrong way.

The introduction of Rooney and Paul Scholes came not long afterwards.

Given his desire to play every minute of every game, Rooney was presumably not happy at being left out, so there must have been an element of 'I'll show you' about his superb curling shot which found the bottom corner after a neat exchange of passes with Ronaldo 13 minutes from time.

Scholes went close to increasing United's lead at the end but by then, the damage had been done for Bolton.

We won 2-0 but I hope that's not the best we'll see all season or I'll be crying.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Martin O'Neill Is Tipping Roy Keane To Manage Manchester United

MARTIN O’NEILL tips Roy Keane to land the biggest job in football - manager of Manchester United.

Aston Villa chief O’Neill said: “I think Roy can be anything he wants to be. The sky’s the limit for him.

“Can you imagine the wealth of experience Roy would have picked up from spending all those years and years playing under Brian Clough and Sir Alex Ferguson?

“He couldn’t have had two better mentors. All he’s had to do is take his own personality into it and be his own man.”

Although O’Neill himself was schooled under Clough at Nottingham Forest he stresses he ‘doesn’t pretend’ to know the ex-Manchester United midfielder.

He added: “I’ve had very, very few conversations with Roy, so mine is very much an outside viewpoint.

“But if he still has the same drive, determination and ambition he had as a player, there’s nothing to stop him reaching the very top as a manager.

“There’s no question he was one of the greats of the last 10-15 years and acknowledged by just about everyone as one of the top five Premiership players of that time.

“He stepped in at Sunderland with no managerial experience and turned results around and won promotion from the Championship at the first attempt.

“He’s had a supportive board but with his winning mentality and refusal to accept second-best, I have no doubts he can take Sunderland on to the level he would at least be satisfied with for the time being.”

Teams For Manchester United 'v' Bolton Wanderers

Fergie Re-Opens The Pogatetz Case Again !!

Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed Middlesbrough skipper
Emanuel Pogatetz should receive an extra punishment
for his horror tackle on Manchester United's Rodrigo
Possebon at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Pogatetz was red-carded for the challenge in the Carling Cup
clash by referee Andre Marriner and has since offered an apol-
ogy to Possebon for his conduct.

Thankfully, the young Brazilian neither broke his leg nor suff-
ered ligament damage. However, he is facing a number of weeks
on the sidelines, such was the severity of the gash he sustained
to his shin.

Ferguson does not feel an automatic three-match ban from the

"I am pleased the referee acted so firmly with a red card for
an offence which I think the FA should consider further,"
Ferguson told United Review. There is no place in football
for that kind of challenge"

At least, in captain Gary Neville, Ferguson can offer Possebon the ideal
example to follow as he battles back to fitness.

The United boss admitted he feared Neville would never return to
Premier League combat after the broken ankle he suffered against
Bolton in March 2007.

But Neville's tenacity has seen him return to action and there must
be an outside chance he will be called up for England duty by Fabio
Capello ahead of next month's World Cup qualifiers with Kazakhstan
and Belarus.

"When you consider the way Gary has been plagued by inj-
uries for 18 months, he has done brilliantly to come back
so convincingly," said Ferguson.

"At one point I thought he would not make it back into the
Premier League. But he has and all credit to him.

"He persevered and never lost faith, despite the succession
of niggles and strains that followed his ankle injury.

"He is a role model for any player feeling down on his luck."

Fergie: "I Would Axe Rooney".

ALEX FERGUSON has told Wayne Rooney he will have to accept being on the bench at times for Manchester United this season.

Since signing for Manchester United four years ago, Rooney has been a certain starter for all their major games, in fact he has averaged 43 games per season since his arrival. However, following the signing of Dimitar Berbatov, boss Fergie has four fit main attackers to call upon for the first time this decade and he will be rotating them for the big clashes to ensure they stay fresh for the full season.

Which means that Rooney will sometimes find himself where he likes it least — on the bench.

Ferguson said: “They all know it has to happen. I understand that some players want to play every week — Eric Cantona was like that — but it cannot happen.
For too long I’ve been operating with two strikers, which is ridiculous for a club of this size. To achieve what we want to achieve we need four strikers of the quality we had in 1999 with Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Solskjaer. Whoever plays will not be down to performance. It will just be about keeping them fresh.

“For example, in 1999 Yorke and Cole had a great partnership so they were always in front. Yet it would be Solskjaer and Sheringham scoring the goals at the right time because I could freshen things up.”

It is clear Rooney’s absence, maybe even from today’s line-up against Bolton, is not a reflection on his play — although he is still to get off the mark this season.

Fergie said: “Maybe Wayne has not been getting a lot of chances at the moment.”

Ferguson reckons Berbatov’s arrival from Tottenham will assist Rooney in that.

He said: “Berbatov will bring good composure, experience and presence. There is no doubt in my mind he will improve us. He is someone who has good decision- making and timing which will improve things for us.”

Elsewhere in the squad, Ryan Giggs continues to be as important to Ferguson as he was 17 years ago when the Welsh winger first became a regular in United’s starting line-up.

Yet Giggs has a new role in the side these days.

Fergie explained: “I see his role now as a central player.

“He is nearly 35 and those days of trampling up and down that touchline are behind him now.

“We have to respect the job he has done over so many years — no one can come near him in terms of his ability in that position.

“He is an incredible human being and a one-off.

“But I need to manage him correctly now and there is no doubt he can have an impact for us as a central player.”

QPR At Home In The 4th Round Of The Carling Cup For United

Manchester United to face QPR !

