With last season’s heartbreak only three weeks old, watching football over the summer could be seen as slightly masochist by the vast majority of United fans.
Sure, the buzz when watching England is nowhere near as big as when watching our club from August to May (in some cases it is virtually non existent) and the summer is seen by most of us a chance to regroup our social lives, after girlfriends and wives have been neglected for almost every weekend of the last nine months.
But, with the transfer window rapidly approaching, Euro 2012 will provide the perfect opportunity to look at talents from around the continent, as Europe’s top clubs’ scouts will move en-masse to Poland and Ukraine.
It’s a debate that will never end, no doubt, it can’t end, how could it with so many players, characters and club legends having passed through the doors of Old Trafford leaving families, friends and foes alike idolising or begrudging the talents they’ve witnessed?
Definitely a subject heavily swung by the year you’re born in and/or the era you grew up in, choosing your favourite players for each position based on popularity rather than ability stroke success, is a challenge. Many factors go into making a ‘Fans Favourite’ from scoring winners to simply signing for United! There’s been a lot more than eleven over the years so here’s my attempt at producing a ‘Fans Favourite XI’ from the players I’ve seen personally grace the Old Trafford pitch.
Euro 2012 is only a week away and when the continental tournament kicks off in Poland and Ukraine next Friday, United fans will have a very small contingent of players to look at, the smallest in a big tournament in recent years.
England face a tough task in a group including one the host nations (Ukraine), a country against whom England have a terrible record (Sweden) and a team whose golden generation, unlike England’s, delivered results and whose young guns promise to be a stern test for Roy Hodgson’s team as the betting for Euro 2012 suggests.
Ok, so this is England and we’re Manchester United fans. Apparently, by default that should make us despise England’s National team and poke fun at it, but for me that’s just way too stereotypical so, having been asked by Bwin to give them my England Dream Team, that’s exactly what I’m about to do.
In my opinion Roy Hodgson was appallingly treated by the sham of a newspaper that is (I’m not even going to name it, we know which one it is that has the lowest standard of all newspapers….and that’s saying something!). With the FA (yes I know we’re supposed to hate the FA too but I’m sorry, I’ll hate the things they do to United that I feel were unfair but I’m not reverting to type and hating them per se) promoting Respect and Anti this-and-that campaigns, it was important to hire an England manager that fit in with their ‘vision’ and their future preachings.
Following Eden Hazard’s decision to join Chelsea, Manchester United and the French Ligue 1 have been linked again in the papers, with Wayne Rooney rumoured to be the target of a £120 million move by cash-loaded PSG.
“No one’s bigger than the club”
How many times have we heard that said? How many times has that old cliche been rolled out in a bid to justify a decision that’s (arguably correctly) been taken to remove an ego from Manchester United?
An unwanted presence, be it at the club, in the changing rooms or on the training ground, is a problem that’s best dealt with decisively and a problem that Manchester United and in particular Sir Alex Ferguson, has never had a problem with. But after 25 years at the helm, have we witnessed the rise of the only person in history to defy that old cliche?
Following one of the worst self-advertisement stunts in recent years, Eden Hazard announced his move to Chelsea via twitter last night.
The west London club have added a potentially excellent player to their squad – Hazard is the only player together with Lionel Messi to have scored more than 20 goals and have more than 15 assists in any European league this year – and an even bigger ego to go with it.
Despite the transfer being done and dusted virtually before the start of the transfer window, the saga dragged on long enough to disappoint fans of the two Manchester clubs who have – allegedly – missed out on the former Lille man.
International teams from across Europe have battled for supremacy to become European Champions since 1960 when France hosted the inaugural championships won by the Soviet Union with Yashin, Ivanov & Bubukin out muscling their Yugoslav counterparts.
52 years and 13 finals later, Poland & Ukraine host the championships with Spain arriving as both current holders and current favourites to win the championship with Betfair’s Euro 2012 market. Whatever happens the tournament promises to be a hotly contested one with ageing world stars going head-to-head with more youthful, up-and-coming talent.
This DVD boxset (available from Amazon) takes you on a journey through time chronicling the drama, the passion and the untold stories behind each tournament.