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Saturday, 28 February 2009

William Hills Slash Manchester United Odds After Liverpool Lose (Again)

WITHOUT EVEN playing, Manchester United's Premiership title odds have been slashed from 1/12 to 1/25 by William Hill after Liverpool's unexpected defeat by Middlesbro.

Hills now make Chelsea 10/1 second favourites for the title with Liverpool out to 16/1, Villa 80/1 and Arsenal 400/1.

MANCHESTER UNITED are now 13/8 with Hills to win the title by 12 or more points; 5/4 by 7-11; 7/2 1-6; 20/1 on goal difference; 10/1 to fail to win it.

CHELSEA are now 8/11 favourites in Hill's market on who will finish best of the rest, excluding United and Hills also offer


Aston Villa


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Spurs To Become A Feeder Club For Manchester United

roman pavlyuchenko spurs player Spurs player Roman Pavlyuchenko has got great timing and his prowess for scoring in the box is exemplary. But his timing was a bit off today as he spoke to The Daily Mail. He has rocked Tottenham on the eve of their Carling Cup final, by admitting he dreams of playing for their Wembley opponents Manchester United.
Pavlyuchenko has explained how deep the bad feeling toward Berbatov and United goes within the Spurs ranks. Berbatov is actually not in the squad to face Spurs as it happens. We all know Berbatov refused to play at the start of the season to try and force through a move to Manchester United.......and now Roman has declared he too would like to follow Berba up North and play for United as well.

"It would be wrong not to dream about this. I have realised the English Premier League is exactly why you should start playing football in the fi rst place. And Manchester United is the leader of it. Once your first dream comes true you must start dreaming of another target."

I bet these revealations have gone down a treat in the Spurs dressing room. As you're preparing for your one single chance of silverware this season, one of the most loved and most talented players says he has his heart set on playing for the opposition.......nice work Roman...Mind you, he does look good in red ;) .....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Friday, 27 February 2009

Manchester United: The Biography

Manchester United: The Biography

By: Jim White

To gauge the state of the nation, first check the state of Manchester United, says Leo McKinstry

Sir Alex Ferguson, the long-serving and uniquely successful manager of Manchester United, bestrides English football like a colossus. But he did not always possess such epic stature. When he first arrived at Old Trafford in 1986, he felt overwhelmed by the scale of the job.

As Jim White relates in this wonderfully entertaining history of United, Ferguson was so gripped by nerves that, in one team meeting, he caused confusion by calling the striker Peter Davenport 'Nigel', as in the renowned actor.

Ferguson has left those early days of stumbling, tongue-tied anxiety far behind him, as he has turned United into the biggest, most spectacularly successful football club that Britain has ever known.

Only Real Madrid on the international stage can match United's awesome status. Yet the vast haul of silverware, the phenomenal earnings and global following of more than 75 million fans has come at a price.

To its critics, Manchester United has sacrificed its soul to the god of mammon. The club whose very name was once synonymous with romance and youthful panache has been turned into a ruthless commercial enterprise.

This obsession with cash is said to be reflected in the bizarre deal by which the American Glazer family, with no roots whatsoever in football, took over Old Trafford in 2005 and immediately pumped up ticket prices and the merchandising drive.

In another reflection of commercialisation, the years of rich success for United have helped to spawn a production line of books about the club. But this study by Jim White, a distinguished journalist and passionate Reds supporter himself, is of a far higher quality than most others because of both the quality of his writing and his deep understanding of United's heritage.

He is wonderful at capturing the essence of personalities in a few well-chosen lines. His portraits of the erratic French genius Eric Cantona and the rebellious Edwardian professional Billy Meredith are particularly well drawn.

Similarly, he beautifully describes the famous forward line of Denis Law, Bobby Charlton and George Best as United's 'Golden Trinity', the trio that captivated the public in the 1960s, with Law 'spiky and rebellious', Charlton 'noble and upright, the last Corinthian,' and Best 'the mercurial gadfly, hedonistic, self-absorbed and self-destructive.'

He is also good at explaining the natural authority of Sir Matt Busby, who hid his inner steel beneath a coating of Catholic charm, and the flawed exuberance of perma-tanned Ron Atkinson, the 1980s manager whose tolerance of a heavy-drinking culture among players contributed to the club's decline before the Ferguson era.

Some of the book's details can be alternately hair-raising or thought-provoking.

He reveals, for instance, that the nervy forward Albert Quixall used to indulge regularly in a repellent practical joke where he would place a pile of excrement, wrapped as a present, in another player's locker.

He also refers to the intriguing question, first raised by the commentator Stuart Hall, as to whether Best's suicidal alcoholism was caused by a troubled sexuality.

Like so many league sides, Manchester United had its origins in the dark northern smog of the late Victorian age, when a group of Lancashire railwaymen formed the Newton Heath club. Its facilities were poor, its pitch a quagmire, but, with determination and the backing of patrons such as the Tory politician A. J. Balfour and the Guardian editor C. P. Scott, the team became a force to be feared, changing its name to Manchester United in 1902 and building the finest ground in the country soon afterwards.