Sir Alex's men will face Championship side Queens Park Rangers at Old Trafford in the Carling Cup fourth round.

The clubs have never met in the League Cup and last faced each other in the Premier League back in 1996.

At the time of the fourth round draw, Rangers were lying fourth in the Championship. Many experts have tipped QPR to gain promotion this season.

The tie will be played in the week commencing Monday 10 November.

Elsewhere, Arsenal and Chelsea were both handed home draws, while Liverpool travel to Tottenham Hotspur.

I still find it immensely difficult to get excited by this Carling Cup. Even the final is a kind of put off really. Ah well, at least it gives the youngsters a chance of a game or three.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Mijatovic: "Real Madrid's Bid For United's Cristiano Ronaldo Was No Failure".

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water Real Madrid and their bizarrely ill informed Sports Director Pedja Mijatovic are at it again. Talking about Ronaldo. Guess who they were "talking" to ? You got it, good old Marca !!!

"Real Madrid did not "fail" in their bid to land Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo", insists sports director Pedja Mijatovic.

Mijatovic told Marca: “We had a big wish to sign him and our economic situation would have allowed it but we met with Manchester United and they didn’t want to speak about him and, when it’s like that, there’s nothing you can do.

“I don’t think it was a failure not to have signed him. We did everything possible to make him come.

“If Cristiano had had a release clause he would be here.”

Do these idiots ever shut up and let the past go ?

Giggs The Gaffer

Ryan Giggs has confirmed he could look into taking up a manager's role when his playing career at Manchester United comes to an end.

I can't believe he will be will be 35 in November. Gradually though, he is being phased out of Sir Alex Ferguson's first team plans at Old Trafford, having made just four appearances this season.

However, Giggs, who scored in the 3-1 Carling Cup victory against Middlesbrough on Tuesday, insists he is happy to keep playing until Ferguson feels he can longer offer anything to the team.

"I'm relaxed about my future and I've got this year left on my contract," Giggs told the Daily Star.

"I'm feeling good at the moment and, as long as I feel healthy, I'm getting picked and I still enjoy it, then I'll carry on.

"But if any of those things change, I'll have to consider when I retire and it will be sooner rather than later."

In the meantime Giggs is working towards gaining all of the necessary coaching qualifications as he plots to follow several of his former United team-mates into management after his playing days are over.

He added: "I think working under the manager here is the best schooling there is and you can see that by the managers in the Premier League.

"There's Roy Keane, Mark Hughes, Paul Ince and Steve Bruce and they have all played under the manager, so there is definitely something in that.

"Coaching would be an option and it is a natural progression for a lot of footballers. There are a lot of different roads that footballers can follow after they stop playing.

"I just want to be prepared for when I finish because, if I do decide to go into coaching or management, I want to make sure I've got my qualifications and the necessary coaching badges.

"I started about three or four years ago with my B badge. I picked it up again in the summer with my A badge and A licence.

"I've enjoyed it and hopefully I can get all the badges for when I finish."

It's right what he says too. We have Fergie himself plus four of his former players managing in the Premiership !!! That's 25% of all the teams are run by former United players or Fergie himself.

Giggsy is so professional, so methodical in everything he does I believe he will be a good manager, he deserves it after all he has given us down the years.

Jonny Evans - In Out In Out - Give Him A Run In The Team Or Let Him Go I Say

Sir Alex Ferguson insists Jonny Evans has a big future at Old Trafford despite preparing to drop him for Saturday's Manchester United 'v' Bolton game.

I agree Fergie was forced to play him against Villarreal in the Champions League and the Premier League showdown at Chelsea last Sunday. But, despite some assured performances from Evans, Fergie will again drop him in favour of the big man himself, Nemanja Vidic following his return from suspension - after the red card he picked up at Liverpool earlier this month - in the Carling Cup against Middlesbrough on Tuesday.

Evans accepts that he must bide his time for a regular place in the team, but Fergie has admitted the player will have a big part to play at Old Trafford in the future which is why he snubbed a big money offer from Sunderland for him.

"Jonny will be a future centre-half for Manchester United, there is no doubt about that," Ferguson told Inside United.

"That is a vindication of our belief in the boy. It should also prove he can believe what we're saying to him.

"We had a lot of offers from clubs who wanted to buy him in the summer - three or four clubs were interested - but we stuck to our guns because we believe in him. He will play a lot of football at this club."

One good sign I guess is the fact he was one of the few who weren't shunted out on loan. Maybe Fergie will fool us all again.

What Is A Gloucester Red ?

I'd actually forgotten about the clown we know as Gloucester Red. Well, that is until one of the guys where I am working today mentioned inbreeding amongst animals, especially among pig breeds. As soon as I heard that, our good friend Gloucester Red (Red Issue and Red News) sprang to the fore in my mind. NB: I added "Red Issue" and "Red News" after his name because he does it all the time like it makes him special, or more important than anyone else. Errrr retard !!

I got to thinking, what the hell is a Gloucester Red. Apart from a glory hunter from down south who hitches a ride on the United gl;ory bus, with a big mouth, a big nose and no clue whatsoever about what it is talking about !!

The Gloucester Red Knights - There you go, I told you it would be something superior to the big mouth retard didn't I ? Actually, they are an American Football outfit. They are not too dissimilar to Red Issue Gloucester Red in that they make plenty of noise but no matter how loud, they are losers.

