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Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Whatever Happened To Manchester United's Manucho?

manchester united blog manucho For those of you who were wondering where the hell Manucho has gone then fear not. Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has assured Angola star Manucho he's in his long-term plans.

The centre-forward has been linked with a permanent move to Le Havre, but Fergie says he is counting on Manucho among several of the club's top youngsters.

“Our pool of players is getting stronger as the younger lads mature and come into the squad, knowing they will perform. I am thinking of players like Jonny Evans, Rafael, Darron Gibson, Rodrigo Possebon, Danny Welbeck and Manucho. We have a good strong squad and I’m confident we have the men for the task. We are only handful of points behind the leaders and we have a good chance of winning the Premier League again.”.....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Manchester United Send Cristiano Ronaldo Home

cristiano ronaldo going home manchester united blog Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson may allow Cristiano Ronaldo to return home to Portugal until their January 11 clash with Chelsea.

The Times says Ferguson has often given his younger overseas players dispensation to return briefly to their homeland during the winter months, with Anderson and Carlos Tévez back in Brazil and Argentina respectively this week.

And now would appear the ideal time to allow Ronaldo a brief rest, particularly given that United’s next two matches are against Southampton in the FA Cup third round on Sunday and Derby County in the Carling Cup semi-final, first leg a week today before they face Chelsea at Old Trafford. Ronaldo may be involved against Southampton, but he is almost certain to sit out the Carling Cup tie.....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Should Manchester United Hold On To Owen?

owen hargreaves knee injury surgery america manchester united blogIs Owen Hargreaves' ongoing knee problem going to force Sir Alex Ferguson to buy in January? What can Fergie do with the midfielder? We only just got rid of the injury prone Balsawood Man that is Louis Sahahaha and now we are lumbered with another one!

Hargreaves' recurring knee injury ruled him out for the rest of the season yesterday and while that comes as no great surprise, surely we must be asking ourselves is it worth going through the same old routine with Hargreaves as we had to endure with Saha.

Hargreaves will travel to the US to visit specialist Dr Steadman, the surgeon who has already operated on his right knee. This time he will have the same procedure carried out on his left knee.

The 27 year old has managed just 37 appearances since his £18m move from Bayern Munich. He has always been blighted by injury, which has started to restrict his opportunities in England's crowded midfield. He is an integral player for club and country and fans will be hoping for a speedy resolution, but this could be just one operation too many?

He has already had unsuccessful visits to specialists in London and in Sweden, sparking fears that his career may be cut short.

Ferguson is a big fan of Hargreaves but after just 3 games this season, will it force the club to move for a replacement in the next transfer window? Reports in this mornings newspapers have suggested that Lassana Diarra and Axel Witsel are high on the transfer wishlist of Sir Alex, but have United got enough in reserve? I believe Anderson has the abilities to be a long overdue successor to Roy Keane and you do wonder if the injury now to Hargreaves will force the boss to give the Brazilian the role.

Should United bring in a replacement for Hargreaves in January or can Fletcher, Possebon and Anderson do a job for Manchester United?

Gerrard Free Again - What Songs Will He Have On His i-Pod ?

manchester united blog steven gerrard arrestedSteven Gerrard knows how to entertain Manchester United fans. The Liverpool captain was arrested in a Merseyside bar.

Gerrard - who was released by police at 11.25 last night (Monday) - had been arrested with five other men after an alleged brawl in a Southport night club, during which a man suffered facial injuries and was taken to hospital. The row allegedly began over the choice of music being played in the bar. They were arguing with the DJ over the matter, who, incidentally comes from Manchester.

The England player, who was thought to be out celebrating his club's 5-1 win over Newcastle on Sunday, is expected to be free to lead his side out to face Preston in the FA Cup next weekend, unless he is rested by manager Rafael Benitez. No other Liverpool players are thought to be among those being interviewed by police.

The FA and Liverpool have so far declined to comment but they are expected to treat this as a personal matter for Gerrard.

Liverpool lead the Premier League and after scoring two goals against Newcastle, Gerrard said that it was important to deal with the pressures that came with a title challenge.

Gerrard has been a key part of Liverpool's push for a first title in almost 20 years, having scored eight Premier League goals this season. He has also been an influential member of Fabio Capello's reinvigorated England side, who have made an unbeaten start to their World Cup qualifying campaign.

The midfielder has previously made the headlines over off-the-pitch events.

