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.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.4/10 (11 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +3 (from 5 votes)

Luke Shaw is a better defender than Baines says Saints fan

Posted on July 02, 2014  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Players, Premier League, Southampton   1 Comment »
luke shaw
Luke Shaw in action for England before his transfer to Manchester United

There appears to be a fresh wave of optimism coming out of Old Trafford these days. Manchester United have obtained the services of a world class manager, who is in Brazil competing for the biggest international prize of all. The club have also acquired the services of Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao, whilst Toni Kroos continues to be linked with the club.

United have also signed one of the most brightest English talents for a record fee paid for a teenager. Luke Shaw looks set to be a superb investment for the club, but we wanted to find out the opinion of a Saints fan who has watched him up close the past two season. We caught up with Chris who blogs over at George Weah’s Cousin and you can follow him on Twitter @crstig.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.2/10 (10 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +3 (from 5 votes)

Luke Shaw is a great investment for Manchester United

Posted on June 29, 2014  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Pre Season, Premier League, Southampton, Transfer Targets   No Comments »
Luke Shaw signs for Manchester United
Luke Shaw signs for Manchester United and becomes the most expensive teenager of all time

He may now be the most expensive teenager in the history of the game but Luke Shaw’s £27 million, potentially rising to £31 million, move to Manchester United from Southampton is a significant investment in a player who has impressed immensely in his early career to date.

Shaw impressed so much in 2013/14 he persuaded Roy Hodgson to pick him ahead of seasoned veteran Ashley Cole in the World Cup squad and the teenager was given a taste of the tournament he will hope to grace over the next ten years in England’s final group game against Costa Rica. A few days later the news was announced that he would be joining Manchester United for a record fee.

With Patrice Evra entering the twilight of his career, this is surely a shrewd investment in what is one of Europe’s brightest young talents who played 35 times in the Premier League last season.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.8/10 (6 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)

Reaction to Luke Shaw’s transfer to Manchester United

Posted on June 29, 2014  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Premier League, Quotes, Transfer Targets   No Comments »
luke-shaw-twitter
Manchester United’s new left back tweeted his delight at signing for the club

New Manchester United left back Luke Shaw signed for the club on Friday for a record (for a teenager) fee. Manchester United beat competition from Chelsea to sign the youngster, who is yet to be given a squad number. Here we take a look at the reaction from team mates and Manchester United assistant manager Ryan Giggs. There is also a clip of Shaw’s first interview as a Manchester United player.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.9/10 (8 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)

Manchester United fans will enjoy Louis van Gaal says Dutch football expert

Posted on May 19, 2014  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Managers, Premier League   1 Comment »
Louis-van-Gaal-001
Manchester United have appointed Dutchman Louis van Gaal as the new manager of the club.

It wasn’t the best kept secret, but today – Manchester United announced that Louis van Gaal will be the new manager of the club from the 2014/15 season having signed a three year deal. The Dutchman, currently preparing for the World Cup 2014 in Brazil with his homeland, will be ready to take over at the club in July and there have already been a number of big names linked – Luke Shaw, Mats Hummels and Kevin Strootman just a few.

Van Gaal is welcome appointment to many Manchester United fans following the disastrous David Moyes reign. He has won the Champions Leagues, domestic titles in different countries and plays open attacking football. Only Frank O’Farrell in the 70s managed United who wasn’t born in the UK- now United have got their Dutchman.

Ryan Giggs, who called time on his unbelievable career today, will take up the assistant managers post as the next era at Old Trafford begins. We caught up with Dutch football expert Peter McVitie, who writes over at http://benefoot.net/, who spoke about potential signings, the Ajax team of 94/95 and how is style of management differs from that of David Moyes. You can follow David on Twitter @PeterMcVitie.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.9/10 (24 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +8 (from 10 votes)

Nemanja Vidic bids farewell to Manchester United to head to Italy

Posted on May 11, 2014  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Match Previews, Players, Premier League   1 Comment »
Vidic-Bayern
Nemanja Vidic will surely go down as one of Manchester United’s greatest ever defenders

Guest Author: Beci Wood

While this season has been one to forget for Manchester United fans, today should be a celebration of Nemanja Vidic’s remarkable career. After cementing himself as one of the finest ever centre-backs to play for the club and my favourite player, our captain is off on a free transfer to ply his trade in Italy for Inter Milan. If he gets picked this afternoon, the game against Southampton will be the Serb’s 300th appearance for the Red Devils. Blood, sweat and maybe even a tear in last Tuesday’s emotional farewell speech at Old Trafford, hardman Vidic has given everything to the Reds cause, winning 15 trophies in eight fantastic years.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (8 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +3 (from 5 votes)