There is Gloucester Red pottery - Just like RI's Gloucester Red, it is worthless, impractical and pretty much useless these days. They went bust and lost the plot, stumbled around aimlessly for a while and then plummetted. Shame the Gloucs Red with the big mouth can't follow suit. Having said that we'd have nothing to laugh at !!

There are Gloucester Red bricks - I can honestly say, hand on heart, I imagine the bricks will have the higher IQ over the Gob on a stick.

Gloucester Red Roses - Now here we go. These are probably the closest relative to RI's Gloucester Red. Pick up the roses carelessly and you will get your hand pricked big time. Hand and prick when put together suggest wanking or wanker - enough said !!

I was really hoping there would be a Gloucester Red Pig. Oh yes, what fun. RI's prize asset being compared to a creature that is fat and sweaty, revolting to look at and lives in filth and is covered in shit. I imagine it's not far off the mark with that description.

Not that the idiot is worth worrying about anyway. Those with the big mouths that go charging in armed with no facts or knowledge always end up looking like him anyway - dick head.

The most sickening bit though is the fact he is yet ANOTHER southerner shooting his mouth off about U-N-I-T-E-D, when he should be back down south, on his farm, in the sty.

Tosser !!!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

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Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Simpson Says Ince Is Very Similar To Fergie !!

Young Danny Simpson one of many United players currently on loan says he can see comparisons between Sir Alex Ferguson and his Blackburn Rovers manager Paul Ince.

Simpson said: "He has taken certain things from Sir Alex.

"You can see the comparisons. But then after playing under him for so many years, he is going to take something from him.

"You look at the other managers who have played under him, and I believe they have all taken something from him too.

"Paul has certainly helped me a lot since he has been here, and he is proving to be a really good manager.

"For the first few weeks he told me just to settle in, and then he gave me my chance, and I am grateful for that.

"From what I've seen we have a good group of players here, there is a really good bond.

"It's thanks to that, the manager and all the staff I've settled in well."

Fraizer Campbell Well Received At Spurs

"Our" Fraizer Campbell is grateful to Tottenham fans for their support since his arrival.

"The fans have been really good with me so far. So things are good on a personal note. Hopefully my next step will be to get a goal," he said.

"Against Wisla the gaffer told me to go on and create something, and you've always got to try to bring something different to the table when you come on as a sub.

"It was good to be involved in the winning goal, it set me off on the right foot.

"There are just a few little things we need to put right and I'm sure we'll be fine after that. Hopefully our bad patch is behind us now and we can start to stride on."

The England Under-21 international is focused on the Carling Cup clash now and has the advantage of already having played against Newcastle in the first match of the season for United.

He said: "Every player wants to be part of a winning team that can win a trophy so I'd be happy if we could go on to win the Carling Cup again."

"Newcastle looked a decent side (when they drew 1-1 at Old Trafford) but hopefully we can beat them this time.

"Shay Given made some great saves and stopped me last time. I think he owes me one now."

Fergie Fuming !!

Fergie hopes he never sees another tackle like the one that Emanuel Pogatetz caught Rodrigo Possebon with at Old Trafford last night.

Even Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate admitted he could have no complaints at the red card instantly shown to Pogatetz during the second half of his side's 3-1 Carling Cup defeat to Manchester United.

But here's the sad part, Pogatetz will 'maybe' get a 3 match ban and Possebon faces a good few weeks recovering, I am amazed they get away with it like this.

Possebon needed oxygen on the pitch and was then taken straight to hospital for further treatment, with Fergie fearing bad news for the 19 year old.

"You don't want to see things like that and I hope I never see anything like it again. It is such a pity for the boy and took the gloss off what was a really good performance. The thing that gets me about challenges like that is that the opponent always claims he has done nothing wrong. He (Pogatetz] should have just walked off the field. Then you get their bench screaming that it wasn't a sending off and there is nothing wrong with our player. At least Gareth Southgate was very good about it. He apologised and understood the gravity. It was an absolutely terrible tackle."

Southgate branded the challenge "poor" and admitted members of his bench had stepped out of line.

"A couple of lads on our bench did not have the same view as I did but that is dealt with now," he said.

"We can have no complaints about the decision. It is difficult to know why it happened.

"It was an unusual aberration for him because his discipline has improved in the last two years."

Boro never looked the same team after Pogatetz had gone off.

At that point, Boro had levelled through Adam Johnson after Cristiano Ronaldo had marked his first start of the season with his first goal since the Champions League final win over Chelsea in Moscow.

And Ferguson, feels the furore involving Real Madrid has is now well and truly behind the Slave.

"I think Cristiano has come to accept that at this stage of his career, United is the place for him," he said.

"Southern Europeans want at some point to play for Real Madrid or Barcelona, so I understood what was going on in Cristiano's mind when he declared he wanted to join Real.

"But once we had talked he accepted it was a move for the future.

"I pointed out to him how much better it would be to leave like Eric Cantona, with the fans loving and appreciating him.

"The crowd still chant Cantona's name and I told Cristiano, 'Leave a hero like Eric' and one day he will. But not yet."

Without Pogatetz, the visitors lost their shape and Ryan Giggs took advantage of Gary O'Neil's slip 11 minutes from time before Nani sealed a place in the fourth round in stoppage time.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Berbatov Is A Man After My Own Heart With Generosity For Children

From: The Daily Mirror

At three and a half, little Dimitar practises keepy-uppys with a basketball outside his parents' apartment - they could not afford a football.

Inside the modest two bedroom council flat where Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov was born, his mother Margarita winces when she recalls life in grim communist-era 1980s Bulgaria.

