Rafael may leave United but he’s still smiling

Posted on May 25, 2015  by nameonthetrophy  in Doron, Guest Writer, Players   No Comments »

Guest Author: Doron

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In a post-season that United fans can expect to see plenty of arrivals and departures, it seems inevitable that Rafael da Silva has played his last game for the club. Having lost his place in the side to Antonio Valencia, he last started a game away at Yeovil on the first weekend of 2015 and a series of minor injuries, the last being cracked ribs whilst playing for the U21 side in April, have ensured there wasn’t even the opportunity for a farewell appearance.

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5 points to summarise Manchester United’s season

Posted on May 24, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Players, Transfer Speculation   No Comments »
Marouane Fellaini
Marouane Fellaini has become an important part of the Manchester United first team

The season’s conclusion is very much on the horizon following a whirlwind of a campaign that saw Manchester United reclaim back a Champions League spot. United will again be at the table of European football’s elite, providing of course Louis van Gaal’s men can overcome the awkwardness of the initial canapes, the dreaded preliminary round.

Lets forget that of course on what is today a carnival of football and indeed Le King’s 49th birthday. United’s manager will finally have a break following season that included guiding the Netherlands to the brink of the World Cup final, Luke Shaw will no doubt be going easy on the burgers following last summer’s debacle and of course the crazy time of the year that is the summer transfer window – where 17 year old spotty teenagers take on the alias of a football agent, hidden behind the mask of @transferguy with the aim to amass a significant social following having spouted absolute nonsense.

With United travelling to relegation bound Hull City, and of course ex-captain Steve Bruce, where the whole nations whispers – “Can Hull City actually beat Manchester United having not beaten them since 1974 considering the inevitability of yet another Newcastle United defeat?”. Its a long whisper. But that is indeed all there is left to play for. United will surely not lose to a Hull City side, which have been turned over the past three times the club has come to town. This also includes a final day victory over relegation threatened Hull, week before the 2009 Champions League final – where United played a weakened side. Hull City and orange faced Phil Brown stayed up that day, but Bruce faces a much more difficult task.

With the season drawing to a close, take a a look at our five concluding points for the 2014/15 season.

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Manchester United vs. Arsenal preview: view from oppo

Posted on May 16, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Arsenal, Man United, Match Previews, Premier League   1 Comment »
Arsenal v Manchester United
Manchester United beat Arsenal 2-1 at the Emirates in November

Manchester United, who have all but qualified for the Champions League next season, do battle once again with FA Cup finalists Arsenal in a game which could see the home side swap places with the Londoners with a victory. United will be without their skipper, Wayne Rooney, who is still suffering from picking up a dead leg injury last weekend against Crystal Palace. This could mean a start for ex-Arsenal skipper, Robin van Persie, who has no doubt struggled for form since Sir Alex Ferguson departed at the end of his quite brilliant debut season.

Luke Shaw is also set to miss the game following his injury in the fixture last weekend. Louis van Gaal also spoke of the upcoming Euro U21 tournament in the summer, which he feels Shaw should miss in order for his body to recover.

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Manchester United’s U21 glory is a squad success

Posted on May 15, 2015  by nameonthetrophy  in Doron, Guest Writer, Man United, Youth   4 Comments »

Adnan Januzaj celebrates scoring against Manchester City in the week for the U21

Guest Author: Doron

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Around this time of year there are usually blogs effusive with praise for Warren Joyce and what he’s been able to achieve over the course of the season with the United U21 side. Here’s another one, except this year has arguably been even more of a challenge than usual.

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Memphis Depay: All you need to know about United’s new winger

Posted on May 10, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Transfer Targets   No Comments »
Memphis Depay scores for the Netherlands against Chile in the World Cup
Memphis Depay is an exciting talent who is heading to Old Trafford

With Manchester Unite’s 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace yesterday, combined with Liverpool’s failure to beat Chelsea in the teatime kickoff today – United only need a point to mathematically, despite having a far superior goal difference, qualify for next season’s Champions League. Louis van Gaal will have a full summer to plan for the 2015/16 campaign, a season that United fans will expect the club to challenge again for honours – both home an abroad. Many new faces are expected to join in the summer, but one man is already signed up and gearing for the next campaign.

United recently announced the signing of Memphis Depay for a reported £25million from PSV Eindhoven. United have some great Dutch players over the years, including Jaap Stam, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Edwin van der Sar and already have Robin van Persie (whose future still remains a doubt) and Daley Blind.

We caught up with Peter McVitie, a Scottish journalist living in the Netherlands, who has been following Depay for the past few years. Peter kindly answered a number of pressing questions we had on United’s new winger. Have a read yourself and feel free to drop Peter and additional questions we may have missed on Twitter – @Petermcvitie.

