In recent years Manchester United have been at the centre of some of the more heavily media-scrutinised transfers. But if David Beckham and Ruud Van Nistelrooy moves to Real Madrid exemplified Fergie’s resoluteness in parting ways with loyal servants that had overstepped the line, and Ronaldo’s departure for the Spanish capital was seen as the sign of Fergie’s ability to conjure another season-winning trophy with his star before letting him leave for a world record transfer-fee, Rooney and Pogba are different cases.
This is a story written by Charles Samuel about the first ever Mexican to play for Manchester United. Javier Hernandez…..CHICHARITO.
The story chronicles the life-so-far of one of football’s fastest growing talents. It explains how Chicharito hails from a footballing family background and how his physique led to coaches doubting his ability to make it in the big wide world of professional football, even his Dad (an ex-player) is quoted as saying “I never thought he would actually make it as a professional….”
If ever there was a stereotypical ‘game of two halves’, this was it! United took the initiative and started the better of the two teams, so much so that after 30 minutes United were literally ‘dipping their bread’ as-and-when they fancied scoring.
Within those 30 minutes United took a well deserved and impressive three goal lead, the passing and the movement was killing Sunderland who simply didn’t have an clue what was happening to them.
Frustrated and somewhat stunned by United’s superb start Sunderland began to test United’s physical strengths, this for me was the first of many turning points that eventually led to the game ending 3-3 with United the happier to hear the final whistle.
A Wayne Rooney brace secured three points for Manchester United against West Bromwich Albion and sent Fergie’s men top of the league as City conceded defeat at Swansea.
United went into the game knowing that they had to put Thursday’s dismal performance behind them and, more importantly, keep the pressure on their neighbours.
Last season, all that stood between Manchester United and a perfect season at home was a 2-2 draw against West Brom. That nearly unblemished home mark was a necessity too, given that United didn’t fare all that well away from home last season.
Old Trafford hasn’t been the same fortress this season, as United have suffered two defeats and a draw in 13 league matches at home, went out of the Carling Cup quarters at home to Crystal Palace, and have won only one of five European home matches, with Thursday’s 3-2 stunner against Athletic Bilbao making it two defeats in two home Europa League games.
The last few weeks and months of the Academy have highlighted its purpose for me; experiment and develop in the league fixtures but put the boys to the test in the cup.
Today United welcome Group D counterparts Sunderland from the North East as they look for their first win of 2012, in fact, you need to go as far back as November 5th 2011 to find United’s last league victory. That day saw Joe Rothwell stretchered off after suffering a hip and knee injury combination that’s left him sidelined for 4 months, his return is imminent but unlikely to be today. Perhaps it’s a coincidence that Joe’s absence has coincided with United’s current inability to win games, but his return will definitely be welcomed and provide a boost to an area of the field where United certainly struggle to dominate.
Manchester United welcomed Athletic Bilbao to Old Trafford for the first-leg in the Round of 16 in the Europa League. Manchester United advanced to this game by beating Ajax in the last round, while Athletic Bilbao overcame Locomotiv Moscow. This is the first meeting between these two teams in Europe since the quarter-finals to the European Cup in 1957. Manchester United are currently sitting 2 points behind Manchester City in the Premier League while Athletic Bilbao is doing much better than expected this year in La Liga, currently sitting in 5th. They have been playing very strong in La Liga this year, and look in good position to earn a Champion’s League spot next year if they can continue their latest form.