October is a weird month. Summer is nothing but a distant memory, Christmas is still only a blip on the horizon, days get shorter and rain falls with the same impeccable regularity with which Oliver Holt writes a patronising column in the Daily Mirror.
Leaves turn yellow and fall, England stumble from one unconvincing performance against a pub team to a mediocre showing against a Sunday league outfit, as Fleet Street’s finest desperately try to convince us that we should all care ever so dearly about a group of players that means nothing to most of the country and even less so to United fans.
Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he still hates to see United losing to Liverpool and Manchester City, an event which, courtesy of David Moyes, Fergie got to experience more often that he’d have bargained for last season.
In an exclusive interview with MUTV in an interview broadcast on Monday evening entitled Sir Alex: Life After Management, the former United manager admitted emotions still run high in him when United face their two main rivals.
Sir Alex Ferguson has said that Louis Van Gaal was right to “clear the decks” in the summer, as the Dutchman embarked on a much-needed revolution that saw the squad left behind by Fergie being almost completely overhauled.
Fergie had not spoken publicly about Van Gaal until now but speaking to MUTV in a programme entitled Sir Alex: Life After Management which is due to air on Monday, he revealed that he’s been favourably impressed by Van Gaal’s determination to reshape the squad according to his vision.
Roma owner James Pallotta has told Manchester United that Kevin Strootman is not for sale at any price and that Louis Van Gaal will have to look elsewhere to strengthen his midfield options in January.
United have been linked with a move for the Dutchman in the winter transfer window, with many suggesting that Van Gaal sees Strootman as the missing piece of his midfield jigsaw, but Pallotta said that once Strootman returns to full fitness following his cruciate ligament injury, he will do so in the Eternal City.
Roy Keane has reopened his war of words with Sir Alex Ferguson by giving a typically forthright version of the events that led to the Irishman leaving the club in 2005.
In his new biography, The Second Half, Keane claims that he felt stitched up by Fergie and Gill, who simply wanted to force him out of the club in the wake of an interviewed he had given to MUTV, in which he had criticised some younger players. Keane insists that Ferguson and Queiroz simply needed an excuse to get rid of him and the decision had been made before he showed up for a meeting with the former United manager and Gill.
After their spending spree this summer, Manchester United have assembled so much attacking talent that the comparison with the Harlem Globetrotters has been almost impossible to escape.
United, however, could move a step closer to the famous American basketball outfit if plans to play lucrative overseas friendlies during the course of the season is to go ahead.
Wayne Rooney has apologised for getting sent off against West Ham on Saturday, a red card which means he will now miss games against Everton, West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea, though he’ll be back in time for United’s first derby of the season, away to City on November 2.
Showing a remarkable lack of leadership, the United captain lashed out petulantly at Stewart Downing and was rightly sent off, though he has since admitted his was an error of judgment and accepted Lee Mason made the right choice by sending him off.
Having conjured to spectacularly self-implode against Leicester a week ago, United were back to winning ways against West Ham on Saturday, registering their second consecutive home win and, crucially, conceding just once.
What looked to be a fairly routine win after 20 minutes, however, turned out be anything but as United made things complicated for themselves yet again. Here’s five things we have learnt from Saturday.