Southampton vs. Manchester United Preview: View from the oppo

Posted on May 10, 2014  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Match Previews, Premier League, Southampton   No Comments »
Manchester United's Robin van Persie
Robin van Persie scored a hattrick for Manchester United against Southampton last season

Manchester United will finish the 2013/14 season away at Southampton, as the club come to terms with the fact Champions League football will sadly be missing from the Old Trafford fixture list next term. The last time United failed to qualify for the tournament was indeed back in 1994/95, when Blackburn Rovers pipped United to the title on the final day of the season. Of course, only the Champions qualified twenty years ago and the runners up went into the competitive UEFA Cup.

Much has changed in the past twelve months, with two managers both departing under extremely different circumstances. Sir Alex Ferguson retired from the game having lifted his thirteenth and final league championship, whereas David Moyes was relived of his duties following the woeful 2-0 defeat at Everton. United will want to get this season out of the way and ensure the new manager – which looks likely to be Louis van Gaal – finalised as soon as possible.

Ryan Giggs has stated that Phil Jones will not play in the fixture on Sunday, but the injury isn’t as bad as he first thought. Wayne Rooney should also return in what could be United’s number 11′s last game in a red shirt.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (6 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +5 (from 7 votes)

Manchester United vs. Hull City view from the oppo

Posted on May 05, 2014  by Stretford-end  in Hull City, Man United, Premier League   No Comments »
Wayne Rooney scores Manchester United's second goal against Hull City in the Premier League
Wayne Rooney scores a cracker against Hull City in December

Manchester United host Hull City in what is the final home league game of the season at Old Trafford. United go into the match off the back of another home defeat, this time to relegation threatened Sunderland who won for the first time since 1968. Interim manager Ryan Giggs spoke of United’s “flatness” following the defeat and in comparison to the 4-0 thrashing of Norwich City the week previous. In a strange season that saw David Moyes fail to meet the necessary demands of succeeding the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, most United fans are readily looking forward to the summer and to see who will take over at the helm.

Hull City are now safe in the Premier League despite a late flirtation with relegation and all eyes are firmly set on the FA Cup Final against Arsenal on the 17th May. The only time Hull City have taken a point off of United at Old Trafford was in the 1923/24 season, with a 1-1 draw – however, in a season that has been alien to many Reds – you wouldn’t put it past the visitors getting something out of the game. Wayne Rooney is expected to be fit for the game, having missed the match at the weekend.

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

Manchester United vs. Sunderland view from the opposition

Posted on May 03, 2014  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Match Previews, Premier League, Sunderland   1 Comment »
Wes Brown
Chris Smalling challenges Brown and O’Shea as United lost out in the League Cup to Sunderland.

In what is Manchester United’s penultimate home game of the season, the impact on the bottom half of the table is more at stake as Sunderland travel to Old Trafford. The visitors have done wonders so far to escape the pitfall of the bottom three, so far, but are level on points with third from bottom Norwich on goal difference. United helped Sunderland’s cause with a 4-0 win over Norwich last week, and interim manager Ryan Giggs will be hoping for more of the same this weekend.

Sunderland beat United on penalties in the League Cup back in January and Gus Poyet will be hoping for similar celebrations following the final whistle. The Black Cats last won at Old Trafford in the 1967/68 season. Three weeks later, George Best rounded José Henrique in the Benfica goal to gift Manchester United the European Cup and become the first ever English team to win the tournament. The European Cup may not be in United’s thinking next season, however – qualification, under a potential new manager, most certainly is. Ryan Giggs will no doubt see that this is the beginning of a new chapter in Manchester United’s history.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.3/10 (6 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)

Giggs Off To A Flyer as United thrash Norwich – Talking Points

Posted on April 27, 2014  by Bricki  in Bricki, Man United, Managers, Match Reports, Norwich City, Premier League   3 Comments »

a58c420b-4270-49b7-8bfd-2c60d9173e8e-460x276

Author: Bricki

Follow Bricki on Twitter – @Bricki

After a busy week at Old Trafford that saw David Moyes contentious reign ended and stalwart Ryan Giggs take over as interim manager, Norwich City were the visitors for a game that many hoped would bring a feel good factor back to the club.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.7/10 (9 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +4 (from 6 votes)