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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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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).

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Manchester United next captain: Who is your money on?

Posted on August 02, 2014  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Managers, Players, Premier League   6 Comments »
RvP celebrates.
Robin van Persie is being touted as the next Manchester United captain

Guest Author: Mitchell Jones

You may not have been aware of this, given how little coverage football has received this summer, but Manchester United have replaced the managerial turd that was David Moyes with a pair of giant Dutch testicles by the name of Louis van Gaal. Given the hype of the media and the supporters, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the champions are back in town. The champions who, well, aren’t actually the champions any more.

Things have gotten so bad at Old Trafford that United don’t even have a team captain any more. Our last one, Nemanja Vidic, decided he couldn’t live up to Moyes’ expectations of everyone playing like Phil Jagielka and shipped himself off to Inter Milan. Patrice Evra saw the writing as well, begging his way into Juventus before he was pushed out in favour of youth. That left Rio Ferdinand, who was told to pack his bags and follow suit. He’s now at Queens Park Rangers, exchanging banterous tweets with his new teammates and hocking his branded merchandise to anything he can put a cap on: footballers, rappers, mannequins, pigeons, lampposts, etc.

So now van Gaal, a mere few weeks into his new post, has a monumental decision to make. With the captain and vice-captain positions open, who will he deem fit to lead the new United back into the promised land of top four glory?

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Manchester United youth team 2014/15 preview

Posted on July 23, 2014  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Players, Youth   No Comments »
James Wilson, Manchester United
James Wilson impressed in his Manchester United debut towards the end of the 2013/14 season

The picture of new Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, alongside Ryan Giggs and David Beckham is a reminder of how far we have come since both players made their debuts for the club. Giggs, now assistant manager at Old Trafford, made his debut against Everton in the 1990/91 season, whilst Beckham made his first appearance in the League Cup against Brighton in 92/93. The pair of them, along with a whole host of youngsters who grew into greatness, went onto lift title after title and in the case of Giggs helped the club to win two European Cups along the way.

How does the current batch of youngsters compare and is there any possibility of a break through star this season?

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1995/96: No Champions League, Cantona returns and kids do well

Posted on July 20, 2014  by Stretford-end  in Legends, Man United, Players, Premier League   No Comments »
Eric Cantona scores against Arsenal in 1995/96
Eric Cantona scores again in yet another 1-0 victory against Arsenal back in 1996.

The good times appear to be back at Old Trafford following a disastrous post-Ferguson campaign that saw the legendary manager’s successor dismissed ten months into a six year contract. The club have taken the well received decision of appointing Louis van Gaal, a world class manager who has won titles in numerous countries and lifted the Champions League trophy with Ajax.

The Dutchman’s triumph in Vienna with an youthful side consisting of Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf and eighteen year old Patrick Kluivert is one of the tournament’s finest, which actually fell on Eric Cantona’s birthday. The Frenchman was half way through his eight month ban for his kung-fu kick on an abusive Crystal Palace fan and the club had missed out on Champions League football having finished second to Blackburn Rovers in 1994/95. It is the only time since Manchester United have failed to qualify for Europe’s elite competition – until last season.

With no Champions League football this season, van Gaal can focus solely on challenging for the Premier League title and re-establish the club domestically. It is nearly twenty years since the summer of 1995 that saw Mark Hughes, Andrei Kanchelskis and Paul Ince leave the club to be replaced by a batch of inexperienced youngsters. Alex Ferguson chased Eric Cantona around the streets of Paris on a scooter and everyone had written United’s chance off before the season had even begun.

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