As White's book shows, the history of United has often been a mirror to wider developments in English society. So, during the Great Depression of the 1930s, United struggled badly with dwindling finances, yet in the consumer boom of the 1950s, it was full of verve.

In the same way, Best symbolised the excitement of the youthful working-class revolution of the mid-1960s, while United's dismal form of the 1970s, resulting in its only relegation since the War, reflected the wider economic crisis of Britain in decline.

Even today, the sense of conflict within United between its footballing soul and the dictates of commercialisation has a parallel in the post-Thatcher, de-industrialised Britain, a land losing its national identity and dominated by a global super-rich elite.

Berbatov Left Out Of Carling Cup Final

berbatov wallpaperJust after I wrote my last piece on here, the news of the likely Manchester United team to face Spurs in the Carling Cup Final on Sunday has been revealed. Though whether this is reliable news or not is yet to be seen.

Dimitar Berbatov will not have the chance to get one over his former club Sir Alex Ferguson left the striker out of his squad to face Tottenham.

Ferguson has named a strong squad for Sunday's showdown at Wembley, with Edwin van der Sar the only other notable absentee alongside Berbatov. Berbatov scored a penalty in last season's final as Tottenham came from behind to beat Chelsea.

Ferguson has promised Darron Gibson and Danny Welbeck they will start at Wembley as the pair have shown plenty of promise for United this term already which is great news. I'm such a big fan of Danny Welbeck and it will be great to see him in action on Sunday.....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Let's Win This Carling Cup The Matt Busby Way

matt busby european cup winI have read the reviews by a few Spurs fans regarding the 49th Carling Cup Final due to be played at Wembley this sunday between Manchester United and Tottenham, Hotspur. They are clinging to a few rather obscure facts to convince themselves they can win this match.

1. Given their glittering first half performance in the San Siro and our gut-wrenching equivalent at the KC it'd be amazing if United weren't feeling cocky and aside from the fact that ref Chris Foy is a Scouser who hopefully hasn't forgotten his roots, that might be our best hope.

2. Still, "it's a two horse race", "anything can happen on the day".

3. Despite being generally crap, in 5 attempts we've not lost to a "big four" side yet this season.

4. United conceded 3 goals to each of Derby and Blackburn in the last two rounds, plus hopefully our lads will be motivated by the desire to put one over on the despised, whining Bulgarian. If that shitey Arsenal team we saw a couple of weeks ago can beat them then why can't we?

5. United actually have a dodgy record in finals, they've been in 6 and lost 4.

6. Our favourite Russian has scored in every round.

7. Redknapp has managed three different sides that have beaten Ferguson teams in cup competitions. So why not a fourth? We're ninety minutes from glory. Come on you Spurs.

That must make grim reading if you're a Spurs fan. Pinning your hopes and dreams on a few stats and things that have happened in the past. Games like this are about the team who turns up on the day, with the ability and desire to win, not the team who turns up with a head full of stats and figures that make them feel like they should win.

I hope with all my heart that Fergie does what Arsene Wenger did and lets the 'kids' have their day at Wembley. The likes of Danny Welbeck, Anderson, Rafael et al. They are the ones who got us to Wembley and they are the ones who deserve their day in the limelight.

It would be easy to put out a team with Ferdinand, Evra, Vidic, Ronaldo, Giggs, Rooney, Berbatov etc etc and try to run right over the top of Spurs and crush them in the first 30 minutes. But to me this competition is all about allowing your youngsters to have their time. In the third and fourth rounds all 'big' teams put out makeshift teams full of young guys waiting for their chance to prove they are good enough for the first team, it's a good chance for a manager to get some experience for his future stars.

Having said that, Manchester United's youngsters have proved time and time again this season they are ready, willing and able to step up to the mark and play with confidence, determination and a cohesion you would only expect from seasoned professionals.

So come on Fergie, let's do this the right way. Wellbeck, Rafael, Fabio, Anderson, O'Shea, Fletcher, Park.......we want to see them all. Some of these guys have stuck with United through thick and thin with never a guarantee of first team football. They have also been there when suddenly they are needed.

They may not be needed now, but more importantly they are deserving. Deserving of a chance for glory in their own right. If they get beaten then so be it. The fact they got United to Wembley in itself is a great, great achievement and the future looks rosy for United.

Let's do this the Matt Busby way, with youngsters who have no fear, who have flair and enthusiasm, who are loyal and who do have the ability if given the chance.....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona And Mario Gomez

There is still no news from Manchester United on the Carlos Tevez saga. It took forever and day to sign him and now it is taking even longer to put an end to this transfer issue now. Real Madrid have shown an interest in him. They have also been showing an interest in Manchester United target Mario Gomez too. The stuttgart striker has been watched by scouts from United several times. Given this fact, it looks like Tevez is being edged out the door.

