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.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.9/10 (17 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)

Angel Di Maria will still deliver but Savage was right in criticism

Posted on February 22, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Players   No Comments »
Angel di María
Angel Di Maria’s Manchester United form has dwindled in the past few months

Match of the day pundit Robbie Savage launched a scathing attack on Manchester United and in particular Angel Di Maria, following the 2-1 defeat away at Swansea City. The club’s record signing at £59.7 million has struggled to deliver in the last few months, despite the impressive start he made at Old Trafford. The Argentine has only netted three times in the league this season and his last goal came back in October against Everton. For a player of his exceptional talent and ability, that simply isn’t good enough and his withdrawal from proceedings yesterday highlights just how out of form and low on confidence United’s number seven is at the moment.

Savage is paid for his opinion, whether you agree with him or not, but it would be hard to argue against his assessment of Di Maria and United’s general play. The ex Real Madrid man is world class, who can take players on for fun – but United are currently not seeing anywhere near a performance that warrants a world class tag. Di Maria was of course named man of the match in the Champions League Final last season, overshadowing Cristiano Ronaldo in the process – so why is he currently not reaching that level with Manchester United?

The criticism may have been fair, on the Swansea performance and also form in recent months – but, given time, Angel Di Maria will be a big player for the club.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.8/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 2 votes)

Darren Fletcher – forever fighting

Posted on February 02, 2015  by nameonthetrophy  in Doron, Man United, Players   3 Comments »
Darren Fletcher
Darren Fletcher has finally left Manchester United to kick start his career at WBA

Guest Author: Doron

Follow Doron on Twitter

Darren Fletcher’s move to West Brom is the end of a career-long battle at United. He has overcome rules, injuries, doubt, criticism and illness to make nearly 350 appearances for the club. He leaves having won the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, Champions League and Club World Cup; he’s done the lot.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.9/10 (35 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +15 (from 15 votes)

Cause for optimism: Van Gaal’s a twister, not a sticker

Posted on November 10, 2014  by nameonthetrophy  in Doron, Man United, Managers, Players, Premier League   4 Comments »

Guest Author: Doron

Follow Doron on Twitter

Nearly a third of the way through the league season and van Gaal’s United side are still yet to click. The players are currently playing their third system of the season and appear no closer to exemplifying the mythical ‘philosophy’ that the Dutch manager has referred to so often. But, this is not necessarily a bad thing.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.8/10 (33 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +10 (from 10 votes)

Roy Keane book: Legendary captain is honest in his assessment

Posted on October 18, 2014  by Stretford-end  in Legends, Man United, Players   1 Comment »
Paul-Ince-and-Roy-Keane-001
Roy Keane with Paul Ince in his first season at Manchester United, over twenty years ago

Roy Keane is one of the best players I’ve ever seen in a Manchester United shirt. Sure, there were players such as Cantona, Ronaldo and Giggs who were technically superior to the Irishman, but Keane would turn losses into draws and draws into wins with his sheer will to win and his boundless desire to excel. A born leader, and  a born winner. He was Sir Alex Ferguson’s leader on the pitch and in his 480 appearances for the club he won title after title, relentlessly demanding high standards from everyone around him.

Since leaving the club he has had a well-documented falling out with United’s legendary ex-manager and has been outspoken regarding the quality of his former teammates – with high-profile exits in the European Cup to FC Basel and, more recently, to Real Madrid in Ferguson’s final European Cup game. It was announced some time ago that Roddy Doyle would ghost write Keane’s second book “The second half” – and extracts have been widely published in the press over the past few weeks.

But what do we make of the book after all? A good read? A compelling read? Would Keane finish every chapter in the style of Alan Partridge, proclaiming “Needless to say, I had the last laugh”? Would there be a chapter entitled “I hate Fergie”? Some footballers release abysmal books. Succumbing to the 21st century’s demand for celebs, need to be famous and rich footballers – we’ve seen twenty year old Wayne Rooney release “My Story So Far” and of course, everyone’s favourite left back Ashley Cole had a belter called “My defence” (a 20p car book steal if there ever was one). But Keane’s story is different. He is to the point (as you’d expect), quite insecure about his management, and demonstrates self doubt throughout.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (5 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)

Andreas Pereira – a surprise addition to the first team?

