Feb 14

Can Rooney Build On His Wonder Strike?

Another derby win as Manchester United cement their place as number one in Manchester – not that it was in any doubt of course. But the 2-1 victory over Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday will quell the noisy neighbours for the moment at least, while also putting paid to any slim title ambitions they had.

It is one thing to beat City, but to beat them with such a magnificent goal makes the victory taste that bit sweeter.

Excellent execution and placement, especially from a player who has been criminally out of form for the best part of a year. Wayne Rooney later told The Guardian, “The Manchester United fans deserve that from me.” He is not wrong.

But lets not get too carried away with the goal. For long parts of the match City were on top, and Vincent Kompany had the better of Rooney for almost the full 90 minutes. It took a moment of magic from the forward to even get a sniff at goal.

Kompany, with a wry smile, acknowledged the mastery of Rooney’s goal, “I was bitterly disappointed but, in a way, I was smiling when I got back to the dressing room because I gave him nothing in the whole game and then he does that,” he said.

However, the real question will be whether or not this leads to an upturn in form from England’s best striker?

The real man on the moment for me was Nani. The Portuguese terrorized Pablo Zabaleta and it was a scared Argentinian who allowed the winger to cross for Rooney’s wondergoal.

In other news from Old Trafford, it has been reported that Rio Ferdinand will be looking to extend his contract and thus finish his career with United.

A good move, as he has become synonymous with the club and although he might not play as regularly as he once used to, his experience is invaluable to the young defenders we have at the club.

Something Chris Smalling acknowledged after the derby: “I was talking to Rio on Friday and he was giving me little pointers. He has played with and against Carlos Tevez for many years and seen him in training every day for a couple of years so he was giving me little bits of advice on how to play him.

“He was making the point that Carlos likes to feel the defenders at his back. So you let him have his touch before you move in and go for him. It was great advice because he is a tricky player. It was a really good challenge for me.”

As usual the tabloids are rolling out the numerous summer transfer targets. Most recently another bid for Tottenham’s Gareth Bale mooted with a fee of around £40 million plus Michael Carrick. Ashley Young is another player linked, with the Villa man expected to fetch a fee of something in the region of £25 million, and according to the Daily Mirror, Fergie tried to snap him up in January.

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  • @Redrich: Sure they could, but they won’t. At the end of the day they will eventually lose to either Barca, Bayern or Real Madrid. I refuse to believe they are better than any of those teams. But still, anything can happen and lets hope it does.

  • @Redrich: Ahh memories of Monty Python and those infamous handbag battles. :lol: :lol:

  • @Stephen: United has always adapted to styles and trends. They were far from just a 4-4-2 team in the days of Best often going 4-3-3. Fergie hardly uses 4-4-2 anymore except against minnows and English managers. And regardless of where you are from, the English have been royally stubborn for decades now and refuse to adapt and learn.

  • @Grognard: By Hockey you mean Ice Hockey. In pretty much rest of the world hockey is played on turf/grass with a stick and a ball! I think Australia are the current champions and the top teams in hockey are Holland, Germany, Australia and Spain. India and Pakistan used to be giants of yesteryears and the most celebrated hockey player of all time is Major Dhyan Chand (eq to Pele’s status) of India.

    Now, Ice Hockey I dont know much about. Would be delighted if you educate about it – who all play it, champions, players etc.

  • @Grognard: I agree and understand your views but look at an English side last night against a slow aging Italian side managed by an Englishman?
    Also England have been managed by two foreign coaches in recent years who have not adapted our style. Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and us have had very good records in the Champions league better than the Germans, Italians and bar Barca of late so we not that bad!!

  • @Grognard: I don’t want to seem like im baiting you but you are the only one here I know who thinks the EPL is watered down and every other league is improving. Teams from the premier league have been dominating europe for the last 5 years. Last year was a major hiccup. If you want evidence, just look at how easily we managed bayern and if it wasn’t for slack defending at the dying minutes at munich, bayern we beat.They came to OT and we outplayed them before rafaels red. We lost yes, but thet were clearly not the better team, barca lost to inter, but inter weren’t the better team, last year had the mark of 2004 when porto won. Both porto and monaco had lost by big margins in the first leg of the semis, but they both turned it around. Another year is liverpools win over milan. Sometimes the gods come in and you get results you would never have thought in 100 years, hell recently le arse drew 4-4.
    But my main point is for the last 5 years its been the english vs barcelona. The english bulldoze through the group stages better than any other country, for 3 consequtive years there were 2 english teams at the semis.
    Tell me how comes teams from the EPL dominate in the biggest competition in europe yet you seem to think that they are crap compared to germany or spain. Infact, what have german team been upto for the last 6 years. For the life of me, i cdidn’t understand how bayern navigated to the final last year, but im confident they won’t get far this year.

  • I have never seen a worse refereeing performance than what i saw yesterday. The level of impunity and total lack of gamesmanship I saw yesterday is abhoring. I cannot believe they got away with all those crimes. Flamini gets away with a two footed lunge and if thats not good enough he does it again with more gusto. He injures the player and nearly breaks his legs, but the scum has the decency to go gesturing that spurs are time wasting. The nerve of that cunt. Gattuso is stupid neanderthal and the game doesn’t need people like him.
    I don’t get why people always associate passion with violence,My God, i thought rooney was awfuly bad tempered, roonie is pixie compared to Gattuso. He is so hot headed and brutal he should be fined for life by uefa. I remember our clash with milan at the san siro where he very nearly maimed ronaldo with his bad tackles but got away with all of them. The san siro is not a football ground, it an arena for gladiators where everything goes.

  • @jos: Yes mate, I was talking about ice hockey. In Canada and the US it is known as hockey as we do not even recognize nor play that other abomination. :grin: As far as giving you more info on it, let me just ask you to please look it up on Wikipedia as to spare the other members of this blog who may find a historical description of the sport boring. :smile:

  • @Stephen: The four clubs that have done well in Europe have done well because of a large concentration of great foreign talent. In fact three of them have had success with foreign managers who have them playing anything but English style football. These clubs are only English in name and geographical proximity mate. To use them to make your argument about the English game is not making your case any more valid.

  • @Spizzy: Tough to bait me when you are talking rubbish mate. I loved the excuse making for the Bayern defeat. How quickly you forget the first leg which Bayern won but could have easily won by three goals or more. And seriously mate, this domination you speak hasn’t exactly brought 4 or 5 CL trophies to England in that time. The league is watered down because the top teams until recently stopped spending and in fact lost key players. Meanwhile injuries and age have also hurt these clubs. As for Europe, the only league that I see that is stronger overall is the Bundesliga. Both Italy and Spain have their issues although the top clubs in Spain seem to have everything the way they want it. They only get stronger at the expense of the top English sides. English clubs are still competitive but they have lost a lot of their mojo.

  • @Spizzy: What a load of partisan crap. How quickly we forget that we once owned a Gattuso who we praised to the world but who would go out and seek revenge against players and seriously cripple them. His name was Roy Keane and he is a legend. We forgive if the neanderthal is one of ours but we so easily condemn when he plays for and opponent. Yes Gattuso over did it and he will be punished for it but he also defended his club that lost without a whimper and stoked a fire inside them which I expect will surface at White Hart Lane if indeed the the team has a pulse. I’d give anything for a player like that on United.

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