Burnley v Man Utd: Preview


United visit Turf Moor, a stadium whose environs could give one the impression of being transported to a different era. The brilliant Two Hundred Percent blog, gives an insight into the club and what it’s been through all these years, and as a segue it’s a good read. I’m sure the press will spare a few words on the old world charm of Turf Moor, however, for United’s superstars — and most pampered Premier League stars — the dressing rooms will be a dump. As this Daily Mirror article suggests.

But really, as obvious things go, what happens when the players step on to the pitch is what really matters. With that banal remark let’s have a look at the team.

Ferguson said he wanted to try a new combination prior to the Brum match. It could also mean Carrick will get his first league start of the season. Darren Fletcher might yet get another start, however, I suspect it could well be Anderson alongside Carrick. Ferguson likes Park, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he featured over Nani. I think he will continue to start Valencia. ‘This is Rooney’s year’, we say that every year; even though the refrain sounds disturbingly similar to that of the red half of another city, not far from Manchester. But really, this is Rooney’s year. Honest. Seriously. Oi, stop snickering… how dare you? Sorry I got carried away… but Rooney will start. Ferguson also mentioned Owen getting his chances following the Birmingham win, and I have a sneaky suspicion he’ll start. Although I wouldn’t take my sneaky suspicions seriously. Ideally, you’d want Berbatov and Rooney to play as much as possible together this season.

The defence is a tricky one; Rio, Vidic, Evans are all out, which means Brown and O’Shea will play in centre of defence. Hopefully, de Laet gets a chance ahead of Fabio at right back. Evra would take his customary spot at left back. Ben Foster should continue his extended run between the sticks.

That’s my team, but before my score predictions, some youth team/loan news. Tom Cleverley who’s on loan at Watford scored on his debut in an away win over Nottingham Forest, whilst another loanee, Danny Drinkwater scored for Huddersfield. Of course, you can read more United youth related news at the well-informed and updated Man United Youth blog. Another bit of information for those interested — I’d forgotten to mention this earlier — United Rant have launched a spanking new Man Utd weekly podcast that you can now listen to, and comment on.

Anyway back to today, it’s a well known fact that Burnley earned a reputation for being giant killers from their cup run, and hence they’ve been tipped to be better equipped to escape the drop this time. Either way, time and again it’s been proven that Turf Moor can be a tricky place to go. However, with the quality we have we should beat them comfortably. We need a break out performance to lay a marker for where the team’s headed.

Meanwhile the Vidic rumours continue to do the rounds but it’s inconceivable that Fergie would sell him now. Even his agent confirms that; despite trotting out the “it’s his dream to play for Barca” lark. I would see Barcelona come back with a proper bid next summer, though. There’s been a lot of smoke here, and it will be reignited next year.

For now he’s a United player, albeit injured. And we have a match to watch.

Prediction: United 2-0 Burnley.



  1. @Redrich: I think you slip under the radar mostly, and also sandwich the negatives in between the positives. With Grognard, he lives on the edge — the extremes, by his own admission — so his negatives and positives tend to be magnified. Also it’s human nature to pick on people based on their negatives, and he unfortunately bears the brunt of it.

  2. @Redrich: You’re so right. They speak with their hearts but haven’t got the experience of life to fall back on. The world is their oyster and they tyhink they can beat the world. What they don’t know yet is the world is a tough opponent and that in the end, it will probably beat them. But their confidence and naivetee is still funny because it must totally suck to have so much egg thrust in their face like what was dished out today. The ugly truth is a hard pill to swallow but somebody needs to jam it down their throats and wake them up from this Shangrila existance they have been living. Most of them were in diapers or not even born back in 1974 when everything went pear shaped for the club. Most of them only know one manager for United and that is Fergie. Christ, they never had to suffer through Tommy Docherty or God forbid, Big Ron. They have their football fetish fed to them with a silver spoon and what they need to know is that there is another side to all this. Sports like life is cyclical and all good things don’t last forever and all bad things don’t last forever. United have had their run. Like the Dallas Cowboys under Tom Landry, or the New York Yankees under Stengel or Torre or the Miami Dolphins under Don Shula or fianlly the Boston Celtics under Red Auerbach, all dynasties will crash and burn eventually because all great coaches or managers eventually retire or basically lose that edge.