At the end of last year, Gerrard's wife, Alex Curran, was held as masked men burgled their house while he was on Champions League duty.

I have compiled a list of his favourite songs I imagine we might find on his i-pod since his release:


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Arsene Wenger - One Of The All Time Greats

manchester united arsene wenger unitedArsene Wenger sits on the bench at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff one Saturday in May. His team, Arsenal, are contesting another FA Cup final, their third in as many seasons. Out on the pitch his players are at it again, for one last time before the sun sets on another year. Thierry Henry receives the ball on the edge of the penalty area, waits for Dennis Bergkamp to make the run outside him on the right before sliding a pass into his path. Bergkamp twists and clips the ball back inside to Freddie Ljungberg, whose near-post shot bounces off a defender and into the path of Robert Pires. There is no other word. It is poetry - the metre and the rhythm, the beauty and the beat; France, Holland, Sweden, France; the blending of skill and athleticism and intuitive awareness that the players have of one another's movements.

On the bench Wenger watches, at once intensely involved and perfectly excluded. As the ball crosses the line he springs up and, walking towards the pitch, does his familiar celebration, elbows at his side, fists clenched and pumping discreetly. Then he applauds. Then he goes and sits down again. His is only a half -celebration, but then winning the much-eroded FA Cup is perhaps only a quarter triumph after the devastation of the preceding weeks, when Wenger's
world seems slowly, incomprehensibly, to have caved in.

To anyone accustomed to his body language, defined by its restraint, its marked lack of passion, it is as if Wenger had a personality transplant in the spring of 2003. For months Arsenal had played what may even have been the best football ever produced by a British club. Power, in Wenger's prediction, was sprinting south. And then they blew it, they blew their lead, and Manchester United, with Sir Alex Ferguson urging them on like a whip-happy charioteer, remorselessly chased and chased and ground Arsenal down.

Few people had heard of Arsene Wenger when he came to Arsenal in 1996. He remains an enigma - a cultured, media-shy Frenchman who neither looks nor behaves like a football manager. But now he is probably one of the most influential figures in the English game.

In August 1996, the name Arsene Wenger meant absolutely nothing in north London. "Arsene Who?" ran the Evening Standard headline that greeted his appointment. It was the story of his life, from the moment he took charge of his own team at Nancy 12 years earlier. In every new job, he didn't just have to prove himself; he had to introduce himself. When Rioch was sacked, one of the papers had three or four names as a replacement. It was Venables, Cruyff and then at the end Arsene Wenger. Trust Arsenal to appoint the boring one that you haven't heard of !

Because they didn't know who he was, one Saturday two weeks before his arrival, Wenger appeared by live satellite link on the video screens at Highbury. They should have played it in the dressing room too. It was one thing for the club's most famous fan not to have heard of Wenger, quite another for the club captain. Tony Adams didn't know the new man from Adam.

There was a feeling of "who the fuck is he ?" and "what is he going to do ?" and "What is he ?". "Rioch had been sacked, caretaker manager Stewart Houston had left for Queens Park Rangers and Adams and Rice were "kind of just getting on with it", recalls Tony Adams. "I got a call from the chairman along the lines of, 'I hear the shit's hit the fan back there. Er, don't worry, rally the troops. Good man on his way. Be patient.' It was quite hilarious." Did he know anything about
Wenger ? "No." Literally the name meant nothing? "No. Nothing at all. He wasn't an English top-of-the-tree coach with proven experience. He wasn't an Alex Ferguson. He wasn't a renowned manager of that time - a George Graham."

Wenger's appointment was announced on August 20, he met the press on September 22 and took official charge on September 30, a Monday morning. "He arrived unnoticed at the training ground," Lee Dixon recalls. "A meeting was called, the players filed in and in front of us stood this tall, slightly-built man who gave no impression whatsoever of being a football manager."

It was an extremely precarious moment in Arsenal's history. With Manchester United now dominant, Arsenal had become entirely dependent on an impregnable defence and the goals of Ian Wright to keep them in contention. There was no reason why they couldn't have turned into Spurs after Rioch. But after the arrival of Wenger, people began to think it's part of the natural order of things that Arsenal and Manchester United were always one and two in the Premiership more or less every year. However, it was not in the natural order of things. It was entirely because of Arsene Wenger !

