Wayne Rooney answers critics with hat trick against Brugge

Posted on August 27, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Champions League, Man United, Players   No Comments »
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Wayne Rooney celebrates with Ander Herrera having scored a hattrick against Club Brugge

Yes, the white Pele has once again answered his critics. Wayne Rooney helped Manchester United to juggernaut past the helpless Club Brugge in some style to qualify for the Champions League. We now know that Rooney and company are in Group B and will do battle with PSV Eindhoven, CSKA Moscow and German side Wolfsburg – a much more challenging proposition than the qualifying match posed. Rooney is usually very quick to be criticised when he is below par – and it is fair to say that his early season form didn’t look as if he would surpass the 249 goals set by Bobby Charlton and become the club’s top goalscorer of all time.

Fast forward two weeks and he is only 17 goals off hitting 250 for the club; an absolutely monumental achieve. So was the criticism just and what heights can Wayne Rooney reach this season?

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Manchester United should keep David De Gea for another season

Posted on July 19, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Man United News, Players, Premier League, Transfer Speculation   1 Comment »
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David De Gea is available on a free transfer next season with United standing firm at present

Jean-Marc Bosman. Who’d have thought in the build up to December 15th 1995 at the European Court of Justice that the freedom of movement for players would change forever – with footballers now having the ability to run down their contract and leave for nothing at the end of their agreement. Edgar Davids and Steve Mcmanaman were two of the early adopters as they left Ajax and Liverpool for AC Milan and Real Madrid, respectively, for absolutely nothing. The clubs that had nurtured their talents since they were kids would not receive a penny for their efforts.

Manchester United are now, and have been for some time, in a dilemma over David De Gea. Should United let David De Gea go for a cut down fee based upon the duration of his current deal OR should United stick two fingers up at Real Madrid and keep De Gea for one more season? Surely, if United are to challenge for honours next season, it has to be the latter.

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Robin van Persie was simply brilliant for United when he played

Posted on July 05, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Players, Premier League, Transfer Speculation   1 Comment »
Robin van Persie scoring at Old Trafford
A sight United fans became accustomed to; Robin van Persie scoring the winner

Ohh Robin van Persie. A booming chant that would have Old Trafford rocking, right from the start with that beautifully taken left footed strike against Fulham on his home debut right up to his last for the club, in the 3-1 victory over Burnley in February. The Dutchman has been a wonderful signing for Manchester United and his time at the club will be looked back on fondly by all who saw him in a United shirt. His debut season was one of the best I’ve ever seen for a player joining the club and although he would never reach the same heights again, his £24million move from Arsenal was well worth the investment.

As a deal with Turkish club Fenerbache looms large, it appears van Persie has played his final game for the club.

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Rafael may leave United but he’s still smiling

Posted on May 25, 2015  by nameonthetrophy  in Doron, Guest Writer, Man United, 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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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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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 »
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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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 »
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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.

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