    How do we know this mate? Life experience? I have lived through the rise and fall of the Dallas Cowboys, Miami Dolphins, Boston Celtics etc etc. The Tom Landry’s, Don Shula’s and Red Auerbach either retired on top, or they stayed around too long and well past the time when the game passed them by. Today’s arrogant and selfish mercenary of a footballer is not the kind of player that is going to sit and listen to a man like Alex Ferguson. He won’t scare them. If he treats them poorly, a call is made to the agent and orders are given to find him another team to go to. Loyalty, commitment and pride is only found in a small percentage of todays players.

    In the NFL legendary coaches like Shula and Landry ended their careers with losing teams because the modern hiphop induced athlete of today was no coachable in the old school manner that these men were used to working with. They had lost the locker room and the ear of players because they no longer could relate. Like I said, the game passed them by. Instead younger coaches with enthusiasm and drive and a personality that understood the young athlete of the era emerged and these old legends were sadly phased out of the game.

    I fear that this is what is happening to Fergie. He no longer has every ear in the dressing room and nobody fears him anymore. He’s almost 70 and has softened over time. No longer do players have to worry about getting a tongue lashing, the hair dryer or special treatment during training. And even if they do get it, they don’t care. Even the scrubs are spoilt millionaires that couldn’t give a shit and above all, none of them give a shit about the fans. It’s just the way things are. Perhaps our young members will keep in mind that experience an knowledge in such things over time gives people like you and me a different and more accurate perspective on things.

  3. @Redrich: One thing is for sure my friend. Thanksto your comments a few weeks back, I have grown a thicker skin and am prepared for anything that is thrown at me. It’s not our fault that the truth hurts so. 😀

  4. @Redrich: I’m just louder and I post far more than you. So if I am more influential, that is the reason. I for one have always enjoyed and gathered a lot from your posts and the fact we are close in age really helps me a lot because it’s good to know there is someone out there that relates or understands my perspective on things. I think your passion on things is just as good mate without necessarily getting on people’s nerves like I do. I have a talent for pulling their temper triggers. 😀

  5. @Red Ranter: Often imitated but never duplicated. 😀 😉 Lets put it this way, to quote the late great Rodney Dangerfield, “It’s not easy being me.” Not to mention the famous, “I tell you, I get no respect”.

  6. @Grognard: Yep for the first time in my life I actually hate some of our players, and that NEVER happened before since the 70’s.

    One other little thing I’ve noticed about SAF which you don’t get to see so much on the TV coverage of any given game, is how he just sits in the dug-out now and lets the team get on with things, even when things are going bad. A few years ago he’d be animated and maybe even be up and down the touchline/technical area. I respect the fact he’s getting on in age etc but something is very different about him.

    MUTV “The complacency channel” don’t help either. 🙄

  7. @Red Ranter:I do wish I could post earlier in my day, but alas, I’m still a slave to the grindstone.
    The banter back and forth isn’t really a big kick for me, but the ability to share my thoughts about United in such a lively forum gives me a resason to turn on my ‘puter every day. I thank you for that RR.

    The edginess of yesterdays blog and the success of “The World According to Grognard” shows the attraction toward a passionate way of portraying these musings.
    Grognard will learn to pick the right fights!!

  8. Now we have to end up fifth spot at the end of the season and get kicked out of the Champions League group stages for SAF to see how truly fucked we are. SAF probably wants to see how cheap he can go without spending much to win the PL and the CL.

    It’s really becoming fucking hard to watch this team play. Not a single player deserves a spot on the team. Please overhaul.

  9. @Darth Red Diablo: Sorry mate, if “Megs” had gone preggo, I would be terrified. Because, we broke up two months ago, so I would be screwed if that had happend! 😆

    But its got something to do with a girl, that much I can say. 😉

  10. Is it just me, or is Cupid really that fat?! Shocked me to be honest, his parents should try not to feed him choclate and Pizza 24/7. My God, he may have hammered my head, but I think it would hurt more if he just fell on me! 😆

    BTW, I didnt know angles had the ability to make other people fly… 😎 :mrgreen: Now I know!