He doesn't buy success, that's easy to do. He cultures it, he finds the raw, basic talent and he nurtures it, takes care of it and produces some of the most amazing teams I have seen for very, very little money. If it were possible to turn back the clock and re-run his 12 years with Arsenal WITHOUT Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford, Wenger would be one of the greatest managers that ever lived. It would have been Arsenal winning title after title and FA Cup after FA Cup. Sadly for Wenger though, Sir Alex Ferguson does exist and he has cast a shadow over what I believe to be one of the best managers ever to grace the English game.

That's Arsene Wenger.....Back To Home Page.....

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Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Manchester United Need To Score More Or They'll Have Big Problems

I have this strange feeling that Manchester United's poor
form in
front of goal will dam­age their chances of a third
consecutive League
title. Every single year for the past
four years we have had a goal
difference second to none.
Despite creating several chances, United
needed a 69th-
minute goal from Dimitar Berbatov to squeeze past

rel­egation-threatened Middlesboroughat Old Trafford
and claim
their fourth 1-0 win in five League matches.

It's sad to say but players like Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo
continue to worry both me and Fergie. Even Berbatov has struggled
since his big money move from Spurs.


Lean spell: Cristiano Ronaldo contemplates his latest miss against

Ferguson said: "If we can’t take our chances, we will suffer for it. We
missed a lot of chances and that is a big worry. But Berbatov is a
marvellous player, and he was absolutely superb for us against Boro.
He took his goal very well.'

Sir Alex said about four weeks ago that if United can be within two
points of the top of the table come new year then they will be in
with a chance of winning their third consecutive title. Currently we
are 7 points adrift of The Bindippers but with two games in hand.

He added: "We are in a good position at the turn of the year. We
have two games in hand, both of which are at home, and it is going
to be a great run in. The important thing for us is to look after our-
selves and do our own job, and we will be okay."


That's how it's done: Berbatov nets the winner against Middlesbrough

Emmanuel Pogatetz, who I class as an animal and a cheating slimy
git, grabbed Cristiano Ronaldo by the neck and wrestled him to the
ground. Nothing surprising really considering his past record.

Ferguson added: 'It seems Pogatetz grabbed him by the neck. It
happens all the time. There is jostling and jersey-pulling. Defenders
are getting away with murder.'

Pogatetz was already an unpopular figure at Old Trafford for a
dreadful tackle on United youngster Rodrigo Pos­sebon in a Carling
Cup tie earlier in the campaign, but Middlesbrough manager Gareth
Southgate said: 'I heard a lot of noise and there was some finger-
point­ing - but that’s all. The referee Martin Atkinson seemed com-
fortable with it. When teams are marking from corners there is
always a bit of contact.'

Typical Southgate nonsense. If it was one of his players and Rooney
had grabbed his neck the whole footballing world would be up in arms.
Because it is against Crsitiano Ronaldo then it seems to be fine to act
like this.


Wide of the mark: Wayne Rooney's goals have dried up

But back to my original point after this rant. If the goals don't start
flowing soon then I fear a problem come April or May. United in
the past have always held the advantage with this, and it is worth
an extra point on the run-in.

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Monday, 29 December 2008

Dozing Berbatov Wins It For Manchester United Against Middlesborough

manchester united blog blackburn rovers berbatovManchester United continued their good form after returning from Japan by scraping past Middlesborough tonight. The one thing that has worried me all season was this Club World Cup. I had visions of United jetting off to Japan to take part in this competition and whilst they were away, Liverpool and Chelsea would both notch up wins leaving us with a mountain to climb. But that didn't happen. While United became World Champions both the leaders stuttered and gave United a much easier task than they could have been left with.

Happy days for us indeed. Since returning to the UK they have notched up two wins and both have been hard fought. Tonight Dimitar Berbatov dozed through 69 minutes of Manchester United's home game with Middlesbrough on Monday before scoring the only goal to keep the champions in touch with the Premier League leaders.

Berbatov appeared an uninterested, bored observer for much of a freezing night at Old Trafford as team mate Cristiano Ronaldo missed half a dozen chances to secure a lead against a Boro team who had not won in their seven previous games.

However, when the visiting defence failed to properly clear a Michael Carrick cross Berbatov was well placed near the penalty spot to steer it back past Ross Turnbull for the decisive goal.

United remain third in the standings on 38 points but with two games in hand on their three main rivals. Liverpool, who thumped Newcastle United 5-1 away on Sunday, lead the way on 45 points, with Chelsea second on 42.

