Posts Tagged ‘manchester united

11
Aug
09

Football fever is back

So what if Manchester United lost the Community shield game to Chelski? We are still the Premiership champs and have also won the Champions League three times, something the Blues haven’t managed even once. Of course, there was Evra and his penalty kick. Makes me feel I coud guide the ball past Cech with a broken knee. But then there was also blind Mr. Chris Foy. It would be easy to argue about his decisions but it would be wise to say it was an evenly contested game that could have gone either way. Only a fool would play down United’s chances in the Premiership after this loss; the Shield after all only decides who gets to own up the initial bragging rights.

The Red Devils will definitely go into the league as favorites even without Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. Sir Alex may not have shelled out £50 million on transfers, but Michael Owen, Gabriel Obertan and Antonio Valencia will be eager to prove themselves. The signing of Owen on a free transfer is probably the best move this season so far in the Premiership. He has so far hit top form in the pre-season games. An early introduction of Owen could have swinged United’s fortunes against Chelski. Ecuadorian Valencia is by no means Ronaldo, but his last season at Wigan was nothing short of exceptional. Then there is also the yet to be tested Zoran Tosic. He played a few games for the senior team last year but was largely involved in reserve fixtures.

I really can’t wait for the Premier League to start. I have already started making my presence felt in Fantasy Premier League games on various sites. Like any other Red Devils faithful, I too am praying for another successive title not just in England but also Europe.

03
Jul
09

Michael Owen arrives at Old Trafford

Michael Owen playing alongside Neville, Rooney and Scholes not just for England but also for Manchester United. Is it possible? 24 hours ago the answer may have been no. But it is now onfirmed that the injury friendly striker has penned a deal with the Reds that will keep him at Old Trafford till 2011. He will become only the 4th player in history to have played for both United and their sworn enemies Liverpool. Honestly, being a Red Devils fan I really don’t know whether to take this new move positively or not. Sir Alex has sure made a huge gamble by signing him.

The latest Red Devil in town Owen sure has had a roller-coaster career. A boyhood Everton fan, he went against his father’s wishes to join Everton’s mersyside rivals Liverpool. During his time at Anfield, he was regarded as one of the world’s most feared strikers, having netted a staggering 118 goals in 216 appearances for the club. But in 2005 he made the biggest blunder of his career by moving to an already star- studded Real Madrid. Mostly benched and under-performing, he was sold off to Newcastle United later. His time there was injury ridden and he rarely showd glimpses of his much talked about prowess. The Magpies however were relegated this past season and Owen has found himself without a club to play for. Hull City were first to publicly acknowledge their interest in the player. There had also been offers from Tottenham, Portsmouth and Stoke City.

Michael Owen will be keen to fill be keen to fill in the void left by the departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez.  Sir Alex Ferguson will be hoping that Owen would  don a similar role like that of Henrik Larsson two years back. The former Swedish captain had joined United on a 6 month long loan deal after stunning spells at clubs like Feyenord, Celtic, Barcelona etc. Despite being in the swansong of his career, Larsson was able to help United to a League Championship while providing useful guidance to youngsters like Rooney and Ronaldo. One should also not forget when a 35 year old Edwin van der Sar was signed by Fergie there were quiet a few eyebrows raised. Since then, van der Sar has proved to among the best goalkeepers in Europe. Fergie had even called him the best keeper at Old Trafford since Peter Schmeichel. United legends such as Eric Cantona and Laurent Blanc were similar signings too.

As you can see, Owen can definitely be at comfort with the club’s history with ‘finished’ players. However he will have to see that his fitness doesn’t turn out to be a roadblock. The best thing to expect  from the striker though, will be a goal against his former club and United’s arch-rivals Liverpool. Now, that would be mouthwatering.

20
Mar
09

Champions League draws announced

 The draws for the Champions League Quarter finals were announced today and it promises some really mouthwatering clashes. Defending Champions Manchester United take on Porto while rivals Arsenal take on the Yellow Submarines, Villareal. Liverpool who earlier thrashed Real Madrid will be facing off against Chelsea in all-English clash. High flying Barcelona square off against Bayern Munich.

United will be looking for revenge as it was Porto who triumphed last time they faced, throwing the Red Devils out of the 2004 tournament. But this time around, things may not be the same for Porto as half the side from the 2004 team are away. But the biggest person missing for them would be Jose Mourinho. It was the ‘Special one’ who guided the underdogs to a famous victory and later clinched the League itself. United are not the only club looking for vendetta. Spanish club Villareal crashed out against Arsenal in 2006 when Juan Roman Riquelme’s last minute penalty was saved by Gunners keeper Jens Lehmann.  Arsenal should be able to see off Villareal this time too.