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Crystal Palace vs. Manchester United view from the opposition

Posted on May 09, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Crystal Palace, Man United, Match Previews, Premier League   No Comments »
Wayne Rooney scores a great volley against Crystal Palace in 2013/14
Wayne Rooney scores a great volley against Crystal Palace last season

Manchester United travel to Selhurst Park off the back of three straight defeats to take on a Crystal Palace side who are also in a poor run of form. Louis van Gaal’s men have lost 1-0 to Chelsea, 3-0 to Everton and 1-0 to WBA. The defeat at Chelsea was a close one, but United were extremely poor against Everton in the 3-0 defeat and were flat against WBA. With Liverpool only four places behind United, a Champions League place is nowhere near certain, which is a far cry from three weeks ago when the spot looked all but wrapped up.

The home side are also in bad form, losing at home 2-0 to WBA, 2-0 to Hull City and 1-0 away to the now Champions, Chelsea. Alan Pardew has guided the South London club to safety following his torrid treatment at Newcastle United, who are now engulfed in a relegation scrap. United will be boosted by the signing of Memphis Depay from PSV Eindhoven, who will join the club in the summer for the new season. With three games left and fourth place not yet secured, van Gaal must pick up three points today.

Palace have not beaten United at Selhurst Park since the end of the 1990/91 season – when the home side ran out 3-0 victors. Ferguson rested a number of key players for the match ahead of the Cup Winners Cup final in Rotterdam a few days later – which United went on to win 2-1.

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Manchester United 0-1 West Brom: United draw a blank again

Posted on May 03, 2015  by nameonthetrophy  in Doron, Guest Writer, Man United, WBA   1 Comment »

Manchester United lose for the third time on the spin with a single goal for WBA.

Guest Author: Doron

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Oh United, you never make it easy for us, do you?

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Man United – West Brom: View from the opposition

Posted on May 01, 2015  by El Rob  in Man United   No Comments »
Manchester Unites snatch a late equaliser against WBA

Blind and Fellaini celebrate Blind’s dramatic equaliser at the Hawthorns.

Manchester United take on West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday evening, hoping to bounce back from their first 2-game losing run of the season, following 1-0 and 3-0 reverses to Chelsea and Everton respectively. We’re joined by Warren Stephens, a West Brom fan, who’s kindly answered some of our questions before the game.

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Everton vs. Manchester United view from the oppo

Posted on April 26, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Everton, Man United, Premier League   No Comments »
Marouane Fellaini joined Manchester United from Everton for £27.5m in September 2013
Marouane Fellaini returns to Goodison park to face his old side Everton

What a difference a year makes. It was the 20th April 2014 and Everton quashed any slight glimmer of hope Manchester United fans had of a Champions League place, which ultimately sealed the fate of David Moyes. The home side easily brushed aside the visitors with an emphatically confident display, the polar opposition of the limp threat posed by United. Two days later Moyes was gone and United were looking for a successor a mere ten months following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Fast forward twelve months and United look in a much better state with Dutchman Louis van Gaal at the helm. The past six weeks has seen a return to the United of old, with van Gaal’s men picking up nine points against Champions League qualification chasing opponents, in Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City. United will hoping for a better result than the 2-0 defeat that ultimately ended Moyes’ regin at the club that he left.

The visitor are with out instrumental Michael Carrick, who has been in great form but missed the recent trip to Chelsea after starring in the 4-2 victory over Manchester City. Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo are also out for United. Louis van Gaal will be hoping David De Gea, who starred in the 2-1 victory over Everton in October, agrees to a contract extension and spurns any advances from Real Madrid. Its vital that going forward, United send out a message to retain the services of arguably the best goalkeeper in Europe.

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Manchester United’s young English talent does exist!

Posted on April 26, 2015  by nameonthetrophy  in Doron, Man United, Youth   No Comments »

Guest Author: Doron

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Through club channels, social media and the traditional media there is an ever-growing interest in youth football today. There are three stand-out reasons for this: 1) there’s a race to spot the next big star with social kudos as the prize; 2) there’s a genuine interest from the media to keep abreast of what is and isn’t working at youth level; 3) the ‘outrage generation’ are always looking for success or failure stories. As a result, there’s currently as much coverage and conversation about youth football than there ever has been.

However, Man United haven’t been coming out of it all very well. In the latest international break, somewhat inexplicably, there wasn’t a single United player in the England U20, U19, U18, U17 or U16 squads; Jesse Lingard in the U21s was the sole club representative in the national youth setup. The club’s non-participation in the UEFA Youth League and quarter final exit from the FA Youth Cup meant they’ve missed out on TV coverage and a chance to show off their top talents. The narrative at the start of the season was that United had forgotten about the club’s tradition of youth production and recent articles believe United are falling behind in that area.

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