Angel Di Maria dream transfer turns in PSG exit nightmare

Posted on July 26, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Premier League, Transfer Speculation   2 Comments »
Angel di Maria
Angel Di Maria signing for Manchester United from Real Madrid last summer

It shouldn’t have turned out this way. On 26th August 2014, Manchester United pulled off the biggest transfer in British history – the signing of Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid for £59.7million.

But eleven months can be a long time in football and at this moment in time, it is believed that the Argentine is on the brink of signing for French champions PSG for £46.1 million. So where did it all go wrong? Why has it not worked out and are Manchester United making a mistake in selling their number seven?

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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 »
De Gea
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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United mean business with Bastian Schweinsteiger signing

Posted on July 12, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Premier League, Transfer Targets   No Comments »
Pirlo and Schweinsteiger
Bastian Schweinsteiger takes on the legendary Andrea Pirlo in the Champions League

Manchester United have signed a player. Not just any player, but a player of real pedigree who has won the lot. Not even Edward Woodward impersonating Basil Fawlty in the directors lounge could send this one south. Bastian Schweinsteiger will be a Manchester United player come the start of the Premier League season following the news that Bayern Munich had accepted a bid, believed to be around £15million, for the player who is now on his way to Manchester for a medical. 536 appearances for Bayern, eight Bundesliga titles, seven German cups, a European Cup win and of course that World Cup final victory over Lionel Messi’s Argentina last June.

United have signed a player, who although is entering the final stage of his career as he turns 31 next month, who will bring experience and class to a side desperate for leadership. With the pursuit of Sergio Ramos still on the cards – it is clear that Louis van Gaal wants to fill his new look United side with leaders.

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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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Why Manchester United can’t sign Harry Kane for £40million

Posted on June 21, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Premier League, Spurs, Transfer Speculation   2 Comments »
Harry Kane playing for Tottenham
Harry Kane has been linked with a £40 million move from Spurs to United

When Trevor Francis signed for Nottingham Forest from Birmingham City for over £1 million (it was actually £1,180,000) it absolutely smashed the previous British transfer record, which stood for a solitary month. Francis became the first ever £1 million player to play on these shores. The forward, who scored twelve goals in fifty two games for England, went on to win two European Cups with Brian Clough – the only club team ever to win a continental trophy more times than their domestic league title.

1979 seems a far cry ago, but the same criticism, shock and cynicism still apply to the expensive football transfers of the day. At the time, Paulo Rossi held the world transfer record, when he moved to Juventus – but the valuation of Francis proved to be a telling moment in British football, considering David Mills became the first half million pound player the month previous.

Since then we’ve seen Bryan Robson, Paul Gascoinge, Andy Cole, Dennis Bergkamp, Seba Veron, Rio Ferdinand, Robinho and Gareth Bale break the British transfer record (a player be transferred into or from the English top flight) with astronomical fees being exchanged. Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur’s young and prolific goal scorer, has been linked with a £40million move to Manchester United – why after one brilliant season would United part with nearly half the money made from the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo for a player with bags of potential but limited first team action?

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Manchester United vs. Arsenal preview: view from oppo

Posted on May 16, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Arsenal, Man United, Match Previews, Premier League   1 Comment »
Arsenal v Manchester United
Manchester United beat Arsenal 2-1 at the Emirates in November

Manchester United, who have all but qualified for the Champions League next season, do battle once again with FA Cup finalists Arsenal in a game which could see the home side swap places with the Londoners with a victory. United will be without their skipper, Wayne Rooney, who is still suffering from picking up a dead leg injury last weekend against Crystal Palace. This could mean a start for ex-Arsenal skipper, Robin van Persie, who has no doubt struggled for form since Sir Alex Ferguson departed at the end of his quite brilliant debut season.

Luke Shaw is also set to miss the game following his injury in the fixture last weekend. Louis van Gaal also spoke of the upcoming Euro U21 tournament in the summer, which he feels Shaw should miss in order for his body to recover.

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Crystal Palace vs. Manchester United view from the opposition

Posted on May 09, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Crystal Palace, Man United, Match Previews, Premier League   No Comments »
Wayne Rooney scores a great volley against Crystal Palace in 2013/14
Wayne Rooney scores a great volley against Crystal Palace last season

Manchester United travel to Selhurst Park off the back of three straight defeats to take on a Crystal Palace side who are also in a poor run of form. Louis van Gaal’s men have lost 1-0 to Chelsea, 3-0 to Everton and 1-0 to WBA. The defeat at Chelsea was a close one, but United were extremely poor against Everton in the 3-0 defeat and were flat against WBA. With Liverpool only four places behind United, a Champions League place is nowhere near certain, which is a far cry from three weeks ago when the spot looked all but wrapped up.

The home side are also in bad form, losing at home 2-0 to WBA, 2-0 to Hull City and 1-0 away to the now Champions, Chelsea. Alan Pardew has guided the South London club to safety following his torrid treatment at Newcastle United, who are now engulfed in a relegation scrap. United will be boosted by the signing of Memphis Depay from PSV Eindhoven, who will join the club in the summer for the new season. With three games left and fourth place not yet secured, van Gaal must pick up three points today.

Palace have not beaten United at Selhurst Park since the end of the 1990/91 season – when the home side ran out 3-0 victors. Ferguson rested a number of key players for the match ahead of the Cup Winners Cup final in Rotterdam a few days later – which United went on to win 2-1.

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Everton vs. Manchester United view from the oppo

Posted on April 26, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Everton, Man United, Premier League   No Comments »
Marouane Fellaini joined Manchester United from Everton for £27.5m in September 2013
Marouane Fellaini returns to Goodison park to face his old side Everton

What a difference a year makes. It was the 20th April 2014 and Everton quashed any slight glimmer of hope Manchester United fans had of a Champions League place, which ultimately sealed the fate of David Moyes. The home side easily brushed aside the visitors with an emphatically confident display, the polar opposition of the limp threat posed by United. Two days later Moyes was gone and United were looking for a successor a mere ten months following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Fast forward twelve months and United look in a much better state with Dutchman Louis van Gaal at the helm. The past six weeks has seen a return to the United of old, with van Gaal’s men picking up nine points against Champions League qualification chasing opponents, in Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester City. United will hoping for a better result than the 2-0 defeat that ultimately ended Moyes’ regin at the club that he left.

The visitor are with out instrumental Michael Carrick, who has been in great form but missed the recent trip to Chelsea after starring in the 4-2 victory over Manchester City. Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo are also out for United. Louis van Gaal will be hoping David De Gea, who starred in the 2-1 victory over Everton in October, agrees to a contract extension and spurns any advances from Real Madrid. Its vital that going forward, United send out a message to retain the services of arguably the best goalkeeper in Europe.

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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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