Liverpool definitely are the team to watch out for. Captain Stevie G and marksman Fernando Torres are both in lethal form, blasting away oppositions including the likes of Man Utd and Real Madrid in recent weeks. Chelsea are under a Guus Hiddink revival, although I seriously doubt if even he could help them overcome the Merseysiders.  Barca vs Bayern is undoubtabely the clash of the stage. The teams are equally matched in all the departments and both the managers are relatively young and also have played for the respective clubs. The Catalan giants should reach the semis; a penalty shootout is very much a possibility here.  

I was hoping for an all-English semi final line up but with Chelsea and Liverpool facing eachother that is unlikely just like the last time. Also for the first time since the 2001-02 season, the quarters would see the absence of an Italian club.  My prayers are with Manchester United and I hope they repeat Moscow at Rome too later this year.

15
Jan
09

Fergie, don’t sell Tevez

I just hope Carlos Tevez doesn’t listen to his national team coach, Diego Maradona and leave Man Utd for Inter Milan, or for that matter any club. Tevez has a great future at Old Trafford and has to be patient in order to realise his aspirations. Five years back his countryman Juan Sebastain Veron made a big mistake by leaving United and has since been in a state of virtual non-existence. Tevez shouldn’t make any hasty decison and follow Veron’s footsteps. In fact Veron himself has recently said that it would better off for Tevez to stay on with the Red Devils. 

As for Sir Alex he should give Tevez more chances in the starting eleven. Berbatov sure is a great player but has so far not been performing enough to match what was expected of him. Also before his arrival, Tevez along with Rooney and Ronaldo had formed a formidable strike force. It would be a feast if all four start more often. We may as well see repeats of the 3-0 demolition of Chelsea. Ferguson shouldn’t also forget that if he goes by Maradona’s words, Tevez would end up with old nemesis Jose Mourinho. I am sure Sir Alex wouldn’t want the cocky Mourinho to have the bragging rights at least in this issue.

21
Aug
08

Sivestre a Gunner!

The unthinkable has happened for thew first time in 21 years. The last time somebody did this was Viv Anderson in 1987, albeit it was the other way around. French International Mikael Silvestre completed a move to Arsenal from arch rivals Manchester United. It will be interesting to see the kind of response he is going to receive from his former United fans when Arsenal play at Old Trafford later this season. The transformation from a Red Devil to a Gunner is never going to be easy for the left-back. Although the rivalry between the clubs do not have a Derby status like the one between the two Milan giants, it is still considered to be one of the greatest rivalries in football history. Premiership fans especially are known for the rather unhappy welcome they give to players while returning to play against their former home teams. Rio Ferdinand and Eric Cantona were both booed at Leeds for whom both had played before signing for Manchester United, during their games at Elland Road.

I doubt if Silvestre will ever be able to shine at the Emirates. Already in the twilight of his career, he will have to battle it out with countryman Gaël Clichy for a first team spot. But at the same time if he does perform he can more or less establish a first team place considering Arsenal has nobody else at the position and it is unlikely that Arsene Wenger would sign anybody else.  Wenger would want Silvestre’s role to be that of a guide to the young guns of the team. With the addition of Silvestre the number of French speaking players at the Emirates has now increased to 12.

17
Aug
08

Magpies manage a draw at Old Trafford

A drawn opener just like last season, something that Sir Alex Ferguson hoped would be the last thing to happen to Manchester United. Fergie’s team were held to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford. The team was nowhere near any of its phenomenal performances last year. Newcastle scoring midway through the first half through Obafemi Martins, in my opinion one of Europe’s most under-rated striker. United equalised almost immediately. Darren Fletcher, who has been in and out of the squad, levelling things. United were without two of their most important players, Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez, with rookie Frazier Campbell partnering Wayne Rooney up front. Young Brazilian Rodrigo Possebon also made his Premiership debut for the Red Devils. The Magpies played some really good football and even went the closest to scoring the winner but only for Martins to head above the cross bar. The home team were scrappy and couldn’t create enough chances to trouble Shay Given at goal. Newcastle deserved the one point they got. As for Man Utd, they can only hope that they don’t repeat the same away against Portsmouth next week. Newcastle next play Bolton at home.