Arsenal are fourth (35), ahead of Aston Villa (35).........the quadruple is still on !!!

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Can Manchester United Lift The 'Impossible Quadruple' ?

manchester united blog quadruple alex fergusonIt is widely known that Manchester United have had a much harder start to the season than all their rivals. They have played all of the top ten teams AWAY from home and have had a trip to Japan to compete in the Club World Cup to contend with as well.

Despite this, United are within touching distance of the top of the league, they have a semi-final in the Carling Cup against Derby County and begin their FA Cup run against Southampton next week. A nice juicy clash with Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan also awaits them in the last 16 of the Champions League too. So United are still battling on four fronts having won the World Club Cup and the Community Shield this season.

However, Sir Alex Ferguson believes winning four more trophies this season is not a "realistic" target.

"To win one major trophy is unusual but nice all the time, but there is no chance of winning all four competitions we are left in this season. It is appetising and we will have that opportunity if we are still in them all come March and April, but it is not realistic. I won't be making any ridiculous statements about winning the lot. We would have to be very lucky in terms of everyone still being fit and we have got a job to do in the league.

"Our start has been very difficult. Every game we have had after a European match has been away from home. And when we came back from Japan we were away again at Stoke on Boxing Day. We have also had away games against all the top sides, so our start has been satisfactory, but not perfect at the moment. We are in a very competitive league, but we still have a good chance of keeping our title."

They all said the 'Treble' was the 'Quadruple' impossible ?

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Sunday, 28 December 2008

Alexis Sanchez Declares His Desire To Play For Manchester United

manchester united blog alexis sanchez wants to play for manchester I reported on the possibility of Alexis Sanchez becoming a Manchester United player several months ago and he has himself declared his wishes to become a United player. 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.

His nickname is "El Nino Maravilla" (The Wonder Boy), several high profile clubs within Italy and from around Europe have been taking a long hard look at him but his ambitions lie with Manchester United.

Speaking to he said: "I would like to play in the Premier League and, above all, at Manchester United, I like Manchester United, the way they play and they have great players.”

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.

He scored his first goal with Colo-Colo in the Copa Sudamericana 2006 against the Liga Deportiva Alajuelense on October 10 2006 in the David Arellano Stadium.

On March 12 2007,Sánchez hurt his toe and there were major fears that Sánchez's career may be over.

On March 20 2007 Sánchez made a miraculous recovery from his bad toe and scored a hat-trick in a Copa Libertadores group match versus Caracas.

On August 15, 2007 he was signed to River Plate on loan. Udinese has Alexis Sanchez valued at 20 million euros.

On July 22, 2008 he was greeted as a new reinforcement for Udinese, where he got together with his fellow partners in 2007 South American Youth Championship Mauricio Isla and Nicolas Corvetto. The young player has already played a couple of games, and has become popular with Udinese's fans, because of his trickery.....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Manchester United Have Four Players In L'Equipe Team Of The Year 2008

manchester united players l'equipe team of the year 2008 Four Manchester United players have been named in French newspaper L'Equipe's Team of the Year for 2008.

Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Cristiano Ronaldo were all named in the XI by L'Equipe's team of journalists.

L'Équipe (French for "the team") is a French nationwide daily newspaper devoted to sports. The paper is noted for coverage of football, rugby, motorsports and cycling. Its ancestor was L'Auto, a general sports paper, whose name reflected not any narrow interest but the excitement of the time in car racing.

L'Auto originated the Tour De Frnace cycling stage race in 1903 as a circulation booster. The race leader's yellow jersey (maillot jaune) was instituted in 1919, probably to reflect the distinctive yellow newsprint on which L'Auto was published.

The XI are:

Iker Casillas (Real Madrid) - Dani Alves (Barcelona), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United), Patrick Evra (Manchester United) - Xavi (Barcelona), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) - Fernando Torres (Liverpool), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter Milan)

Manchester United Stars Purchase New Bentley Continental GT Speed

manchester united blog pla Three Manchester United players have gone carazy and spent £200,000 EACH on the new Bentley Continental GT Speed. Cristiano Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs and goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar each treated themselves to a new car.

An Old Trafford source said: “The credit crunch doesn’t mean anything to these guys. If there is a new supercar out there they just have to have it. Ryan Giggs has been a Bentley owner for years so it is no surprise he would have gone for the latest model and Cristiano has an ever growing collection of cars.”