"When Dimitar was very small he broke the cabinet by accident because he used to kick a basketball around the apartment," she said. "We couldn't afford to buy him a football.

"When he grew up we had a tough life but he never complained.

Dimitar always had enough to eat and was happy playing football."

The picture above shows Berbatov, then three, playing football with an outsized basketball in a dusty, cratered backyard.

The new star of Old Trafford recognises how hard life was in his early days, even having to queue for bread for up to eight hours: "We would get in line at six in the morning, and if you lost your place you had to go to the back."

Berbatov showed a single-minded approach to the game from an early age. His mum said: "Dimitar has no interest in a fancy lifestyle.

His life is football, family and friends. He can travel anywhere in the world, but he tells me he prefers Bulgaria to Barbados."

The £30.75million striker admitted: "I miss it in some ways. I had my friends, and the conditions united and strengthened you. My personality has been shaped by my upbringing.

"I know what a crisis is. I appreciate life and I never take anything for granted."

Many of Bulgaria's new rich show off their wealth with a gangster-style chic of gold chains, black Cherokee jeeps and garishly coloured villas.

Berbatov shuns this bling culture. Home means Blagoevgrad, a depressed former mining town in western Bulgaria.

When he visits his mum he sleeps on the battered blue sofa in the lounge like he always has.

His mother self-consciously nods at the shiny new Honda Civic parked in the yard outside, a recent birthday present from her son.

"I am very proud of him. What makes me really happy is we always talk after every game. I text him during the match, maybe when he's scored a great goal.

"That waymy message is waiting for him when he finishes. He tells me I am the world's greatest mum."

Off the pitch Berbatov is well known as a sponsor of childrens' charities. At the Blagoevgrad children's home, director Yevgenia Yordanova says Berbatov's donations feed and clothe their 74 underprivileged kids.

"His help means these children eat properly. Without him we would struggle. He's a role model," she said.

Berbatov supports five care homes. And in a country where a specialist children's hospital was closed down because the council couldn't afford to cover the electricity bill, private donations are a lifeline to Bulgaria's estimated 30,000 forgotten children.

Even as an up-and coming player in 2001, Berbatov covered the cost of a life-saving liver transplant for a sick girl. And he recently paid out for 500 pairs of trainers so deprived kids didn't go barefoot.

It is ironic given Berbatov's first transfer fee in 1998 when he moved from local team FC Pirin to CSKA Sofia in 1997 was part-funded by 20 pairs of football boots.

Margarita says Berbatov finds strength from his belief in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

"When he left for England he carried a Bible I gave him. I pray for him before every game."

Berbatov is an artist off the pitch as well as on it. He once painted a mural of his football idols across the ceiling of his bedroom.

"Dimitar spent hours to complete the paintings. He was obsessed with showing all his favourite players from Pele to Michael Owen."

Berbatov spent childhood holidays in the desperately poor farming village of Marikostinovo on the Bulgaria-Greek border. Every summer he returns there. His proud grandparents Dimitar and Verka, 76, have turned their single storey cottage into a virtual shrine, their home's bare stone walls are covered with press cuttings and posters.

Dimitar senior, a footballer in his youth, is a close confidante of his grandson. They chat and dig the vegetable garden together when his grandson drops by to sample a bowl of his grandmother's homemade potato soup.

"Dimitar told me his future is in England," he said. "He believes he deserves to play Champions League football because that is his level of talent."

School-mate Mario Bekov said: "We wanted Dimitar as goalkeeper.

It was our attempt to stop him controlling the game. It failed - like a ghost he would appear everywhere! We called him the magician."

Berbatov plans to open a foot ball academy in his hometown to give youngsters a chance of a better life in the EU's poorest country, where the average wage is £160 a month.

It also offers a chance for Premier League scouts to save their clubs a fortune if they find the next Berbatov.

Ronnie Gets The Golden Boot In His Home Town To Honour His Deceased Father.

Cristiano Ronaldo received the European Golden Boot trophy at a ceremony in his native Madeira on Saturday.

It took place at a hotel in the mid-Atlantic island, fulfilling Ronaldo's wish to receive the award where he was born as a tribute to his late father Diniz Aveiro.

The European Footballer of the Year, who scored 31 goals in the Premier League last season to win the Golden Boot, has been sidelined since surgery on his right ankle in July.

He finished the domestic campaign eight points clear of his closest rival in the race to be Europe's leading goalscorer with the results having been announced by UEFA on June 17.

Spain striker Daniel Guiza was second with 27 Primera Liga goals for Real Mallorca while Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's 33 strikes earned Ajax Amsterdam's Netherlands forward third place.

Benfica great Eusebio was the first Portuguese to win the Golden Boot in 1968 and 1973 followed by former Porto striker Fernando Gomes in 1983 and 1985.

Fergie Derides Al-Ciddeh Again !!

Ciddeh’s new owners may brag about their Gulf wealth being able to entice any superstar. But Fergie knows otherwise — and he showed off new signing Dimitar Berbatov on Friday to prove it.

City tried to hijack Fergie’s year long pursuit of Berbatov on Sept 1 as the transfer window was closing, but the Bulgarian striker refused to be tempted by United’s less illustrious neighbours.

Ferguson, who has spent almost 22 years at Old Trafford now, knows that his club’s global pre-eminence and history can be as great an incentive to a player as wages.

“What you see here today has not been created overnight,’’ Ferguson said. “This club has been built up over many years and will be here for a long time.’’