The news comes from Sport Bild. Manchester United and Real Madrid could be joined in the race for Gomez' signature by Barcelona too.

With a contract set to last until 2012 he wont come cheap. But that said, a striker who has scored 24 times in 31 matches wont be available at a bargain price anyway.

He does have a buy out clause in his contract for this summer believed to be in the region of €35 million which could be agreeable to any of the clubs after him.

If he were to move to Madrid it seems likely that he would either be used as a replacement for Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who has not settled well in Spain, or would be a long-term replacement for Raul whereas at United he would more than likely replace Carlos Tevez who appears to be on the way out from United.....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Extended Video Highlights Inter Milan Manchester United

Here are the video highlights from last nights great
encounter between Inter and Manchester United.

Inter Milan v Man Utd

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Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Should United Be Bidding £25 Million For This Guy ?

Manchester United have been linked with Franck Ribery despite Bayern Munich insisting earlier this season that the French international is not for sale, Sir Alex Ferguson remains a huge fan and has been for a number of years..

"He is fantastic," Ferguson said of Ribery. "He is always moving and incredible energy. He is always going forward but defends a lot too. He would have no problem playing in England."

It is believed the Reds could be ready to challenge Manchester City and Chelsea for the forward, with an offer of £25million being mooted. Injury crises like the ones we have faced this season can leave you defensively short. As we are against Inter Milan tonight. So having some really experienced back up would not be a bad idea. The other option is to keep throwing youngsters in and hoping they can do the job. I'll give credit where it is due though, this season the young players haven't let us down at all.....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Would You Bet Against Manchester United?

Just like these girls pictured left, I'm sure we all like to have a bet from time to time and why not. Manchester United are 2/1 to win in Italy and take a lead into the home leg of the Champions League last-16 tie.

The holders are 8/13 to win the tie overall and 6/5 to bow out against Jose Mourinho's team - his Porto side conquered the Reds at this stage in 2004.

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted Inter present the toughest test United could have faced in the last 16 and as a result, the reigning European champions are 11/2 third favourites to retain the trophy. Barcelona are favourites to win the competition at 3/1, ahead of United’s victims in the 2008 final, Chelsea, at 5/1. The other English sides, Liverpool and Arsenal, are 10/1 and 14/1 respectively.

With United and Inter widely thought to be quite evenly matched, many pundits tip a tight game in the San Siro - it’s 8/15 that there will be two goals or fewer scored. Three or more goals is priced at 11/8. The Reds' last away match against Inter finished 1-1, en route to the 1999 Treble. That scoreline is 5/1 to occur again. Paul Scholes bagged a late equaliser on that occasion and the midfielder is 4/1 to score at any time in the match and 66/1 to be the last goalscorer in a 1-1 draw.

Cristiano Ronaldo, scorer of a stunning free-kick on Saturday, is 11/2 favourite to net first. Dimitar Berbatov, Wayne Rooney and Inter striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic are 6/1 co-second favourites. What a match, I can't wait.....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

New Manchester United Away Shirt For 2009 - 2010

Here is the mock up of the new Manchester United away kit for the 2009/2010 season. It is supposed to be based on the shirt United wore when they won the FA Cup in 1909. Some dissatisfaction has been voiced by various fans on various sites as to the design. They feel the red stripe going across the chest forms an arrow which blatantly points to the advertising logo of AIG and highlights this too much. I must admit I find that highly amusing. For a start AIG are pulling out of the deal whereby they sponsor the shirts at the end of 2010 so why on earth would Manchester United go out of their way to make sure AIG get any extra coverage as they withdraw from the deal ?

I do think on some occassions United fans go looking for problems that really are not there. The paranoia with AIG getting the coverage on the shirts is madness. AIG have provided about one third of United's income for the past four years financing things such as the purchase of Nani, Anderson, Hargreaves, Tevez and Berbatov, but still they complain that AIG have a logo on the shirt. You can't have the cake AND eat it.

It became a big issue on the 50th anniversary of Munich too. When the mural of the Busby Babes was erected at Old Trafford last year.

This was a time to remember those who perished and to appreciate what United had lost. Yes, I know AIG had their logo at the bottom right hand corner of this mural but so what. Who cares, this was all about Munich, Sir Matt and the Babes. Maybe AIG wanted to have their logo there to show they too cared and wanted to be a part of the anniversary activities. Maybe they saw it as a way to sneak in and get some high profile advertising.

Maybe, just maybe, this was an occasion to forget AIG. An occassion for fans to remember what was important on the 50th anniversary instead of continuing the hunt for things to moan about.