The Continental GT Speed is the most powerful production Bentley ever and the first to top 200mph (322km/h). A potent addition to the company's highly successful Continental series, the GT Speed extends the appeal of the Continental GT coupe to driving enthusiasts who place a high value on outright performance and agile handling.

The exterior style of the new Continental GT and GT Speed models is defined by a wider, lower air intake and more upright radiator grille that also provide increased airflow to the more powerful GT Speed. Its 600bhp (610PS) W12 engine develops 15 percent more torque and nine percent more power than the standard Continental GT, while engine efficiency is optimised by the use of lower friction, lighter-weight components and a new engine management system. The resultant performance is exceptional, with a top speed of 202mph (326km/h), a zero to 60mph sprint time of just 4.3 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.5s) and effortless overtaking capability.....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Manchester United "Primed To Take The Premier League Title" Claims Sir Alex

alex ferguson stoke city

SIR Alex Ferguson believes Manchester United are on course for another surge towards the Barclays Premier League title. Manchester United are, after all, renowned for their form once the Xmas and New Year celebrations are out of the way.

United's win against Stoke City was a gritty performance on Boxing Day, despite leaving it late to take all three points from the Britannia Stadium as Carlos Tevez converted Dimitar Berbatov's cross with seven minutes to play. The win kept Ferguson's reigning champions hot on the heels of Chelsea and Liverpool and the United boss expects his team to be much stronger in the New Year.

"If we could get to New Year's Day a couple of points adrift of the leaders we would be very happy, we expect to kick on. We'll give ourselves a great chance if we get into that position."

Ferguson was impressed with the way his players coped with the demands of playing a fired-up Stoke team just days after returning from winning the Club World Cup in Japan.

"Coming back from Japan we were worried about how it would affect the team but you could see their energy was good. There was no problem with that and they handled it very well,".

Ferguson admitted he was about to replace Tevez with South Korean winger Park Ji-Sung when the Argentine forward made the breakthrough.

"At that point I was saying to myself this could be a draw so I wanted Park on for some width. But Carlos scores important goals and he's come up trumps again."

The only downside of United's day was the absence of Rio Ferdinand. The England defender was forced to pull out just before kick-off with a recurrence of a long-term back injury.

"We have to get to the root of this because he has had this back problem too many times," Ferguson added. He'll be out against Middlesbrough on Monday. I think in maybe 10 days he should be OK.".....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Rio Ferdinand Out Of Manchester United Team For Ten Days

rio ferdinand back injury out for ten days manchester united Rio Ferdinand will be sidelined for up to 10 days after suffering a back injury while warming up for yesterday's match with Stoke City.

Alex Ferguson said: "Rio suffered a back spasm -- he has done it a few times this year -- and will miss Monday's match against Middlesborough. We have got to try and get to the bottom of the problem. But we will manage without him. Jonny (Evans) is an outstanding player. We are fortunate to have such a talented boy to call on. At 20 he shows such maturity. He reads the game well, he uses the ball well and his pace is good. He has all the attributes of a top player."

Talking about yesterdays result, Ferguson added: "You start to worry a bit as the second half looked a bit of a stalemate. Then Dimitar (Berbatov) showed great balance and turned the defender brilliantly before playing the ball across to Carlos (Tevez) to finish it off. We were delighted about that."

Ferguson was pleased with the way his side responded and shook off any lingering effects of jet lag.

"Hopefully we will look back and say this was a significant win for us. If we get to New Year's Day and are only a point or two away, then we will have a chance, it is not easy coming here. Stoke have beaten Arsenal and gone close against Chelsea and had some good results at home. Stoke are very resilient, determined and gutsy. However there is no question it was a sending off as it was a rash challenge by their player.".....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Friday, 26 December 2008

Graham Poll Says Manchester United Players Get Away With Murder

graham poll manchester united get away with murderGraham Poll speaking in The Telegraph about Manchester United said:

Supporters of less fashionable teams often complain that referees never miss their team's fouls, especially when they're up against a 'big' club.

On the evidence of yesterday at the Britannia, they have a case.

Wayne Rooney, in retaliation to the close attentions of Abdoulaye Faye, appeared to throw an arm to keep his opponent at bay and was not punished.

Then, Cristiano Ronaldo seemed to retaliate to a challenge and, again, escaped the attentions of the officials.

Referees, when questioned, just say that they did not see such situations.

