Classifying it as a must-win match would be going a bit far, but tonight’s Champions League match at Valencia is definitely a must-not-lose for Manchester United.
After a goalless home draw against Rangers two weeks ago, United go to the Mestalla needing a positive result to avoid having a serious uphill climb to win Group C. Continue reading
For the sake of being able to give the most rational opinion (ha!) post-Bolton, I opted to wait until today to hammer out a match report of sorts.
At first glance, the match could be summed up with two sentences:
1) What the [censorin’ censors], another away draw? Seriously? Seriously.
2) Okay, so where’s our defense being hidden, and are the Glazers holding back on the ransom check to free it?
I was tempted to call this post ‘Rebuilding RedRants.com’ but then I remembered that we don’t need to rebuild anything – the house that RR built has strong foundations and a great view of the game (and all things United). There’s no need to ‘re-do’.
What we need is to adapt to the fact that it’s not going to be (for some time at least) a one-person game. That means that we’ll have multiple writers, and we will have guest writers from outside RR and from within the community too. But before we add more writers, we must remember that all writers / submitted entries will be vetted for quality and at the end of the day, they should be published on merit, not on the basis of how long you’ve been a part of the site.
Secondly the site badly needs to be freshened up – design, some new features. Again we’re not going to change what works – so this won’t turn into a magazine-style site or a forum where everything is separate. We’ll just update it to look better and work faster.
So, a quick checklist of things we’ll be doing (and things we won’t be doing):
It doesn’t have any bearing on tomorrow’s match at Bolton, but there’s very encouraging injury news on multiple fronts.
We’ve seen what amounts to a glimpse of Owen Hargreaves over the last couple of years, and there have been serious concerns that he wouldn’t be able to overcome his persistent knee troubles. But the club has stuck with him, and the England midfielder could soon repay that faith, as he made an impressive return to training this week.
Sir Alex is encouraged by what he’s seen thus far, and we should be too. He told MUTV, “He looked very good. I was surprised how good. … After being out so long, we’ll obviously have to monitor him and see how he’s going to progress in the next few weeks. But it’s good to see him back.”
“If he continues this way, he’s going to give me another selection problem, no doubt about that.”
We’ve had some false starts with Hargreaves, so any excitement must be with caution, but hopefully the worst is fully behind him. He’ll no doubt be eased back into match actiom, and it remains to be seen what kind of impact he can have. But if he can contribute in even a part-time role, it’ll be significant given the mountain he’s had to climb.
This is a long time coming. This site’s been a big part of my life since the May of 2007 and I have to say, with a heavy heart, (and without much ado) I bid farewell to the loyal readers and the great community that’s grown around the site.
This might come as a shock to a few, but I think the vast majority of regulars probably already know this site has been on life support as far as frequent updates go. (Thank you David for your match previews, or this would have been worse)
Biggest thanks of course go to those who contribute below the fold—to those of you who’ve kept this site going despite me with their passionate rants/opinions—you know who you all are.
I have a lot going on the personal front, career-wise and otherwise which makes it impossible to run this thing. I have made several false starts in trying to rejuvenate this blog but I’ve never been able to match up to the consistency of the peak ’07/’08/early ’09 years. I have come to realize that this blog will be better served in someone else’s hands, and I trust Ahmed will do the needful to keep the site going. Shutting it down will be unfair on the community and would never be the option. However, I’ve heard word from Ahmed (of Soccerlens.com in case you didn’t know) that he’s got a few writers lined up to make this place more prolific. The last post by Eddie Griffin is one of many more to come, I hope. [Contact Ahmed if you want to contribute.]
And as for me. I may or may not come back—and even if I do, it will be only as a guest contributor.
PS: Those of you who’ve emailed me asking me where I have been, apologies for not responding promptly. I will reply over this week.
Sir Alex Ferguson opted for Spain over Scunthorpe last night, as he left the squad in the hands of assistant manager Mike Phelan for the Carling Cup tie at Scunthorpe United while he did some in-person scouting of next week’s Champions League opponents, Valencia.
However, the gossip mongers at the Daily Mirror are speculating that there was an ulterior motive for the manager’s trip to the Mestalla.
While Tomasz Kuszczak was busy denying Scunthorpe United’s attempts on goal time and time again in United’s 5-2 triumph, the Mirror says that Sir Alex was busy assessing Atletico Madrid keeper David De Gea as he did the same to Valencia and is now ready to make his move for the highly-rated youngster. The 19-year-old kept Valencia at bay with multiple fine saves, which had the Europa League holders in line for a big away win until Aritz Aduriz beat him seven minutes from time to earn Valencia a 1-1 draw.
De Gea has been mentioned as a United target on multiple occasions before, and understandably so. He’s an extremely talented young keeper, as he showed with some nice stops last night, and he’s set for a very bright future, wherever it takes him.
That being said, there’s nothing to read into this, just the papers trying to make a story out of a fortuitous coincidence.
De Gea picked a fine time to do well, but Fergie being witness to his performance can just be considered an added bonus on top of getting an up-close look at an upcoming opponent. I might well be speculating myself, but I highly doubt we’d have seen this come up today had De Gea allowed three goals and had a horrific howler. Just a guess.
Fancy playing a 5-a-side game at Wembley?
That’s the chance on offer at the FA Umbro Fives – the national 5-a-side competition organised in September (and October) by the FA. The final will be played at Wembley, with participating teams going through the same experience as teams playing a real cup final (or a semi-final, or a Community Shield, or a rock concert … you get the drift) and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to score / win a title at Wembley.
Hey, it might just be 5-a-side, but it’s a lot more than amateur footballers get a shot at. And when it comes to scoring / winning, that applies for professional footballers too!
After conceding two late goals at Goodison Park on Saturday, Manchester United have to pick themselves up for a ‘Battle of Britain’ Champions League tie against Glasgow Rangers who visit Old Trafford later this evening in the opening match of Group C.