AIG will be gone soon, to be replaced by Air Asia, Saudi Telecom or Sahara. So what next? Let's all hate India and Sahara for the way Indian children are exploited in the workplace. Maybe we should hate Air Asia because their uniforms aren't very pretty or because they paint huge pictures of Manchester United players on their aircraft to exploit the market place. If Saudi Telecom are the next unfortunate incumbents to finance Manchester United let's all jump on the bandwagon and complain how Saudi Arabia treats women and how they outlaw drinking and the carrying of the Christian Bible in their land. Or might it be a good idea to accept the sponsors, take their cash and be happy. Their logo might be on the shirt but it just might finance the arrival of Karim Benzema or dare we say it, Kaka.

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Manchester united Star Has His House Robbed While In Milan

Three masked burglars broke into the home of Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher last night and threatened his girlfriend with a knife. The gang raided Fletcher's family home, in an affluent borough of Manchester, around 9pm, just hours after he flew to Italy for his side's Champions League clash with Inter Milan.

Scotland international Fletcher, 25, lives at the house with girlfriend Hayley Grice and their twin sons.

The burglars threatened Grice and another woman before going through rooms and escaping with jewellery. It is not known whether their children were at the house.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesperson said they were alerted by a 999 call from one of the women. She added: 'The two women who were at the property were threatened by three burglars who were armed with a knife. The gang fled before officers arrived and several items of jewellery were stolen.'

Police raced to the scene but the gang had fled by the time officers arrived.

The spokesman for GMP said scenes of crime officers had been called to the house and inquiries are continuing. Police also appealed for anyone with information to contact them.

Bowdon, where Fletcher lives, on the border between Greater Manchester and Cheshire, is one of the area's most affluent villages and home to a number of multi-millionaire footballers. The £50,000-a-week Old Trafford star becomes the latest in a long line of Premier League players who have been burgled while away from home playing football.....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Manchester United Legend Giggs For Player Of The Year Award ?

Ryan Giggs has never been voted Player of the Year by the Sportswriters and other players which is a miracle considering he has been knocking around for 18 years now. However, just like my good self, Sir Alex Ferguson is of the opinion he should be considered for this award this season.

Reflecting on Giggs' performance against Derby last week, Ferguson wrote in his programme notes for yesterday's victory over Blackburn: "Ryan had a super game, and it set me wondering whether players or football writers might get round to voting him their player of the year. The impeccable way he has played the game, and the wonderful talent he has produced week after week over a career spanning 18 years in the top division, deserves to be recognised."

And why not indeed......can you think of anyone better to get the award right now. I can't if I'm honest, and surely 18 years has to count for something in a rather lack lustre year for outstanding players. Vote Giggs everyone.....Back To Home Page....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Manchester United Lose Evans For The Trip To Inter Milan

Manchester United played Jonny Evans alongside Rio Ferdinand against Blackburn so the two of them could get some match time playing alongside one another ahead of the Champions League clash with Inter Milan on Tuesday. The reason for this was the suspension of Nemanja Vidic from that game.

Evans, however, picked up a knock during the game with Blackburn and Vidic had to come on anyway. Now Sir Alex is rapidly running out of centre backs to play on Tuesday. Evans limped off in Saturday's hard-fought 2-1 Premier League win over Blackburn Rovers at Old trafford with a recurrence of a recent ankle injury.

United racked up a 10th consecutive league victory but are now short of options for the trip to the San Siro.

"It's a bit sore," Evans told MUTV. "I kicked the ground when I tried to make a long clearance and now it's a bit tender. I don't know (if I'll be ready for Tuesday's game). The doctor said he'd have a look at it on Sunday. We'll have a better idea then."

"We've got some injuries of course," Ferguson told Setanta Sports after the win against Rovers. I just hope I can get two centre backs but at this moment in time it's very doubtful. Jonny Evans would have played on Tuesday but he's very doubtful. I'm hoping I'll have John O'Shea fit as I won't have Vidic, Neville or Brown either," he added.

O'Shea injured his heel against Fulham last Wednesday but Ferguson is hoping he will recover to partner Rio Ferdinand in defence against Jose Mourinho's side.....This really is not the kind of news we need heading into this fixture.....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Liverpool Finally Implode And Hand The Title To Manchester United

Liverpool’s title dreams are all but snuffed out by Manchester City leaving Manchester United fans dancing with joy.

Hughes finally saw his expensive side produce a display of substance after an erratic season, and it did a big favour for his former employers Manchester United. United will have relished this performance by their neighbours, which could have given the crown to the Old Trafford club.

Liverpool started the game eight points behind the champions, and this one point leaves them a seemingly impossible mountain to climb with just 12 games left. City took the lead early in the second half through former Liverpool forward Craig Bellamy, which left Liverpool with an increasingly desperate fight on their hands.

Eventually Dirk Kuyt scored his ninth goal of the season to save the club’s 14-month unbeaten home league record, but as Anfield emptied at the end, the muted response of their fans said it all. Liverpool made four changes from the side that won at Portsmouth last time out. There was still no Steven Gerrard with his hamstring injury, while Lucas, back from suspension, Fernando Torres, Dirk Kuyt and Albert Riera returned to the starting line-up in place of Ryan Babel, David Ngog, Fabio Aurelio and Daniel Agger.