The Abu Dhabi United group was undaunted about being rebuffed by Berbatov, instead signing Brazil forward Robinho and vowing to splurge its oil wealth on everyone from Liverpool striker Fernando Torres to Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas, plus an audacious plan to prize Cristiano Ronaldo away from Old Trafford in January for £135m.

“I disregard it really because it’s all talk at the moment when it comes down to trying to get players. There’s been a lot of talk about going for Cristiano, which is absolutely absurd. They may find it difficult to get the players they want. As we found with the negotiations with Dimitar, it’s not easy now.

“It depends how much money they want to throw at it to get all the star players they want, but we should not concern ourselves with what people are planning to do because it does not always work.’’

City manager Mark Hughes has even boasted that yesterday’s match with Chelsea will be a bigger attraction than the Reds Devils’ trip to Liverpool earlier in the day, branding it the “clash of the cash.’’

“I had better check what Mark has had for his breakfast because something must be upsetting him,’’ Ferguson said. “How many games did he play for United against Liverpool? Our game is the biggest. It is a great game.’’

The 66-year-old Ferguson has the historical perspective to know you can’t buy success, pointing to Sunderland’s relegation from the top flight in 1958 and the arrival of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich at Chelsea in 2003.

“Sunderland were relegated with the dearest team, every player was bought for astronomical fees,’’ Ferguson said. “You can buy 11 individuals but you don’t have a team. It’s difficult to say what’s going to happen to City.

“When Chelsea were doing the same thing, we were worried about it because we saw the quality they were bringing in. They got Michael Essien for £27mil, which was a level we could not reach. We thought they were going to be a handful and they were.’’

Chelsea’s revolution under Jose Mourinho didn’t rattle Ferguson, he just became more determined to topple the “new kids on the block.’’ After Jose and his boys won two Premier League titles, Ferguson responded by matching the feat and seeing Mourinho exit Chelsea.

“The great thing about my time at this club has been the challenge, there’s always a challenge for us,’’ Ferguson said, with Berbatov at his side. “Yes, we’ve bought big players — as we’ve done on this occasion again — but I don’t think it’s a cash cow that you’re seeing from Manchester United in the way that it could happen in other areas the way some clubs are talking at the moment.’’

No, No, No .... Not Liverpool !!!

Having spent the summer making his demands and hiding what he was up to, many United fans have voiced their lack of respect for The Slave - Cristiano Ronaldo !!

The fact is though, it seems without him United are quite an ordinary and lack lustre team if I'm honest. We managed to get beaten by Liverpool and lose Nemanja Vidic for the trip to Stamford Bridge to boot. Given the fact Chelski haven't been beaten there for about 300 years it's not looking too favourable right now.

A Wes Brown own goal and late strike from Ryan Babel cancelled out Carlos Tevez's third minute opener to hand Liverpool their first league victory over United for four years !!

United were out-fought and out-thought by a Liverpool team without both Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres. As well as missing Vidic next week it seems entirely probable the injured Carrick is now set to miss the trip to Chelsea next Sunday as well.

Thankfully Ronaldo, who has yet to play for United since openly courting his move to Real Madrid, is on course to return against Chelsea after two months on the sidelines following ankle surgery.

"Ronaldo is training now, he's with the first team and he's aiming to be a substitute at Chelsea on September 21. He's come on leaps and bounds,” Ferguson said.

"I think we mentioned a couple of weeks ago he was making rapid progress in terms of overcoming the injury problem he had and the training he's been doing with the physios and Tony Strudwick the fitness coach.

“He's been making great strides in the direction towards first-team football."

United sorely need the 23-year-old to return following their pale display at Anfield that leaves them facing problems in their bid to retain the league title.

Ferguson did actually admit that his team's performance was way below expectations.

“When you score after three minutes, you should be consolidating that, but we never won a tackle and you have to hand it to Liverpool," he said.

“When you have bad days, the big thing is to get something from them, but we conceded two goals that were absolute shockers. People will say that it is some Conference team defending when they see us on television. It was shocking stuff.

“The first was a really scabby goal to lose. Liverpool have had a bit of fortune with both goals, but they have deserved their luck, you can't deny that.

They won every tackle and we just didn't respond to it. With our great record here, Liverpool raised their game an extra level."

Vidic's sending off for two bookings rules him out of the Chelsea clash and Carrick is now set to miss both the Champions League meeting with Villarreal and the trip to Stamford Bridge after damaging his ankle against Liverpool.

Friday, 12 September 2008

The Slave And The Italian Model

Rumor has it that Cristiano Ronaldo is now dating Italian model, Letizia Filippi. The two met at a yacht party while Cristiano was vacationing in Italy this summer.

Letizia Filippi is a 30 year old Italian model from Foligno Italy who became famous in her homeland in 1994, when she entered the ‘Miss Italia Contest’ and placed third.

She's not too bad I suppose.

Some Quotes From The Great Man Himself !

I am searching for abstract ways of expressing reality, abstract forms that will
enlighten my own mystery.

I didn't study; I live.

I prefer to play and lose rather than win, because I know in advance I'm going to win.

I stopped playing football because I'd done as much as I could. I needed something which was
going to excite me as much as football had excited me.

I try to find different ways of expressing myself. Without that I will die.

I'm proud of what I achieved there, but a life built on memories is not much of a life.

If you have only one passion in life - football - and you pursue it to the exclusion
of everything else, it becomes very dangerous. When you stop doing this activity
it is as though you are dying. The death of that activity is a death in itself.

In football you have an adversary; in cinema that adversary is yourself.