It was unfortunate for Stoke that Chris Foy was not unsighted for either of Andy Wilkinson's challenges - and rightly dismissed the Stoke man.

Come on Mr Poll, your referees make shocking decisions week in and week out, surely you can't blame Manchester United for that!!

At least Mr Poll is consistent and he speaks bullshit through his arse on a regular basis !!!.....

Another Late show By Manchester United As Tevez Nets The Winner

manchester united beat stoke city tevez winnerCarlos Tevez secured three Barclays Premier League points for Manchester United in another late show against 10-man Stoke at the Britannia Stadium with the only goal of the game seven minutes from time.

The Argentinean was set up by substitute Dimitar Berbatov whose volley to the far post allowed Tevez to tap
home from close-range. The match had been well contested but United always looked the most likely to get the breakthrough and there task was made easier when Andy Wilkinson was sent off for the home side.

United were without captain Rio Ferdinand who was injured in the pre-match warm up and was replaced by Jonny Evans. Evans allowed Ricardo Fuller to get away from him in the opening moments of the match but the Potters striker blazed over the bar.

Manchester United then took control of the match but were met by some solid defending by Stoke who were prepared to get men behind the ball.
Nemanja Vidic and Wayne Rooney both went close with headers but United becoming visibly frustrated by their inability to break down the Stoke defence.

At the start of the second half Stoke goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen was twice called into action but managed to save well from Tevez and later from Paul Scholes.
Fuller went close again for Stoke as they had a rare foray into United territory.

The striker almost benefitted from a mix up between Edwin van der Sar and John O'Shea on the edge of the box but the United duo managed to clear.

A game that had experienced some niggling incidents – notably involving Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo – then exploded once more as Wilkinson clattered into the back of Ronaldo and was sent off for a second-bookable offence. Alex Ferguson brought Berbatov on and his presence seemed to lift the visitors.

The Bulgarian headed over the bar soon after coming on before setting up Tevez for the winner seven minutes from full time.
Gary Neville crossed the ball which Berbatov collected and he volley on towards the far post where Tevez was lying in wait.

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Thursday, 25 December 2008

A Year To Remember For Manchester United

As Sir Alex Ferguson watched Ryan Giggs sprint towards the jubilant Manchester United supporters packed into one end of Wigan's JJB Stadium, a look of relief spread across his face.

Giggs had just scored the goal that wrapped up United's 17th English league title and their 10th during Ferguson's reign.

Despite holding a substantial lead over their London rivals at one stage, United had been made to sweat all the way to the finish line by Chelsea and eventually ended only two points clear.

Taking the title by such a narrow margin could be a sign of things to come in the Premier League as the global credit crunch begins to level the playing field.

United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal will all finish the year at the top end of the table again, but the emergence of Aston Villa as serious challengers to the big four underlines the closing gap between the league's superpowers and the chasing pack.

That Chelsea will start 2009 firmly in the title race is no surprise, but there are signs that the financial meltdown is starting to make life difficult for Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Scolari made an impressive start after replacing Avram Grant as Chelsea boss, but the Brazilian, who was furious that Manchester City out-bid the Blues for Robinho on transfer deadline day, has presided over a series of spluttering performances in recent weeks.

To make matters worse, Scolari has been told he must sell before he can buy after owner Roman Abramovich called a halt to the extravagant spending that has marked the Russian's time at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea aren't alone in tightening their belts and only Manchester City, backed by their Abu Dhabi-based billionaire owners, will buck the trend and pay big money during the transfer window.

The financial implications of relegation from the Premier League are too catastrophic to contemplate now and inevitably chairmen are getting twitchy.

When Paul Ince was sacked by Blackburn after only 17 matches in charge, he became the sixth top-flight boss to lose his job this season.

Winning the League Cup in February wasn't enough to save Juande Ramos as Tottenham's form collapsed.

Harry Redknapp, tempted by a crack at his first big club, left Portsmouth to replace the Spaniard and sparked a remarkable revival, while Kevin Keegan's second coming at Newcastle ended in acrimonious circumstances.

On the field, the Premier League still has much to commend it. Giggs' goal at Wigan was the prelude to an even more dramatic Champions League final penalty shoot-out win against Chelsea in Moscow 10 days later that capped one of United's greatest seasons.