City made one enforced change from the side that drew 2-2 at FC Copenhagen in the UEFA Cup on Thursday, Nigel de Jong replacing the suspended Shaun Wright-Phillips. City’s defensive frailties shown in Denmark were far from evident in this Barclays Premier League clash.

Despite being under plenty of early pressure, Shay Given was rarely called into action.

Liverpool without Alonso and Gerrard look very lame indeed and posed little or no real threat to Manchester City. The Pool seem to have gone back to their old ways of fading badly in the second half of the season, this time however, they did at least last until the end of February.....

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Patrice Evra And Barcelona

The News of the World, who are not the most reliable of sources I admit, have published a story today about Patrice Evra leaving Manchester United because he is a £20 million target for Barcelona. It did make me chuckle somewhat to be honest.

The News of the World says the Spanish giants have made several trips to Old Trafford to monitor the Frenchman’s form and fitness. It's funny how they are the only ones to have noticed this. I'm sure Fergie would have spotted them a mile off if they had been there.

Although Evra signed a new four-year deal worth £70,000 a week only last season, he has been tempted in the past by the interest of Real Madrid and Barcelona and while Alex Ferguson rates him highly, he might be tempted by a £20m offer for a left-back. It is a good price without doubt.

Fergie does have high hopes for the Brazilian twins Rafael and Fabio Da Silva and sees them as his long-term full-back partners. That could persuade Fergie to cash in on first-choice Evra as he freshens up his squad. It's not beyond the realms of possibility but I am very doubtful we will lose Evra any time soon. Well......I hope not anyway.....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Manchester United Win But Concede For The First Time In 14 Games

Manchester United strengthened their hold on first place in the Premier League with a 10th straight victory, beating visiting Blackburn 2-1 Saturday although Roque Santa Cruz ended United's record run of 14 league games without conceding a goal, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo scored to take the defending champions to 62 points - eight more than Liverpool, who host Manchester City on Sunday.

Chelsea moved above Aston Villa and into third place after Nicolas Anelka scored in the 19th minute at Villa Park to give Guus Hiddink a victory in his first match as manager. Fifth-place Arsenal failed to take full advantage of Villa's slip up when they drew 0-0 with visiting Sunderland for a third straight scoreless draw in the Premier League.

Blackburn had just come close to a 2-1 lead at Old Trafford when Ronaldo, who had moments earlier received a yellow card for diving, struck a curling free kick into the far corner, that 60th-minute goal took his season tally to 12 in the Premier League.

"We gave away a really bad goal when you consider the way we defended the past 10 weeks," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "They made it a real fight for us. Sometimes when you don't play your very best you get a result like that and go on to win the title."

Rooney had put United ahead in the 23rd minute, scoring in his fourth straight Premier League game for the first time, but Santa Cruz made it 1-1 nine minutes later when he took the ball past the goalkeeper and slipped it into the net from an acute angle.

United, though, started with reserve 'keeper Tomasz Kuszczak, so first-choice Edwin van der Sar can still stretch his British record of 1,302 minutes without conceding.

United defender Jonny Evans appeared unlucky to have a first-half header ruled out because of a push in the area and Blackburn almost took the lead in the 59th when Keith Andrews hit the post and Kuszczak smothered a follow-up shot by Ryan Nelson to ensure United stay undefeated in the league since Nov. 8.

"What happened today is a good reminder that we have to fight for our lives," Ferguson said.

Liverpool can trim the gap back to five points with victory on Sunday, although captain Steven Gerrard will miss the match injured.....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Manchester United 'v' Blackburn Rovers Teams and Team News

Manchester United go into the weekend five points clear at the top of the Premier League table, after cruising to a 3-0 home victory over Fulham on Wednesday night. They have a superior goal difference over second placed Liverpool of nine, lead Aston Villa by eight points, Chelsea by 10 and Arsenal by 15. An 11th Premier League title is theirs to lose.

Blackburn go into this game one point off the foot of the table, without any away league goal since November and without an away top-flight victory since September.

United, the World Club champions, Carling Cup finalists, FA Cup quarter-finals and defending Champions League and Premier League champions, have kept 14 successive clean sheets in the league.

Goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar has not seen a goal go past him in 1,302 Premier League minutes, however he misses the chance to break the European League record of minutes without conceding a goal as he doesn't play today.

Blackburn have dropped more away points to Manchester United than to any other club in the Premier League (36).

Distance between the clubs: 27 miles (43 kilometres)
Blackburn are making the shortest journey of any Premier League club this weekend.

Manchester United won the last game against Blackburn 5-3, in the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup on 3 December, when Carlos Tevez bagged a four-timer.

Blackburn have won only once in 21 league and cup visits to the Theatre of Dreams since 1963.

Manchester United are on course to do the double over Blackburn for the fifth time in the Premier League.