My best moment? I have a lot of good moments but the one I prefer it when I
kicked the hooligan.

Often there are players who have only football as a way of expressing themselves and never
develop other interests. And when they no longer play football, they no longer do anything;
they no longer exist, or rather they have the sensation of no longer existing.

Sometimes in life one experiences an emotion which is so strong that it is difficult
to think, or to reason.

Sometimes you get submerged by emotion. I think it's very important to express it - which
doesn't necessarily mean hitting someone.

The pressure people put on themselves and the rivalry between the teams is
much more marked. And I think that's a good thing. As long as that rivalry
remains within the spirit of competition, it con only spur everyone on.

We've Won Three, Now We Want Four !!

So Manchester United have won the Champions League 3 times in their history, and twice in 9 years, in the most dramatic fashion in Moscow. But do the players, the manager, the fans, want it to stop there ?

Now the new season is underway, I took a look back at some of the quotes from Fergie, the players, the fans etc etc and already I'm looking for another Champions League win. How nice would it be to become the first team ever to defend the trophy too ?

With Dimitar Berbatov added to the squad ..... well, ya never know ??

The manager

Sir Alex Ferguson: “The satisfaction of winning it is fantastic. I’ve said before we should have won it more times and three wins has a far better ring to it. Hopefully we can build on that.”

“Defending the European Cup is not an easy thing to do but I think the team is good enough. They will improve next year.”

The players

Rio Ferdinand: “This is a great feeling to be victorious, but this is a bunch of players that are going to do it again. We’re not going to rest on our laurels. We’ll enjoy this moment. But we’ll be thinking about next season in the not-too-distant future because we want to be successful and the players are hungry for more success.”

Nemanja Vidic: “When you pick up the trophy and you celebrate with your team-mates and the fans it makes you want to do it all over again because the feeling is so good. It’s something I’ll always remember and I hope I get to experience it again.”

Cristiano Ronaldo: “We showed this season that we are the best team in Europe and in England and it’s a great feeling. Next season we will try to do the same. I feel very proud. It means everything to me - it is the happiest day of my life.”

Wayne Rooney: “I hope we can win it again. Doing it this year has given us a taste for it and we want to do well again next season. We’ve got some great young players in the squad mixed with experience, so hopefully we can do well again.”

Owen Hargreaves: “I’m not going to reflect on anything. It’s fabulous to get a reward for all the hard work you put in during the season, but for me that’s in the past and I’m looking to next season. I’m looking forward to improving on things I did wrong this season, we’ll sign some new players and keep improving. That’s my goal, I can look back when I’m finished football, but now’s not the time. I’m excited about next season already.”

Ryan Giggs: “I want nights like this again.”

The fans

“We want more, we want more, we want more!”

With such a quality-filled, youthful, hungry squad - with the likes of Rooney, Tevez, Ronaldo, Carrick, Nani, Anderson to name just a few - this Manchester United squad aren’t going to settle for what they’ve got, that’s for sure. And with the signing of Berbatov the team just got stronger.

Doesn’t it feel great to be a United fan right now?!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Rooney Instrumental In England's 4-1 Mauling Of Croatia

After England's players attempted to play down any thoughts of revenge before the Croatia clash, Wayne Rooney was happy to admit it was a prime motive as he played a key role in a remarkable 4-1 win. But then again, our Mr Rooney is never one to mince his words !!

In an exclusive interview with Setanta Sports, "our Wayne" paid tribute to Theo Walcott, describing the hat-trick hero as the fastest player he has ever seen.

Rooney scored the other goal in Zagreb as Fabio Capello's side inflicted Croatia's first-ever home defeat in competitive football.

"As I've said before, the friendly games have all been progress for us trying to qualify for the World Cup and, with a bit of revenge in mind, it was a great performance from us and a great result. In the friendlies, we tried different things and Andorra are difficult to play against as they put 11 men behind the ball but we knew Croatia would come and be a tough game for us. We defended really well and took our chances - that's the main thing. I think Theo was brilliant. He gives us something different and is probably the quickest player I've seen. He showed glimpses of what he can do against Andorra and got three great goals tonight so I'm very pleased for him. He can be brilliant. Sven [Goran Eriksson] saw his talent and was brave enough to select him for the World Cup in 2006. It's been a bit of a roller-coaster for him over the last two years and he hasn't always played for Arsenal but hopefully, after the last two performances, he can get a solid place in the Arsenal team."

Rooney paid tribute to the supporters for making the trip to Zagreb and getting behind the team. They actually managed to go a whole game without booing the team !!

"Of course we enjoy a 4-1 victory especially after what Croatia did to us in the last qualifying campaign. The players are so pleased and I'm sure the fans are the same. You've seen the fans in Andorra and tonight and they were brilliant. There's lots over here and I think the players know the fans have waited a long time to see a good performance like that. We're all pleased we've done that for them. The main thing is three points in tonight's game and the next few games, hopefully we can take this form into the next game."

United And Chelsea On Another Collision Course

Remember the Jon Obi Mikel farce ? United had signed him,
Chelsea began crying and stamping their feet he was theirs,
so United handed him over, with £1m profit I might add, nice
work Fergie ...

This time the target for both clubs is Danish defender Nicolai
Boilesen who at just 16 has already attracted the attention
of the top teams in the Premier League.

Speaking to Danish newspaper, Ekstra Bladet, the youngster
admitted that he would be coming to England to train with the
two clubs with a view to a career in English football in the future.

