Today’s stories: Rio Ferdinand should put club before country, Gary Neville admits to Manchester City are title contenders, Chris Smalling looks to Rio as a role model, and United continue their interest in Ander Lindegaard.
Alan Hansen suggests that Rio Ferdinand has now reached the stage of his career where he must choose between club and country. Rio has suffered from injuries for nearly two years now and has only made 44 appearances for United since December 2008. Ferdinand, who is understood to have retained the England captaincy, will turn 32 next month and may need to consider international retirement in a bid to prolong his career. International retirement has done wonders for Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, both still playing well into their 30s, and such a move by Rio could prove equally beneficial. Sir Alex and the club have shown a lot of faith in Rio spending £30 million to bring the centre back to Old Trafford in 2002 and sticking by him in 2003 when he was banned eight months for missing a doping test. Rio should now repay United’s faith. There is no doubt that Ferdinand loves playing for England, but now he must choose to give his full attention to the club.
Gary Neville claims that Manchester City is now a serious title contender. Few, if any, hate our noisy neighbors more than Neville. This is why such a proclamation comes as a shock and suggests that City is finally a threat to our title chances. City moved ahead of United to second place in the Premier League table following last weekend’s results. With City currently above United in the table, Neville feels his club must begin taking their neighbors seriously.
Chris Smalling has singled out Rio Ferdinand as the perfect role model at Manchester United. Smalling has been promising during the early days of his United career having already scored his first competitive goal for the club against Scunthorpe. Sir Alex seems to think highly of the 20-year-old, trusting him as a starter against Rangers in United’s opening Champions League fixture in September. It is fitting that the young centre back has chosen Rio as his role model. As the England captain edges closer to the end of his career, some United fans are already looking to Smalling as his successor.
After all the reported scouting trips United have made to seen Anders Lindegaard, I will be shocked if he doesn’t eventually end up at Old Trafford. This time Lindegaard was observed during international duty with Denmark against Portugal. It is believed that Lindegaard is now Sir Alex’s preferred choice to be Edwin Van der Sar’s successor and a move for the Danish keeper is expect as early as January. Lindegaard’s current club Aalesunds are braced for a bid when the transfer window opens in January, and will look at the possibility of bringing him back on loan should any deal occur.
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