Home and away

League (inc PL): Man United 41 wins, Blackburn 27, Draws 23
Prem: Man United 16 wins, Blackburn 5, Draws 8

At Man United only

League (inc PL): Man United 25 wins, Blackburn 9, Draws 11
Prem: Man United 10 wins, Blackburn 1, Draws 3


Man Utd: Kuszczak, Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Ronaldo, Carrick, Scholes, Nani, Rooney, Berbatov.

Subs: Foster, Giggs, Vidic, Welbeck, Fabio Da Silva, Fletcher, Tevez.

Blackburn: Robinson, Ooijer, Nelsen, Givet, Warnock, Grella, Diouf, Andrews, Dunn, Pedersen, Roque Santa Cruz.

Subs: Brown, Kerimoglu, Khizanishvili, McCarthy, Mokoena, Treacy, Roberts.

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Gary Neville Joins Scholes And Giggs As Manchester United Oldies Roll On

Gary Neville joined Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes this week in the signing of a new one year contract which will see the pair of them enter their 19th season at Old trafford playing for Manchester United. It would be a fool who forecasts they wont play even beyond that.

Sir Alex Ferguson is delighted saying: “We’ll see what happens next year. But if they keep their performance level up they will be here for another year, there’s no question about that. They are the spirit of this club and an example to everyone. For any young player asking himself ‘how can I keep playing til 35 years of age?’ they can look at those three players, how they have conducted themselves and how their performance levels and drive have never changed.”

What great news this is. These three guys are not as young and sprightly as they used to be but all three have shown what a wise head on old shoulders can do. They are still vital in United's quest to land five trophies this season and hopefully the next few seasons too. Can they still be playing aged 40? I'm saying nothing, I forecast they were washed up three years ago and they have proved me wrong big time.....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Rafa Benitez And Liverpool Remain Defiant About Manchester United

rafa benitez alex fergusonLiverpool manager Rafa Beneathus is adamant Manchester United are not untouchable. Every season begins with 20 teams all filled with their dreams and ambitions for the forthcoming season. Maybe only 6 teams include winning the Premier League in their list of desires. But as the season progresses the six become five, four and so on and so forth.

And now there are two.

Manchester United are stringing together a remarkable run of games in which they have broken the record for the most consecutive clean sheets. Currently they have gone 14 games with out conceding, the previous record was a mere eleven by Chelsea. They remain unbeaten since the World Club Cup in Japan and Edwin Van Der Sar has become the holder of all records for golakeeping in the process. Chasing United has cost Luiz Filipe Scolari his job and has made the usually defiant Arsene Wenger bow down and say United are untouchable. Rafa Bentiez remains unbowed though, for now.

The Spaniard has good reason not to cede defeat, despite United's imperious form. In his second title season with Valencia in 2004, with 12 games to go, Benitez's side stood eight points behind Real Madrid. Valencia, of course, went on to win that title, and win it in style. They finished five points ahead of Barcelona, with Real seven points adrift.

Despite the bad news that Steven Gerrard has not recovered from a hamstring strain to face Manchester City tomorrow and will only know on Monday if he will make Wednesday's Champions League tie with Real Madrid, a five point lead is not nearly enough for Benitez to follow Wenger's lead and throw his shield at Ferguson's feet just yet.

He said: "It would be better if we had a five point lead on them, but clearly you can manage it if you win some games in a row. We did that at Valencia and it gave us more confidence, and it is the same here. It is too much to say United are untouchable. They won a lot of games 1-0 and then they have scored three or four in a couple of games and everyone has been talking as though they were playing well for the whole season. But you can see a lot of games where they were not playing well. Clearly we cannot say we think they are unbeatable. We have to think we can win our next games, then go to Old Trafford and win."

If Liverpool are to catch and overhaul their great rivals, then Benitez knows they must start to take games by the scruff of the neck early on, rather than leaving it until the last minute to snatch victory, as they did against Portsmouth two weeks ago. Tomorrow's visitors have already felt the full effect of a Liverpool late show, losing 3-2 at Eastlands thanks to a last minute Dirk Kuyt strike. Refusing to give in is a fine characteristic, but if Benitez is to protect his players from burnout, he needs them to kill games off.

He said: "It would be easier for the team, for the fans, for my heart if we scored early. It is better to score in the first half when you have had plenty of possession, as we did at Portsmouth. I watched the tape and there were three clips in the first 10 minutes. We have been controlling these games but it would be so different if we scored the first goal. If you do, they open up and you have more space.".....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Friday, 20 February 2009

Manchester United Miss The Carlos Tevez Deadline So Where Do We Go From Here?

I was reading this article today in the Daily Mail and it amazes me
that Manchester United have let this issue go on for so long. Either
they want Carlos Tevez or they don't. Get a deal done or let him

Carlos Tevez's Old Trafford future is in doubt after Kia Joorabchian
revealed the deadline for Manchester United to secure a permanent
deal for the Argentine ace has passed.

