With the new season upon us and the genuine intrepidation we all undoubtedly feel towards United’s new era, here’s a chance to find out what journalists and bloggers expect from 2013/14 to ensure you’re not alone.
Authored by Doron (@DoronSolomon) and Edited by Scott (@R_o_M), this pre-season ebook has contributions from Noz @beardedgenius, Lucia @roughestatedate, Callum @callum_th, Darren @darrenrichman plus Scott and Doron themselves while Danny Taylor (The Guardian), Henry Winter (The Telegraph), Ollie Holt (The Mirror), Mark Ogden (The Telegraph) also have their say.
When Antonio Valencia relinquished his number 7 shirt to opt for a more sombre 25, the number he had worn during his first two seasons at the club, he obviously couldn’t imagine that a relatively easy decision could trigger the hopes and dreams of many gullible fans, who were willing to believe that the Ecuadorian’s decision was part of a masterplan that would lead to unveiling a new signing.
Less than 24 hours after Valencia had made the number 7 shirt vacant and appeared at Wembley with the number 25 splashed across his back, Cristiano Ronaldo was reportedly flying into Manchester on a private jet, as confirmed by everybody’s favourite, and most reliable, source: Paddy Crerand.
The saga surrounding Wayne Rooney might have finally, and mercifully, reached its final chapter as Manchester United have told Chelsea the England is not for sale at any price, never has been and never will be.
Rooney’s feud with United, which began as he was left out of the starting XI for United’s clash with Real Madrid in the Champions League last season, has become increasingly acrimonious over the last couple of months, with the striker more or less blatantly agitating for a move away from Old Trafford, however without submitting a formal transfer request.
The summer of 2013 will hardly be remembered as memorable by United fans, who have seen the club acting in the transfer window with same swift and resolute approach of a drunken teenager stumbling towards a bus stop, as David Moyes and Ed Woodward have come under increasing pressure to land the sort of top player that would boost United’s chances this season.
Manchester City have splashed cash in customary fashion on the likes of Stevan Jovetic, Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas, while Jose Mourinho’s return to Chelsea is likely to galvanise the Londoners as they seek to secure a first league title since 2010.
Well the quiet didn’t last long, did it? Less than 36 hours have passed since United lifted their first trophy of the season – admittedly of very limited importance – but football has again been exiled from today’s back pages, with injuries and transfer gossip thundering back on stage, despite having very little to add to what we already knew.
England’s manager Roy Hodgson decided to offer his 20p on the Wayne Rooney saga, by claiming the striker has been injury-free for “several days”and will therefore feature when England face Scotland at Wembley tomorrow night, after missing out on Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial and on the Community Shield because of an unspecified shoulder injury.
Now then Ladies and Gents it’s that time of year again when we all get £100m to spend on 15 players of our own choice in a bid to accrue more points than our best mates and online buddies. Yes it’s Fantasy Football time again and we’ve started our own league.
This year Sky have introduced NowTV to the many ways of watching Premier League football. We’re giving away a NowTV box to one lucky RedRants reader who enters our Fantasy League.
It’s simple to enter the league and it’s simple to enter the NowTV competition.
After being on the end of a clumsy challenge in yesterdays Charity Shield, United’s Brazilian rightback, Rafael, looks set to miss the opening FIVE games of the season with a hamstring injury triggering a sympathetic and disappointed response from fans.
A few years ago this news would not have been met with anything more than a comical, unsurprised sniff. Now however, such is the rise in form and fortunes of Rafael, it feels like a blow to United’s and David Moyes’ early season plans.
David Moyes might have lifted his first “trophy” as Manchester United manager as United comfortably saw Wigan off in yesterday’s Community Shield, but the former Everton boss was quick to pay tribute to the man he replaced.
“I class that [the Community Shield] as another piece of silverware for Sir Alex,” said Moyes.
“I was in charge of the team today but it’s a reward for winning the Premier League under Sir Alex last season and I won’t take too much credit for it.”