In football, it’s not unheard of fans writing to their club. Whether to request a ticket, to have their name flashed across the big screen on their birthday or simply to vent their anger and frustration, in the past many fans have wrote letters and sent emails addressed to the club they support.
Obviously clubs do their fair bit of correspondence too, but their letters and emails are normally aimed at advertising the latest merchandise product or to inform fans about ticket availability. United, however, have taken the rather pioneering step of writing to the fans to defend their business in the transfer window.
“He was afraid,” said Roy Keane of one his teammates prior to the second leg of the semifinal in the 2001-02 season when United were knocked out on away by Leverkusen. “Played for his country, won championships, big star, fucking afraid of taking the big step up.”
There was no place for fear ahead of David Moyes’ first Champions League game in charge of Manchester United, certainly not in the man who, after signing for the club, stated his desire to emulate the belligerent Irishman’s achievements in a red shirt.
Manchester United open their Champions League campaign at home against Bayer Leverkusen tonight, as David Moyes’ men look to take the first step on the road to Lisbon, after two disappointing seasons in Europe.
David Moyes will be in charge of Manchester United in a European game for the first time in his career, as the Scotsman makes his managerial debut in the competition proper, having previously managed Everton in their third qualifying round defeat against Villareal in the 2005-06 season.
“The big challenges are the biggest stage and it is a true test of all footballers in Europe,” said former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson who, like Sir Matt Busby had done before him, immediately grasped the notion that, for all their desire to succeed domestically, Manchester United live and die by the European Cup.
Having lifted European club football’s most coveted prize twice under Fergie’s tutelage, United enter uncharted territory tonight, when they welcome Bayer Leverkusen at Old Trafford in David Moyes’ first Champions League match in charge of the club.
In news that will surprise nobody, given the club’s ever-growing reputation for handling contracts issues with the same composure and efficiency of a man desperately needing the toilet while stuck underground on the Tube, Manchester United face losing Adnan Januzaj to Manchester City.
The Belgian was the latest academy product to make the step up to first team when he made his debut against Crystal Palace on Saturday, as he enjoyed an impressive 30-minute cameo after replacing Ashley Young.
Manchester United kick off their Champions League campaign against Bayer Leverkusen at Old Trafford this evening, the first time United enter the competition with a different manager other than Sir Alex Ferguson.
The game also marks David Moyes’ debut in the competition proper, as the former Everton manager’s only previous experience in the competition dates back to the 2005-06 season when the Toffees were knocked out in the third qualifying round by Villareal, who would then go on to reach the semifinals that season.
David Moyes has claimed that Wayne Rooney should set himself a target of around 30 goals per season and that he believes Rooney and Robin Van Persie could develop into a fearsome partnership, now that the England striker is seemingly on his way to redemption, after agitating for a move away from the club throughout the summer.
Rooney, who made an unexpected return to action against Crystal Palace on Saturday, opened his account against the South Londoners on the weekend with a brilliant free-kick and provided two assists in United’s first league game of the season away at Swansea, a respectable start to the campaign.
After a summer of disappointment, United fans might at last have something to cheer about as Robin Van Persie has announced that he’s keen to extend his stay at Old Trafford beyond the remaining years of his current contract.
The Dutchman, who arrived from Arsenal for £24m in August 2012 and signed a four-year deal, won the Golden Boot in his first season at the club, proving a crucial factor in United’s title winning campaign and becoming the number one striker at the club.