The former West Ham striker's two-year loan expires at the end of
the season and United have yet to agree a long-term deal for the

United's first option on Tevez ran out at the end of January, although
he has revealed his desire to stay with the reigning Barclays Premier
League leaders.

Carlos Tevez

Waiting game: Carlos Tevez wants a new deal at Manchester United

Real Madrid and Inter Milan have been linked with £30million-rated
forward, and his advisor Joorabchian confirmed the player's third-
party owners are weighing up interest from other clubs.

'Carlos is in the market now that United have not made any move for
him," said Joorabchian in the Daily Star.

'We are now studying other options and interested parties. There is
no option left with United any longer.'

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Paddy Power Fancy Manchester United

Paddy Power bookmakers is already paying out on Manchester United winning all three major domestic competitions this season. They say they're convinced Sir Alex's team will win the Premier League, FA Cup and Carling Cup. The champions are currently on a record breaking run of over 21 hours without conceding a league goal.

They also offer pretty short odds on United winning the Quadruple of Premier League, FA Cup, Carling Cup and Champions League.

Surely that's impossible......................or is it ?

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Thursday, 19 February 2009

Manchester United Are So Proud Of Paul Scholes

paul scholes and wifePaul Scholes is a very unassuming guy, quiet, seemingly timid and a credit to himself and Manchester United. I have often asked people for one example of when he was in the newspapers for anything untoward, or anything that was anything but good. No one has ever come up with anything Scholesy can ever be criticised for. I will never forget an interview he once gave when the interviewer asked him what his life was like as a top player at THE top club. He replied, "I get up, I go to work, I finish work, I shower, I go home". That says it all.

However, there is currently plenty of talking going on about the Salford-born former England international, with Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov hailing the unassuming Scholes' contributions to what could be an almost incredible season for the Red Devils.

Now Sir Alex Ferguson has chosen to add his voice to the praise flowing in Scholes' direction by expressing his pride in the midfielder's continuing excellence.

Scholes scored another one of his trademark 25 yard blistering volleys last night against Fulham.

Talking to the Manchester Evening News Fergie said: "Paul tries that in training every day. He usually tries to hit me, he was fantastic. Some of his switches of play were magnificent. These lads are great examples to young players in how they live their life. They have kept their ambition, which is important. We are delighted with their performance and are so proud to have them here."

Fergie is also hinting that Chelsea's title challenge was finished now, although he has not directly come out and written them off 100%.

"You can never be dead sure, but it is fair to say Chelsea have an uphill fight now, things can happen. We were 12 points clear of Arsenal in 1998 but we got a lot of injuries and lost the league. Now we can cope with it, like we have done in the last few weeks. That is the change at this club. We have such a big squad we can make changes.".....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Rooney Claiming Manchester United Can Win It All

wayne rooneyWayne Rooney seems to have a similar mind set as my good self. I have tried to work out reasons why Manchester United can't win every trophy this season. History tells us it is impossible, nobody believes it can be done, just like they said about the treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League but guess what......they did it, United actually did it.

Records and impossibilities are there to be broken, without challenges and targets that seem impossible there would be no point in going on.

Rooney, who came off the bench to score against Fulham last night believes Quadruple glory, in the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and Carling Cup, is a real possibility. Yesterday, Sir Alex Ferguson wrote off Chelsea’s hopes of challenging them for the League, saying the sacking of Luiz Felipe Scolari had played into United’s hands, and Rooney repeated the same bullish message after the 3-0 demolition of Fulham at Old Trafford.

United are about to move into a fixture pile-up of eight games in 25 days — including a Champions League tie next Tuesday against Inter Milan, the Carling Cup Final against Spurs, and the Premier League visit to Old Trafford of Liverpool — and prioritising their trophy targets might have been expected but Rooney, who returned to action after five weeks out with a hamstring injury to score United’s third goal against outclassed Fulham, said:

“We’re delighted we’re still in all these competitions. Our aim at the start of the season was to go as far as we can in all competitions, and to still be in them all in mid-February is great for the team. For me, I want to win all trophies. Everybody speaks about the Champions League and Premier League. But I’ve had some of my biggest heartaches in football in the FA Cup, and the Carling Cup is the first major trophy I ever won. For us to still be in all four competitions means there is a chance we can win them all.'

United’s 10th successive victory, and their 14th successive League clean sheet, leaves them five points above Liverpool at the top of the table. Their goal difference is also nine better than their closest title rivals.

Bookmaker Paddy Power is so convinced of United’s supremacy that it has already decided to pay out to customers who backed a United treble of League, FA Cup and Carling Cup.

Chelsea are now 10 points adrift having played the same number of games, but new manager Guus Hiddink will be determined to prove Ferguson wrong by reviving the Blues' challenge in his first game in charge against Aston Villa this it really all over for everyone but United this season ?.....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

And The Reds Go Marching On, On, On.......Video Highlights United 3 - 0 Fulham

And the reds go marching on, on, on........

