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Monday, 30 March 2009

Gary Neville Due A Run Out In The Reserves, Thank Goodness

gary neville caricature cartoon pictureGary Neville who has been suffering a long term injury is due to make his first few tentative steps back to recovery with a run out for the reserves tonight against Newcastle reserves at St James Park.

Neville has been in and out of the first team over the past two years with an injury situation that started way back with a broken ankle against Bolton Wanderers and has since struggled to regain full fitness. In the meantime, Wes Brown claimed the right back position as his own until he too was injured. That opened the door for Rafael who has been an absolute star given his age and his short time at the club.

Neville has made 22 appearances earlier this season but it was short lived his recovery, as problems flared up again for him in the shape of a groin injury.

After missing out on last season's Premier League and Champions League triumphs, Neville is keen to play a part in this season's run-in.

If he comes through unscathed, the full-back could come into contention for Sunday's encounter with Aston Villa or the Champions League showdown with Porto 48 hours later given Wes Brown and Rafael da Silva are both injured and John O'Shea's recent performances have come in for heavy criticism.....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Neville Planning For Life After Manchester United

gary neville manchester unitedGary Neville, Manchester United's Catptain Fantastic, who missed virtually the entire 2008-09 campaign with calf and ankle injuries, banished fears over his long-term future by signing a new one-year deal at Old Trafford last month.

It has been revealed that he is also keeping one eye on his retirtement by planning to take his coaching badges but the former England defender who won 85 caps admits that he could yet turn his back on the game completely if he fails to find a challenge that matches his ambition.

Speaking to the Big Issue in the North, Neville said:

Part of me says I'd like to stay involved in the game, but another says I should do something else. It would nice to be able to take on a different challenge. I'd like to think I could do something else other than football, but the reality is that's what I've done since I was 16. I am doing my coaching badges, but whether anyone will want me as a coach or a manager I don't know. I don't know, even now so close to the end of my career, what will happen. But leaving Manchester United, in football terms, is like falling off the end of a cliff. I just hope there's something that I find exciting and can enjoy, and in which I retain the ambition to achieve something.

Neville has struggled to reclaim the right-back spot at United this term following his return to action from his lengthy injury lay-off.

The emergence of Brazilian teenager Rafael da Silva and the performances of Wes Brown have checked Neville's progress. But the veteran defender says he is ready to play whenever called upon by Sir Alex Ferguson.

Neville said: "I am just trying to keep myself fit and make myself available for the manager."

Could This Be The End For Fergie?

manchester united alex ferguson retirement

According to Sir Alex Ferguson's son Darren, Fergie will be quitting at the end of next season, having completed 25 years in charge at Old Trafford.

Speaking to The Guardian Fergie Jr said: "I can see him doing this year and next and then that might be it for him. His health is fine and he's building a new team. If they win [the league] this year, then they catch Liverpool in terms of league titles won and that will be in his mind."

Fergie was due to retire at the end of the 2002 season but midway through that year he did an about turn and decided to stay on. Since that time he has not revealed any clues whatsoever as to when the fateful day of his departure will be. When asked about the subject he replies "it's none of your business".

I guess the day when he leaves is getting very near now.....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Friday, 27 March 2009

CR7 Intends To Open More Shops

cr7 shopManchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has already opened two branches of his boutiques in his home town of Madeira swiftly followed by another in Porto. He is now planning to make the next branch Madrid based. This will naturally get those clowns at Marca, Spain's Sporting Newspaper who have more fantasies than a teenage boy watching Cheryl Cole perform in the latest Girls Aloud video, crowing on about how he MUST be joining Madrid because of this latest expansion of his business interests.

The shops are all called 'CR7' which is quite a trendy name, but if he were to join Real Madrid all the shops would have to be renamed 'CR9' as Raul currently fills the number 7 jersey for Real. Ronnie has already Trademarked the name 'CR9' - I guess he is covering all bases with that move.

Ronaldo's own website reports that he has plans to open new shops in Paris, Milan, Madrid, London, Berlin, Prague, Tokyo and Los Angeles, but NOT in Manchester. The plot thickens !!

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Thursday, 26 March 2009

Manchester United Stuck With AIG For Another Year

aig funny logoAs I was saying not long ago in my post about AIG and their bizarre, irresponsible behaviour, Manchester United are seeking a new sponsor to replace the £56.5 million four-year deal with AIG which expires at the end of the 2009-10 season.

The European champions are confident of securing a lucrative agreement by the autumn and it seems most likely that Saudi Telecom or Indian financial services company Sahara are favourites to take over from AIG. However, with next season's United strip – due to be launched in China on the first-leg of the club's Far East tour in July – already in production with the AIG logo in place, moves by AIG to change its name to AIU could leave United with a redundant sponsor for the duration of the 2009-10 campaign.