Posted on September 19, 2014  by nameonthetrophy  in Doron, Man United, Players, Youth   1 Comment »

Guest Author: Doron

Follow Doron on Twitter

There was one surprising inclusion in the Manchester United first team squad photo earlier this week. William Keane and Reece James who went on the summer tour weren’t included – both are now someway down the pecking order for their positions. Injured players such as Jones, Carrick, Lingard and Fellaini all took part along with young striker, James Wilson, who’s now very much with the first team. He was joined from the U21 squad, maybe somewhat surprisingly, by Andreas Pereira.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.5/10 (26 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +9 (from 9 votes)

Arsenal move offers Welbeck the chance to complete himself

Posted on September 13, 2014  by nameonthetrophy  in Arsenal, Doron, Man United, Players, Transfer Speculation, Transfer Targets   1 Comment »

Guest Author: Doron

Follow Doron on Twitter

Lots of players leave Manchester United but few departures have carried as much disbelief as that of Danny Welbeck. The disbelief stems not because it was an expensive fee (if anything, the fee was lower than that which could have been expected) and neither was it a total surprise, given the stories emanating from Old Trafford in recent weeks. Instead, it is because, to many, the transfer just seems wrong: a local lad, aged 23, who has been with the club for fifteen years and has arguably the biggest cult fan base of the current squad was sold to Arsenal, the primary rival to which a player could feasibly be sold. Yet, from the player’s perspective, this is a pivotal career moment. Having left United incomplete, the transfer presents an opportunity to allow him to fulfil his potential and become a leading Premier League striker.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.2/10 (11 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)

Fitter, happier, more productive.

Posted on September 09, 2014  by Karate_Jesus  in Man United, Players, Premier League, Transfer Targets   6 Comments »

New Manchester United signing Angel Di Maria; from ‘La Decima’ to the decimated

Author: Karate Jesus

Follow Karate Jesus on Twitter

Where are we now?

Three weeks ago, after United slumped to an opening day home defeat to Swansea City (a performance that ‘smashed’ the optimism built up during pre-season, to quote Louis van Gaal), I wrote a piece entitled ‘Where do we go from here?‘; an attempt to highlight what action United needed to take prior to their next home league game, in order for fortune to be turned.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.6/10 (27 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)

Why Tom Cleverley failed to fulfil his potential at United…

Posted on September 02, 2014  by nameonthetrophy  in Doron, Guest Writer, Man United, Players, Transfer Speculation, Transfer Targets, Youth   14 Comments »

Guest Author: Doron

Follow Doron on Twitter

After a 14 year association with Manchester United, Tom Cleverley has taken his first steps towards leaving the club to further his career elsewhere, initially on loan with Aston Villa. His departure is more likely to be greeted with cheers rather than tears by the majority of United fans, but, in truth, what became of his career at Old Trafford is incredibly unfortunate.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.1/10 (142 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +43 (from 49 votes)

Marcos Rojo is a Red: What can we expect?

Posted on August 23, 2014  by El Rob  in El Rob, Guest Writer, Man United, Players   No Comments »
Rojo-first-training-session
“That’s Youngy, he plays left wingback these days.” “Him?”

Authors: Rob and Pedro

Despite needlessly restrictive and bureaucratic UK immigration policy, Marcos Rojo is now a Manchester United player, having joined in a deal that sees £16 million go into the murky web of deceit, skulduggery and credit default swaps that characterise the world of modern football finance to his former club and third-party owners, as well as Nani’s return to Sporting CP on a season-long loan. Some were quite surprised at the size of the deal, especially since it featured Nani as a makeweight despite him having some truly excellent spells of form for United (admittedly mixed in with longer spells of frustrating uselessness).

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (9 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)