That double triumph could be the start of another glorious era for United, but before the champagne corks had even stopped popping, Cristiano Ronaldo, whose 42 goals had played such a key role in United's success, took the fizz out of their celebrations by unsuccessfully pushing for a move to Real Madrid.

Ronaldo has cut a forlorn figure ever since and his erratic form in the second half of 2008 has added to the impression that he is still at United on sufferance only.

But Ferguson's men still ended the year newly crowned as FIFA's Club World Cup winners and returned from Japan with Liverpool and Chelsea within touching distance.

The most encouraging trend of the year has to be the way newly-promoted Hull and Stoke have managed to make the critics eat their words.

After Derby's relegation in May with 11 points - an English top-flight record low - Stoke and Hull and were widely regarded as certainities for relegation. But both are clear of the bottom three and, not only was Hull's win at Arsenal was one of the most memorable of the year, it also contributed to the spectacular outburst from Gunners captain William Gallas a few weeks later that revealed the extent of Arsene Wenger's problems at the Emirates Stadium.

Manchester United Receive An Apology From The FA After Evidence From The Patrice Evra Hearing Is Leaked

Manchester United have received an apology from the FA, which is as rare as rocking horse shit, following the publication of evidence from Patrice Evra's controversial disciplinary hearing.

United were furious that full-back Evra was punished for clashing with Chelsea groundstaff at Stamford Bridge last season, and angry the details were released before they even decided whether to appeal.

The FA branded defender Gary Neville, who was at the flare-up, "abusive" in a damning report into the incident.

Sir Alex Ferguson's No.2, Mike Phelan, was called an "unreliable" witness by the FA, who levelled the same charge at Evra's "exaggerated" version of events, effectively branding United liars.

United, who won't appeal Evra's four-game ban, welcomed the apology and declared the matter "closed".

Typical rubbish from the FA and all the clowns who work there....Back To Home Page

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That Was The Best Manchester United Moment From 2008

manchester united blog john terry penalty miss champions league moscowThere was a great deal to savour in last season's Champions League final – so why is the abiding image of John Terry's slip as he took his penalty in the decider, and the ball's subsequent skid off a post to what Manchester United hailed as safety and Chelsea gloomily accepted as oblivion?

It was not, after all, the end of the story; but for Nicolas Anelka's subsequent failure to beat Edwin van der Sar, the decider might have gone on long beyond 1.34 on a Moscow morning. Yet, because Terry seemed the very heart of Chelsea, the driving force through a campaign that only notionally had been led by the Israeli coach Avram Grant, his miss stuck in the mind.

We have witnessed previous instances of icons falling short from 12 yards. To name just a few who comfortably outrank Terry, Michel Platini, Zico and Socrates frustrated in the magnificent 1-1 draw between France and Brazil in Guadalajara, Mexico, during the 1986 World Cup (France won the decider but lost limply to the Germans in the semi-finals) and watched Franco Baresi and Roberto Baggio clear the Brazilian bar at the end of the goalless 1994 final in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile you could imagine Cristiano Ronaldo winking. The young man destined to pick up just about every trophy going in 2008, individual or team, might himself have proved the focus of anguish for, after putting United in front with a gorgeous header and proceeding to torment Michael Essien, he had his penalty saved by Petr Cech. Anderson and Ryan Giggs then kept United alive until the time came for Anelka.

The Frenchman had declined to take a kick when Grant was asked to nominate his initial five. A 115th-minute sub after Didier Drogba's dismissal, Anelka had not felt ready to face Van der Sar. Yet he had been on longer than Anderson, whose penalty had raged past Cech.

Penalty deciders may not be football, but they are drama. At first you wonder if the victims will ever get over it. But they do. Zico, surely one of the greatest players never to win a World Cup, has seldom been out of work as a manager. Gareth Southgate, whom Terry Venables so heart-warmingly ran to console after his miss ended Euro 96 for England, is making his way at Middlesbrough.

Terry's tears have dried in next to no time – though you may see a couple more if redemption comes at the end of this season.

Thanks From Carly

manchester united blog, alexa rankings, carlyluvsunitedI wanted to take this opportunity to thank all the guys and girls who drop by and read my Manchester United Blog and to wish you all a very merry xmas and a happy and prosperous new year.

As you can see from the graph here the viewers who come and read my posts and look around the blog have widened the reach of the blog by 220% in the past 3 months and the blog has risen 1,278,328 places in the Alexa rankings.