A Nike spokesman said: "For the 2009-10 season all Manchester United shirts and training products have been produced with the AIG logo in line with the company's continued sponsorship of the club. The speculation surrounding AIG had very little impact on the process of manufacturing this product."

Such has become the bad feeling toward AIG in America the company's security team has been forced to warn US-based employees to take special precautions and "avoid wearing any AIG apparel with the company insignia" as a result of growing hostility towards the company following revelations of bonuses paid to employees from bail-out funds.

The company's Manhattan offices have already been renamed AIU Holdings and chief executive Edward M Liddy has admitted that AIG have no option but to change their discredited name.

Liddy said: "I think the AIG name is so thoroughly wounded and disgraced that we're probably going to have to change it."

United are due to receive the final £14 million instalment from AIG ahead of the start of next season, but the American company, rather than United or Nike, would be forced to foot the prohibitive cost of any logo changes on next term's kit.

The club will play in the four-team Audi Cup in Munich at the end of July. The two-day competition, held at Munich's Allianz Arena, will feature United, Boca Juniors, AC Milan and Bayern Munich.

United will face Boca on July 29 following their four-game tour of the Far East before tackling Milan or Bayern in the final/third-place play-off on July 30.....Back To Home Page...Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Magnus Eikrem's Scorching Free Kick

magnus eikrem manchester united reservesOle Gunnar Solskjaer's reserves continued their excellent run in the Barclays Premier Reserve League North division with a 1-0 win at the Riverside last night to increase their good run to 8 wins from the lest ten games.

The only goal of the game was scored by Magnus Eikrem the 18 year old starlet from Ole's home country.

Magnus Eikrem's free-kick can be enjoyed HERE.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Scotland In For Danny Welbeck

danny welbeck scotland england Scotland are planning to beat England for Manchester United youngster Danny Welbeck. Even though he has already been selected for England before.

The Daily Record says Scottish FA chiefs were tipped off by a source south of the border.

And last night they were attempting to contact Old Trafford officials in a bid to discover if the talented 18-year-old qualifies to play for them.

Welbeck grabbed the headlines when he scored on his Premiership debut against Stoke last November.

Scotland Under-21 boss Billy Stark said: "If Danny qualifies to play for Scotland then we'd be interested. It's very important to find out if he qualifies then discover what his feelings are. If we get any encouragement, we'd be looking to follow that up."

AIG, Have You No Shame?

manchester united aig funny picture federal reserve cristiano ronaldoAmericans should stick to what they know best and specialise in the things they are good at rather than intruding in matters they have little or no knowledge about in order to make a fast buck. Especially when it comes to sports and team ownership. It's especially infuriating when they can't even get the name of the sport right. I'm talking of course about football. We call it this for a very simple reason, it is played using your feet.

The Glazers turned up at Old Trafford and turned it into a giant commercial exercise. While I appreciate the fact that the money funds new players etc etc the fact that the real value of the hardcore fans is being diminsihed by Glazer and his money grabbing family. Manchester United has been around for 137 years and have a very colourful history, which is probably half the appeal with the Glazer family, after all, America has very little history in comparison to the UK and Europe.

Alongside Glazer we also have another American company sponsoring our shirts and these people are nothing short of liars, thieves and con men. They are so atrocious at their job they needed the US government to bail them out of their own mess to the tune of $152 billion in order to stop a collapse.

Now, all the top employees, or should I say all the idiots who got them in the mess have accepted bonuses, yes BONUSES can you believe !!!

These bonuses in some cases amount to 100s of thousands of $s.

That is theft of the money of US citizens and should be given back with a sincere apology for even thinking they are due this money. It is purely and simply immoral to even consider these bonuses and it defies belief they paid the bonuses out.

So, if you worked for AIG, would you take the money?

The company has taken billions in taxpayer bailout money, and AIG workers still think they are entitled to bonus money, in large part just for sticking around. Except, of course, for the people who left and who are still getting retention bonuses.

Understand, these people getting millions in bonuses aren't exactly broke. They've got nice salaries, and they work in a corporate headquarters that reportedly has a gym, tennis court and gourmet restaurant. But the company is dead broke and is taking many Americans down with it.

And what message does it send to the rest of us about incentive when these folks are taking millions amid such economic disgrace and mismanagement? They failed. Yet, they're cashing in.

Fail this miserably at your job and what do you risk? Everything. That's why we work so hard to save a job or an industry. And to save our way of life.