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Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Rooney Back For Manchester United Against Fulham

fulham cheerleadersIf you can keep your eyes off the two Fulham cheerleaders pictured left.......Wayne Rooney should hopefully make his long awaited return after a seven match absence as Manchester United look to open up a five point advantage over The Bindippers by beating Fulham at Old Trafford.

Rooney has been struggling with a hamstring injury which he sustained at Wigan one month ago but has now hopefully fully recovered. Thanks to Capello for not choosing him for England too. He was told by Fergie Rooney is available if Capello felt the need to choose him, but he didn't.

Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Carlos Tevez, Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov are among the big names who return following the FA Cup win at Derby, while Edwin van der Sar looks to complete an incredible 14th consecutive Premier League clean sheet.

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson will give late fitness tests to Paul Konchesky and Andy Johnson. Both players have been struggling with muscle strains but will be given every chance to prove their fitness. Dickson Etuhu is still out with the knee injury he sustained against Wigan, meaning on-loan Inter Milan midfielder Olivier Dacourt should continue in midfield.

I'm glad to see Rooney back but if we are honest, did we really miss him, did our results go down-hill or did we beat two long standing defensive records and reach the top of the league in his absence? Rooney is a valuable asset for United but this squad has such richness in depth that they can lose him for seven games and the machine keeps roilling along. Awesome stuff indeed I'm sure you'll agree.


Man Utd (from):
Van der Sar, Foster, Kuszczak, Neville, Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evans, Evra, O'Shea, Ronaldo, Nani, Carrick, Scholes, Fletcher, Giggs, Park, Berbatov, Rooney, Tevez, Gibson, Welbeck.

Fulham (from): Schwarzer, Hughes, Konchesky, Pantsil, Hangeland, Johnson, Zamora, Nevland, Gera, Murphy, Kamara, Gray, Zuberbuhler, Stoor, Dempsey, Davies, Milsom, Brown, Kallio, Barnes, Dacourt.

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Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Manchester United Had Better Fear Jose And Inter Milan

jose mourinho fergieJose Mourinho is probably one of the few managers who Manchester United fans should fear. He has a good record against Fergie and his boys and indeed, he has a good record against most teams. His Chelsea side were invincible at The Bridge and were a handful away from home too. His knowledge and experience is incredible. He has been talking to MUTV about how he is setting his sights on toppling United when he comes face to face with Fergie in the last 16 of the Champions League next weekend.

His Internazionale side host United at the San Siro on Tuesday 24 February with the second leg scheduled for Old Trafford on Wednesday 10 March. Mourinho, always up for a challenge, says it’s the perfect tie for his team.

“Before the draw I said that I wanted United and some people thought I was crazy, after all, why would I want the top team in Europe? But I wanted them because it’s a big challenge and because it will be difficult. It’s a special draw for my players and I won’t need to motivate them for this tie. The best matches to play in are against the best sides and the best side at the moment is Manchester United.”

Although Manchester United have never been beaten by Inter in a competitive fixture, Mourinho has never been at the helm. Overall, Jose does have the edge over Sir Alex. In fact, the Reds’ boss has only tasted victory once against a Mourinho-led side.

“We know we can win, United are a special team with special players. They are very solid in defence and dangerous in attack. You look at the talent they have on the pitch and then at the bench too, and you know this will be difficult. My side has a lot of experience, we have a lot of talent and we know how to play the big games. It will be a close tie.”.....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Monday, 16 February 2009

Manchester United Youngster Gibson Should Start Against Spurs At Wembley

Manchester United midfielder Darron Gibson put on a great display against Derby County, winning the Man Of The Match according to ITV. Having scored in the FA Cup against them and in an earlier round against Southampton, he is one of a few United youngsters who have stepped up to the mark this season when injuries have given them their chance in the first team. However, Gibson refuses to get carried away by talk of a guaranteed place in the United line up at Wembley in the Carling Cup Final.

Gibson has played in every round of United’s path to the final, and manager Sir Alex Ferguson has publicly promised the Republic of Ireland international a place against Tottenham at Wembley on 1 March, however Gibson wont be getting too excited until he is told personally by Fergie this will be happening.

“The Carling Cup has been good for me this year so fingers crossed I will play in the final, but the manager has not told me anything yet,” said Gibson. "I don't mind playing on the right but central midfield is my proper position, I feel more comfortable in there but to be honest, I am just happy to be on the pitch. In training I have been working on trying to get into the box and having a few more shots. I am glad I scored but the main thing is we got through.”

I think players such as Gibson, Danny Welbeck and Rodrigo Possebon along with Nani deserve a tilt at starting the Carling Cup Final. They have been called into action with United's huge injury list at times this season and they have stood tall and shown determination and a great cohesion when needed. This will be a great day for them if they do start, and with United holding the likes of Berbatov, Rooney and Tevez in reserve, they can be called upon if needed.....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share