“Whether it is in Denmark or abroad, only time will tell, for now,
I am just coming to England to train with United and Chelsea."

He also added: “It will be fantastic to come to United because
they are my favourite club.”

He concluded: "I am very proud that two such big clubs are
watching me."

Chose United young man, just to p*** Chelski off if nothing else ...

Darnel Situ

I heard so many United fans complain that Real
Madrid were 'tapping' The Slave up and trying to
lure him to Spain but they seem to forget Fergie
is worse than them for this !!

Fergie is a nightmare for hounding teams and
grabbing the youngsters for next to no money.
Nothing wrong with that either. As long as he is
within the rules then what can they do ? OK,
some of his methods are a bit close to the mark
but as United fans I'm sure WE don't mind.

He has now begun his pursuit of Darnel Situ AGAIN !!!

Back in May the Lens manager Pierre Dreossi said:

"The player wants to go to Manchester United,
and they have made us an offer.

"We will gather our thoughts and see whether we will
consider it or not, but we will defend our interests."

United have already made contact with the family of the
youngster, he was 15 years old in May so maybe now
he is 16, and his mother has confirmed her son is set
for Manchester after talks with Sir Alex Ferguson.

Lens are now battling to to get Situ to sign a pro

"There has to be gratitude shown for all the hard work
we have put into his education, Lens technical director
Daniel Leclercq told France Football.

"The players must be aware that they can't take advan-
tage of our facilities and coaching.

"Darnel will resume with the youth team at Lens. We
are even in talks to see him pledge his long-term future

For the record, Situ is a central defender.

There was another French youngster Fergie was trying
to sign, Jeremy Helene, but I haven't heard anything
about this guy since May.

Arbeloa The Comedian

Alvaro Arbeloa insists Liverpool can still beat Manchester United
without Steven Gerrard or Fernando Torres.

The two best players they have and he thinks his team can take
on Europes best without them !!!

That either makes him extremely stupid and ill informed or just
arrogant and big headed !!

Gerrard is recovering from groin surgery, while striker Torres is
struggling with a hamstring strain.

The funniest bit was when he told the Liverpool web site:

"'Fernando and Stevie are really important for us and they are
probably our best players. But we have a really good squad and
know we have other really good players too. We can still beat
Manchester United without Fernando and Stevie. 'It will be a
hard game for us, but it will also be tough for them. Their
defenders have to play against players like Yossi
Benayoun, Dirk Kuyt and Robbie Keane. We now have
people like Robbie Keane, who is a really good player,
and Albert Riera too.'

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Sorry About The Unexplained Absence

I had a weird experience !!

Google in their infinite wisdom decided my blog was spam and removed it ... the fact that most of the spam blogs advertise things like 'Bangalore Escort Girls' and 'New Delhi Massage Parlours' says a lot for me doesn't it ? LMAO - at least I can earn a few quid in New Delhi or Bangalore, with a reference from Google to boot !!! One thing that bothers me about the thing that Google run here - is the fact that if you go to their help group with a problem, there is maybe 3 or 4 people trying to deal with problems arising from about 175 million blogs !!! They must make millions of dollars every week from these blogs and it virtually runs itself !! I had my blog flagged since 18th August and the routine is that you must send in an unblock request which I did the same day. Then they promise to look at it and unblock it in 2 business days if it is not spam. Well I ended up sending four of these requests in, as well as leaving 6 messages on the Blogger Help Forums - and despiute all that, they just deleted it with not so much as a single word to me !! Anyway, all is good again so sorry about that x

Monday, 8 September 2008

Every One Of Us ......

Every One Of Us

.........should realise how lucky we have been to see the greatest manager ever to
walk the planet, manage the club we all follow - Manchester United..

United did the double last year !! Champions of England and Champions of Europe but no one
seems to have celebrated it or even recognised the fact they did it. Probably because we have
had to put up with the precocious antics of Ronaldo, then listen to the idiot Sepp Blatter declare
all players are becoming slaves, albeit on £100,000 per week !! Then we had Euro 2008
followed by The Beijing Olympics and voila, here we are, another season begins.

I hear a lot of people putting Sir Fergie down, pushing aside his records and all he has achieved
with United. I think it's an English thing. They gave Capello 28 minutes into his first game with
England before booing them !! They love failure for some reason they even court it. They expect
to fail, then they fail, then they get bitter because they failed. In the same vein, they wont
recognise anything Fergie does until he is long gone !!

This is sad, a great shame. The simple truth is, no matter who believes it, Sir Alex Chapman
Ferguson CBE, is the greatest football coach/manager to ever walk this planet it's as simple as
that and there is no argument possible to even contest it !

In statistical terms, Ferguson's career is, quite simply, incredible and would be so even if it were
fiction. The end of last season brought him a tenth English league championship in 21 seasons as
United's manager. No other manager in English history even comes close: Bob Paisley won six
with Liverpool, Matt Busby five with United and Herbert Chapman four with Arsenal and
Huddersfield in the 1930s. If we look outside England, Rinus Michels won five league
championships (4 with Ajax and one with Barcelona) whilst Fabio Capello won seven (4 at AC
Milan, 2 at Real Madrid and another at Roma; another two at Juventus were taken off him
because he CHEATED !!!

Only in Scotland is Ferguson's achievement matched: Jock Stein, his friend and mentor, led
Celtic to 11 Scottish titles. All due respect to Scotland and their FA, but it's not quite as
competitive up there so I personally think Fergies achievements are a lot better.