I receive 100s of emails too and always do my best to answer them all and say hi, I don't miss very many and I love receiving them and chatting about United and other things with people so keep them coming.

I am currently making plans to start a proper United website with a forum attached in the new year and all are welcome to join but it is all in the planning stages right now so I'll keep you up to date with any news on this.

Thanks again and have a great day today xx

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Sir Alex: "Manchester United Don't Need Any More Players"

manchester united blog alex ferguson sign players Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson doesn't see the need to make signings in January. Which is good news really. I'm of the opinion that the team we have right now can go on to do great, great things. But keep adding to it and taking away from it and they will take forever to gel into a complete unit.

Fergie said: "I do not think there will be any January transfers. I am happy with what I have got. We are probably going to bring back a couple of young players who have been on loan. That may just give us extra protection. We took 23 players to Japan and they are very substantial players. I would be happy to play any one of them. Winning the competition was a great boost to the club and the players. It was a great achievement and the important thing was they played well. They showed good enthusiasm through the matches and good concentration. We have come through it well.".....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Vidic Deserved To Go

vidic sent off in world club cup manchester united According to Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Nemanja Vidic deserved his red card in the World Club Cup final.

Vidic was sent off after elbowing Claudio Bieler and the upshot of this will be at least a one match European ban and that could be increased to three matches but Fergie has declared he was in agreement that the referee had very little choice but to issue a red card.

Speaking to Sky Sports Sir Alex said: "We have been informed if there is a suspension it will be European Cup, it was a soft sending off. But it depends how Fifa interpret it and how Uefa act in terms of the information they get. He didn't swing an elbow but he gave the referee no chance. He was correct to produce the red card. Vida is disappointed but he gave the referee no option. We were in a comfortable situation too. The two centre-backs were having their easiest game for weeks."

Vidic will now miss the first leg of United’s crucial Champions League clash with Inter in the New Year and possibly more....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Champions Of England, Champions Of Europe And Now Champions Of The World

What a year ! Manchester United Champions of England in March, Champions of Europe in May and now in December Champions of the World.

Although it must be said that this competition does not have the greatest of reputations or the most prestigious of following, but at the end of the day, it is the best from Europe against the best from all around the world. United came out on top so there we have it, Champions of the World. So that's a total of four trophies for the year if you include the Community Shield.

The team Fergie fielded was: Van der Sar; Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Carrick, Anderson; Park, Rooney, Ronaldo; Tevez.

The guys from Ecuador seemed very keen and fit but they didn't offer much by way of creativity and to be honest United should have buried them in the first half but missed a few good chances.

Vidic got his marching orders in the 50th minute and that was a very dubious decision.

This was Evra's last game before he begins his four match ban.

The goal came in the 73rd minute. Carrick's picked out Ronaldo on the edge of the box who sidefooted the ball to Rooney on the left who took a touch then fired low into the far corner of the net. A great goal and very well deserved.

So we are now officially world champions but was there ever any doubt?

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Sunday, 14 December 2008

Fraizer Campbell WILL Return To Manchester United

I hope the Spurs fans are not too attached to Frazier Campbell because Sir Alex has decided that after his loan spell expires he will be returning to Manchester United. The England Under 21 international striker is on a season long loan deal at White Hart Lane although United do have an option to recall the player in January.

"Fraizer will come back here, there is no question about that, the idea for him was to get some experience, so it has been good for him in that respect. He has produced some fantastic performances for Tottenham and I am delighted for the boy because he is going to be a good player. "His future is here."

I for one am happy with this news......Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Manchester United Draw A Blank And Now It's Off To Japan

manchester united blog spurs 0-0 gomesFOR once Heurelho Gomes left White Hart Lane a hero as his last-minute save denied Manchester United a vital win at Tottenham. So often he is the clown prince of goalkeepers and for once he actually managed to string together some very good saves without matching them with some gormless errors as is his wont.

As United desperately searched for a winner to ensure they left for Club World Cup duty in happy mood, the Brazilian produced a fingertip save to turn away a Ryan Giggs free-kick that was going to creep in. Man of the match was probably Gomes.

This game has probably left United rueing their failure to take advantage of second-half superiority and opened the door for Chelsea to surge clear in the Barclays Premier League title race by beating West Ham this afternoon.

Dimitar Berbatov had a frustrating time on his return to White Hart Lane and Cristiano Ronaldo had the ball in the net but saw his effort ruled out for handball.....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share