  11. @RedDave: The talk shows on MUTV is completely cringe worthy and insults the intelligence of the United fan. 🙄 If sugar-coated punditry can cause diabetes. The only advantage of MUTV is that we can watch the reserves and replay of United matches.

  12. 😡 😡 Craig got me to say i respected ferguson earlier yesterday, 😡 That wont happen again.Respect comes from admiration or fear, I don’t fear him and all the admiration i had for him three years ago has all but gone down the drain. Ferguson should just fucking retire and take scholes,giggs and neville with him. WTF was that? We should have wipped the floor with this shite team, but our players are a fucking laugh, Yes all of them, rooney and giggs are just normal players, nothing to write home about. Why is ferguson not spending ronaldo’s money, or he’s worried about his retirement fund, the old man probably wants to take some of it as pension and go booze up on an beach in france. 👿 👿
    I’m with grog with this one, we will definitely not finish above the top four with this bunch of clowns playing. We are still to play liverpool,arsenal,chelsea, totenham and city, and if what i saw today is any indicator(and it is)we will loose to all the above teams. It’s well and good to have average players but we need to buy a midfielder who will win us games like ron did. If bayern want 100 mil lets give them 100 mil. I believe ronaldo was personally carrying this team alone for two years, and those who believe rooney can do half what ronaldo could are seriously deluded.
    I feel like i could just curse at someone at the team, but its not the players fault, their manager is just old, and has no more gas left in the tank. When we are loosing against a team like burnley you would expect him to atleast come to the touchline and say a word or two. 😡 😡 Im just so mad I cant explain it.

  13. @spizzy: Mate you should have a MIND OF YOUR OWN, and not be swayed by anybody else’s opinions, stick with your own. NEVERTHELESS, I do believe that SAF deserves respect. Not for the last couple of seasons, because I think a lot of things with the team have been obviously in need of remedy. I think what I addresssed with you yesterday Spizzy, was that you were CALLING SAF senile, and old man etc. That is age discrimination in my book. I am ok with people having issues with the decline in attractive, attacking and real dynamic football of our team, and our poverty in midfield. Also SAF’s team selections, and square peg in round hole positionings. I have criticised all these things myself over a long time now. It is the vilification of SAF’s character and his age that I feel is disrespectful, and not the other things regarding team comment. Whatever the state of things right now, and whether the kind of football many United fans have known and loved is ressurectable or not, SAF has still been the best Manager in the PL since its creation, and spoilt us over the years with MOST magnificent cavaliar football. I object to people calling him senile, and I don’t believe that anyone who says they are Man United thru and thru, and use those terma regarding SAF are really not United fans, and just want to use forums to vomit their bile all over them. SAF is many things, but he isn’t senile, ans SAD will be the day if he ever suffered that misfortune. Would I like some new and dynamic coach to come in – YES. Alongside SAF, because I believe that SAF IS TIRED, and could do himself with a new injection of dynamic coaching around him. I also believe that SAF will be sailing into the sunset soon, and of his own volition. I don’t believe he will be pushed, because of fan furore. Man United are loyal to their long standing servants, as you can see with Giggsy, Scholesy, and Red Nev.

    I don’t care for the snooze football we have been dished up for a couple of seasons now, even if in the end it did win us the league. I have spoken up about this as well many times over. Our MF lack also. Yet I will be at Wigan, with a good bunch of lads, WHO TRULY are United til they die. I will be at all United weekend games, but I can’t get to the midweek ones now, living up here in the sticks 😆 . I find the kind of performances of last night, that we have suffered increasingly over 2 years now – heartbreaking and torture to watch. Yet, I still do it, because I have loved Man United since infancy, and for as long as they or I exist. I try not to dwell in the twilight zone of depressing negativity as some love to do, but hope for better things, and that goes for my personal attitude to life too. Yeah there are moments of tears, but far more moments of enjoyment in life, and I make choices to NOT stay in SAD lands too long. I also avoid people like the plague, who want to just live in the crippling atmosphere of negativity. We should all benefit from laughing our way thru life. If indeed we are in for a few seasons of downhill-ness from our team, which has been hovering for some time now, then I would rather look back up than down. I quickly get UP again, otherwise you effect everybody around you with all negative shit, and I don’t want to be like that, so Wigan here I come!