In all, United have won 702 (58%) of the 1210 league games played under Ferguson to the end
of May 2008. That surpasses even the record of Matt Busby: 576 (50%) wins out of 1141
games. And Ferguson's teams lost only 18% of their competitive games, compared with 26%
under Busby. Since the inception of the Premier League, Ferguson's record has been even more
remarkable, beyond belief in fact.

In the 16 years of the Premiership, United have totalled 155 more league points than Arsenal,
their nearest challengers, 221 more than Chelsea and 244 more than Liverpool. That's nearly 10
points a season better than Arsenal on average,nearly 14 points better than Chelsea and more
than 16 points better than Liverpool - astonishing margins. In the process, United also played
the more attractive football consistently, averaging 1.97 goals per game (compared with 1.69 for
Arsenal, 1.58 for Chelsea, and 1.6 for Liverpool) and defended better (conceding 0.87 goals per
game compared with 0.88, 0.98 and 0.98 respectively for their main rivals).

If all that were not enough, Ferguson has also brought United two European Cups, a European
Cup-Winners Cup, five FA Cups (a record for a manager) and two League Cups, 20 major
trophies in all. Against that, Michels won a total of 14, Paisley 13, Capello 9, Busby 7 and
Chapman 6. But there's more. Before joining United in 1986, Ferguson led Aberdeen to 3 league
championships, 4 FA Cups, one League Cup and a European Cup-Winners Cup in Scotland.

There's also the matter of two European Super Cups (one with each club) and an Intercontinental
Cup (United became, so far, the only English winners of that trophy). That's 32
major trophies overall, ahead even of Stein's 29 in Scotland (and as I said achieved in a much
tougher competitive environment). Along the way, there have been three English League and
FA Cup doubles (the first to do it twice and then three times), and one League and European
Cup double. Above all, in 1999 Ferguson led United to the treble of League championship, FA
Cup and European Cup, the single greatest achievement by any club in English football history
and something unmatched in Europe's main leagues (England, Italy, Spain, Germany and France).

You could not make it up. However much partisanship might colour our perceptions of the
relative merits of the great managers, indisputably Ferguson stands pre-eminent in the history
of English and European football. Yet statistics do not give us the full substance of the man. It is
all too easy to forget, that Ferguson took over something of an empty shell in 1986, a club living
on fading memories of the Busby era, as much about tabloid notoriety as football achievement.

With a ferocity that many found difficult to live with, he removed the drinking culture that he
found, got rid of some outstanding players who had lost their way, confined the media to the
fringes of the club's business, resurrected the club's youth development system, built a
professional training and coaching system still unsurpassed in England, and demanded and got
(as the price of being at the club) a unity of purpose and clarity of focus that turned talented
players into winners.

Perhaps his greatest achievement has been that he has managed to blend the demands of a more
tactical and defensive modern game with the attacking verve and individual swagger established
by Busby as the United way of playing, a way that made a provincial club the best supported
team in the world.

It was a challenge that defeated previous United managers (including even Busby in his late
years) but Ferguson's teams have managed to provide plenty of scope for individual expression
within the framework of team organization.

Thus, players like Cantona, Giggs, Rooney, Ronaldo, Scholes, Sharpe, Yorke, Cole, Beckham,
Anderson and others have developed into artists who could stretch the imagination of those
lucky enough to watch them while they still played winning football.

These skills have been paraded through four successful United teams built by Ferguson.

If the first (1990-2) was something of a transitional side, the other three - 1993-4, 1999-2001
and 2006-8 - have all been great ones.

The treble in 1999 must rank that side as the greatest of them, indeed as the greatest in English
club history, not only for the magnitude of the success but also for the flair and style with which
it was done. It exemplified what all Ferguson's teams are about - skill and flair embedded in a
high level of organization and a ferocious team spirit.

All this makes Fergie something more than a successful coach and places him in the ranks of
those great managers who can 'build a club', as the saying goes, men like Michels, Stein, Shankly,
Clough, Nicholson, Wenger.

In this company, Busby stands supreme: we cannot begin to imagine what it took to turn a
bankrupt, provincial club without a stadium into one renowned throughout the world, to change
the idea of football in favour of youth and flair, to drag English football into Europe, to resurrect
the club after the Munich air crash (by contrast, Torino have never recovered fully after losing
their great team in a 1949 air crash) and to win the European Cup just a decade after Munich.

Yet Ferguson, too, belongs here, adapting the Busby legacy to new realities and taking the club
to new heights.

It is only in his relations with the media that Fergie can be considered less than successful. If it is
true he has had to deal with a more unscrupulous and contemptible press than any that Busby,
Shankly or Stein faced, it is also true that his constant conflicts with them have done neither
himself nor his club any favours. It has encouraged a sustained campaign against the club by the
London media so that United's enormous contribution to the community and to Unicef and other
charities gets a Chinese-government type media blackout !!! It has also led to a media caricature
of Fergie with little basis in reality but with a life of its own.

The ranting bully terrorizing his players does not square with their fierce loyalty to him
or with their unshakeable will to win games from seemingly hopeless
positions or with the flair and joy they so often bring to their play

Nor does it square with the esteem in which he is held throughout football, or with the
appreciation by other managers of the support and generosity he accords them or, for that
matter, with the help and friendship he has extended to individual
journalists facing crises in their lives.

The wealth and fame he has achieved in football, and the political and business circles to which
he has access as a result, have not altered his friendships, most of which go back to his youth, or
his focus on family ties or his social values.

Perhaps that is a truer reflection of the nature of the beast than the media picture......