That, apparently, didn't apply at AIG. So what if you mismanage the investment accounts of your customers? So what if you take big chances that imperil your entire company? You walk away with millions anyway. They risked nothing.

How hard would you work if you knew, win or lose, you could walk away with millions? That's a big problem in professional sports, and it's a big problem in too many of our glass offices and boardrooms.

What should an AIG employee who got a bonus do? How about an agreement promising future bonuses if and when the company recovers and they perform? Even more simply, how about attempting to look grateful for the taxpayer help in trying to keep their company and their jobs afloat?

With the world watching AIG, why on Earth would they be so arrogant? Why would they give the government or House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a reason to wag a finger at them?

Where is the personal responsibility and accountability?

The United States government doesn't need another reason to think that American people can't make smart decisions on their own without its help and oversight. U.S. Rep. John Dingell last week proposed a 95% tax on the bonuses. Now what happens when someone actually deserves a bonus? AIG has kicked the door wide open for public scrutiny of private business. Good grief, what is wrong with you people?

AIG says they are contractually obligated to dole out the bonuses to avoid lawsuits. Please. There may be contracts, but no one is contractually or morally obligated to take it.

One of my favorite movie scenes is in "Saving Private Ryan." At the end, a dying Captain Miller, played by Tom Hanks, tells Private Ryan, played by Matt Damon: "Earn this. Earn it."

As the world's economy is dying, the folks at AIG should watch that scene, because as far as I can tell, they've earned nothing.

You people at AIG are a fucking disgrace, get your shitty logo off our shirts and go crawl under some rock in America where you belong and stay the fuck away from Football in Europe. We love this game and it has a very interesting and eventful history with very, very few things to blemish it - that is until the American money men and their greed invaded it !!!

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They Think It's All Over, It Will Be Soon !!

I have read some crap in my time but I despair at this stage of the season EVERY year. I look around some forums and blogs etc etc and all I can see is despair and bullshit about United failing and losing their touch. Sometimes I see people accusing Fergie of cracking up and making bad decisions. Last year was a classic when United went to Barcelona with half their defence missing and played for a draw, and almost won the match too, by the way.

Sure it is nice to see United playing the Matt Busby way, with young players, attacking and scoring at will and the free flowing football we have all come to love. But in this day and age, it takes a wise old manager who can juggle his players around, choose a result he is happy to carry forward to the next leg of a match and then succeed in winning the game over two legs.

United lost 4-1 to Liverpool and that was a bitter pill to swallow, I am still reeling after that one and to make things worse we lost to Fulham 2-0 today. I said in an earlier post, United can afford to lose three games and STILL win the league, so we lost 2 now and we can still lose another !! So what's with all this talk of the quintuple being impossible, or the double out of sight.......why is the treble impossible ?

This is still the same Manchester United that strike fear into EVERY team they face. Ask any Fulham player if he thought, in his wildest dreams, they would beat United 2-0, not one of them will say they did. I would also be interested to see the Fulham dressing room after that game too, I bet none of them could stand up, they were run ragged by United and today, the luck was against United.

I don't like to read all this nonsense and negativity about Fergie and the boys. Do you think Sir Matt gave up and raised doubts over United's future while having the last rites read over him by a priest ? Was Duncan Edwards ready to quit when Bobby Charlton went to visit him in the Munich hospital with horrific head injuries ? No way, Edwards asked what team they were playing on Saturday, he was willing to get off his death bed and go play for United, such is the love for this great team.

Trailing 1-0 to Bayern Munich, 90 minutes gone and every United player was out on their feet, they had given their all. But did they give in ? Can Manchester United score ? They ALWAYS score.........and the rest is history as they say.

Even if you only saw it on TV, you don't much like football and you can't stand Manchester United, it was a two minute miracle you will tell your grandchildren about ! The final 120 seconds of the 1999 European Cup Final in Barcelona were simply the most breath taking in sporting history. Those two minutes transcended sport. It was an object lesson in life. What those two late scorers Sherringham and Solskjaer and 11 other players achieved in those brief moments inspired me. Because of those two minutes, I will ALWAYS know that if you keep trying you CAN succeed.

Those guys at United, Van Der Sar, Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Ronaldo, Scholes, Giggs, Carrick, Nani, Tevez, Rooney, Berbatov and the youngsters, Wellbeck, Gibson, Chester, Evans and the fringe players, Fletch, O'Shea, Anderson etc etc will give their all EVERY week, game in and game out. Can they win the Quintuple ? You can bet your fucking arse they can !!!

Just remember those two brief minutes in Barcelona and BELIEVE !!

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