  14. @spizzy: The me get this straight then:

    1, You now do not “admire” Ferguson regardless of the fact that he has in the past three seasons, won the league three times, Europrean Cup and the League Cup, because we have a lost a game.

    2, Ferguson should “fucking” retire regardless of the fact he is the greatest manager in the clubs history.

    3, He should take three of our most loyal and decorated players with him, because we have lost a game.

    4, “He” not the Glaziers won’t spend the money, they are the owners after all and have the say where the money goes and all, because are you saying that he is an alcoholic and wants to “booze up” on a beach in France.

    5, We won’t finish in the top four over Spurs, City becuase we have lost one game.

    6, We need to spend £100m in Ribery, that will gaurentee we win the league, regardless of the fact he is playing for Bayern and they have two points out of a posible six so far.

    7, Rooney is not a good footballer.

    8, Fergie cannot go to the touchline and have a go at the player because he is “old”.

    With fans like you who needs rivals.

  15. @Craig Mc: I didn’t want to spark an argument with you yesterday about how i really felt about our tactics and general direction ferguson was taking the club, I figured we will still play shitty footy but still come out with a 2-1 win. But now after I have seen how a recently promoted side picked us apart, it’s like they knew exactly what to do to beat us, they let us keep possession but they knew we would never really harm them. Anyone here hyping burnley as a good side are seriously missing the point, its not how good they were, point is we should have beat them even at their best, this is united last time i checked, EPL winners and arghh you know the rest.

    @Stephen: Please spare me the juvenile ridicule, do I want united to go down the pecking order in England just so we can keep our loyal old decorated players and watch slow italian football while at it, NO. If I wanted to watch old men at it i would be supporting AC Milan right now. But even milan seem to have realized old is not gold and are buying and bidding for young talented footballers.

    It’s not about loosing one game, its the way we lost the game. Its the continued decline in quality, it the lack of a fighting spirit at the club, its the lack of quality players, its the sheer contempt some of the players go about their business.I’m now reading that ferguson is blaming the players, I can’t believe this guy, He has the money to buy quality players but he shoves it up … then has the audacity to blame the weak players he fields? You can’t win the jackpot then keep your worthless hyundai and expect your hyundai to run like a ferrari just because you have gone up the social scale. And it’s becoming pretty obvious pretty quickly who won us the league and the champions league, it wasn’t fergie, it was CR7.

    Successfull he might have been but if his time is up, his time is up. This team needs some new blood, the football we are seeing would be acceptable from a new manager, but not from a guy who’s been in the helm for over 20 years, and we know he’s better than this, we all know this, so what could be causing the decline in performance, I say his spirit is gone, he’s tired and needs to retire.
    Ofcourse we will watch the wigan game, and arsenal and so on, and support united even if they fall from grace, but as long as we have blind fans not voicing there disagreements and letting the board know of the dipping of form and sheer lack of fighting spirit then three, four years from now we will be competing for a place in the uefa cup not the champions league.

    Unless something is done, don’t expect this to be just a bubble or slow start to a successful season, we are going to loose more and more games like this. Open your eyes mate. There is no CR7 suspended for the next three games, no CR7 out after an operation, basically what you know see is what you have, ther is no one coming to save us now, and its all down to ferguson and his stubbornness.
    About Ron,Yes, I’ll say this and please feel free to criticize, if rooney is the player who will carry united forward, we are doomed. He is no CR7 and he doesn’t even come close.

  16. @Redrich: 😆 😆 😆 My Friend suggested a few weeks ago that I should start my own blog and he suggested I call it “The World According to Grognard”. So naturally I find it funny that you should call my rants that. 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *