Man United’s young English talent does exist!

Posted on April 22, 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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Chelsea vs. Manchester United view from the oppo

Posted on April 18, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Chelsea, Man United, Premier League   No Comments »
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Manchester United lost 3-1 at Chelsea last season with Samuel Eto’o scoring all three

Manchester United travel to league leaders Chelsea this evening knowing that they must not leave without three points to stand any potential chance of lifting the title, which of course would need to coincide with a monumental collapse by the Londoners. United are in great form and have picked up nine points in the games against Tottenham, Liverpool and most recently in the 4-2 victory over Manchester City.

The absence of Michael Carrick through injury is a massive blow to United who was instrumental in the victory last Sunday, getting on the ball and dominating the physically superior Yaya Toure. Phil Jones is also missing from the match day squad. Although Chelsea still have a game in hand, United will close the gap to five points with a victory at Stamford Bridge.

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Manchester United thrash City rivals in 4-2 spanking

Posted on April 13, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Manchester City, Premier League   No Comments »
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Juan Mata scores Manchester United’s third goal against rivals Manchester City

Was it the finest moment for United fans since Sir Alex Ferguson was at the helm? Was it “the philosophy”, instilled by Louis van Gaal beginning to shine through? Or was it indeed the sheer desire and quality of a side brimming with confidence, which was so clearly devoid throughout the David Moyes era. In all fairness, it was probably a bit of all three.

If you rewind twelve months, we’re a week short of the day that Moyes was sacked by the club. United had been hammered and hadn’t even put up a fight against Liverpool and Manchester City, losing both games 3-0 and were out of the running for a Champions League spot by the end of Moyes’ final game against his old club, Everton.

Today, the mood is very different around Old Trafford and Champions League football is looking very likely to return to the club next season. Chelsea are too far ahead to, realistically, be caught at this stage – but Louis van Gaal’s men are really sending out a message for the 2015/16 campaign.

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Manchester United vs. Manchester City view from the oppo

Posted on April 12, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Manchester City, Premier League   1 Comment »
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Wayne Rooney scores the winner against Manchester City back in 2011

Manchester United take on neighbours Manchester City in a much anticipated top of the table clash.

United are in good form having beaten Aston Villa, Liverpool and Spurs in the past month – whilst City come into the match off the back of a 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace.

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Valencia’s renaissance as a defender has been key for United

Posted on April 07, 2015  by nameonthetrophy  in Doron, Guest Writer, Man United   6 Comments »

Antonio Valencia has been in good form for Manchester United at right back this season.

Guest Author: Doron

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Louis van Gaal likes footballers who stick to the plan; players that can understand and execute his instructions. Those who fulfil this expectation and perform well will be rewarded with their manager’s loyalty and will continue to be selected in his team. One player who seems to have cemented his position in the side is Antonio Valencia, a player who had seen his initial popularity amongst supporters dwindle following two indifferent seasons prior to van Gaal’s arrival. Under van Gaal, Valencia has been used almost exclusively as a right back and this reinvention has been to the benefit of both manager and player as the Ecuadorian has become a consistent cog in United’s suddenly improving side.

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Manchester United 3-1 Aston Villa: Rooney & Herrera sink Villa

Posted on April 06, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Aston Villa, Man United, Premier League   No Comments »
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Ander Herrera opens the scoring with a nearly taken first half strike

Author: Karate Jesus
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What a difference a fortnight makes; the journey to Old Trafford for the previous home league match against Spurs had been filled with apprehension and anxiety that the season would end on a downward trajectory following the whimper against Arsenal in the FA Cup earlier that week. The subsequent victories against Spurs and Liverpool not only gave United a cushion in the ‘rat race’ for the top four but felt like Van Gaal’s side had suddenly gone from 2nd gear to 5th.

Gone was the hesitant, nervous football on evidence over the majority of the season to date, replaced by a United side playing with pace, confidence and aggression. For the first time in a long time, the walk to the ground was filled with the expectation, rather than hope, of a home win and good performance. The new found confidence proved well founded as United recorded a fifth straight league win with another encouraging performance.

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Ander Herrera continues to flourish in debut season

Posted on April 05, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Players, Premier League   No Comments »
Ander Herrera has recovered from a rib injury and he may be able to play in a corset.
Ander Herrara continues to flourish in Manchester United’s midfield

Ander Herrara has quite a tough task. When starting a new job, in whatever you do, you want to make sure you make an impact and show you can offer a little more than those who went before you. Herrara has the quite daunting task of treading in the footsteps of Paul Scholes at club level and Xavi Hernandez at International level – two of the finest European midfielders the world has ever seen.

Scholes was the heart of United for so many years, had a sublime range of passing and was excellent at scoring goals from midfield. Xavi, although his influence is waning in the autumn years, was inspirational in the heart of Barcelona’s and Spain’s midfield for over a decade. Both have set the standards for future players and fans will remember the special moments both players brought to the game.

Herrera, who is yet to win a full international cap, has excelled as the season has progressed in the centre of the park and his proving his worth at a club who are now closing in on a Champions League spot. A top performance against Liverpool and two goals against Aston Villa have highlighted his worth in United side growing in confidence.

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Manchester United vs. Aston Villa view from the opposition

Posted on April 03, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Aston Villa, Man United, Match Previews, Premier League   No Comments »
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Juan Mata scores for Manchester United against Aston Villa last season

Following the international break, in form Manchester United welcome Aston Villa to Old Trafford in what will be the 184th clash between the two sides. Villa are struggling at the wrong end of the table, but have recently picked up under new manager Tim Sherwood with an important win over fellow relegation battlers, Sunderland. Villa fans can also look forward to an FA Cup semi-final clash against Liverpool or Blackburn Rovers but the main focus will be on Premier League survival and three point at Old Trafford.

United are in good form, beating Tottenham and a superb 2-1 win against Liverpool over the past few weeks, which has opened a gap between United in fourth spot. Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini are in fine form and both are expected to start against Villa,

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Smalling and Jones: a pairing for club and country

Posted on March 24, 2015  by nameonthetrophy  in Man United   No Comments »

Guest Author: Doron

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In the summer of 2011, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones were paired together at the European U21 Championships in Denmark. It was the start of a partnership that held much promise for both club and country and they were the major positive to come out of an otherwise disappointing tournament for England, with the pair particularly impressive in a 1-1 draw against Spain. To date, the potential of their partnership has been unfulfilled and in the coming week, Roy Hodgson has the chance to pair them together for England for what would only be the second time at senior level.

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Magical Juan Mata helps United to victory at Anfield

Posted on March 22, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Liverpool, Man United, Match Reports, Premier League   No Comments »
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Juan Mata scores a stunning second goal as Manchester United beat Liverpool 2-1

Manchester United picked up a valuable three points in the 192nd clash between the two north western giants, which saw Liverpool lose 2-1 at home. It was game full of talking points, but the stand out moment had to be Juan Mata’s sublime second goal.

There was controversy, with Liverpool club captain Steven Gerrard, who was playing in his final match against United, only lasting a mere forty-eight seconds before being sent off for a stamp on Spaniard Ander Herrera. There were other incidents, which saw Phil Jones smash into Jordan Henderson and in the final seconds of the match Martin Skrtel looked to leave a foot in on United’s goalkeeper David De Gea – however, in a game of this magnitude there are always going to be challenges of this nature.

Louis van Gaal, who was experiencing his first trip to Anfield as United boss, was delighted with the first half performance and has now seen his team pick up two wins on the bounce against two key rivals for a Champions League place. United are now only a point behind Arsenal and two points behind Manchester City – with both clubs having to travel to Old Trafford before the end of the season.

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