Despite making his long-awaited competitive debut for Manchester United on Tuesday, Wilfried Zaha could still be allowed to leave the club on loan in the January transfer window, with newly-promoted Cardiff City keen to secure the former Palace’s man services for the remainder of the season.
Zaha signed for United last January, but after completing his £15m from Crystal Palace to Old Trafford this summer, the 20-year-old’s opportunities have been extremely limited, despite an excellent pre-season.
Patrice Evra has demanded United win the next 10 games in a row to get kick-start their season and to give themselves a chance of entering the festive period in a good position.
After a less than auspicious start under David Moyes, United have won their last three games, beating Real Sociedad in the Champions League, Stoke in the Premier League and Norwich in the Capital One Cup – all wins coming at Old Trafford – bringing their unbeaten run to six games in all competitions.
Manchester United will still be considering whether Patrice Evra is the right man for the left back role, after approaches for Everton’s Leighton Baines and Real Madrid’s Fabio Coentrao during the summer transfer window couldn’t be finalised by Ed Woodward, with the latter a last minute fiasco which topped off an embarrassing window.
Many Reds aren’t convinced by Baines, claiming that it’d be foolish to spend £20m on a left-back who will be 29 next year. However, he is better than Evra and should be top of Moyes new year transfer targets.
If there’s one thing you never do, it’s question Fergie. But in the wake of Ravel Morrison’s impressive start to the season, netting a wonder goal in West Ham’s 3-0 triumph against Tottenham, it does make you wonder if it was the right call.
Whilst United have been crying out for midfielders, Morrison has, finally, been doing all his talking on the pitch -with two goals in four starts for the Hammers- warranting a call up from Gareth Southgate to the England Under-21’s where he again impressed.
Fourth round. Four-goal victory. It all sounds right all of a sudden. Three wins on the bounce and unbeaten in the last six in all competitions. Twitter has surprisingly gone quiet and the infamous #MoyesOut mania is fading away. Good signs. All of this means we have a great many things to worry about in the next few weeks. Keep the ball rolling.
I’ve always felt we are the most fortunate bunch of all sets of fans. The success, the drama, the quality and sheer passion – we have seen it all in the Fergie era. And I have no doubt we will continue to do so, with our new boss too. Passion. Manchester United has had so many players insanely proud of wearing the shirt, giving it all game in game out for the crest at the front. One such player from that famous clan is the Manchester-born Gary Neville. G-Nev always wore his heart on his sleeve whenever he stepped onto the pitch and one could never forget his celebrations in front of the Kop after John O’Shea’s last-minute winner at Anfield.
David Beckham has hailed Roy Keane has the best captain he ever had at Manchester United and defended the Irish midfielder only a week after Fergie had publicly criticised his former captain in his autobiography.
Sir Alex had strong words for Keane and Beckham in his book – as well as for another dozen of players and managers – but his treatment of Keane was by many considered particularly harsh, taking into account the Irishman’s dedication to the United cause over 12 years at Old Trafford.
From the moment David Moyes replaced Sir Alex Ferguson in July, United fans have been told to lower their expectations, a mantra which has been repeated through the summer and during the first three months of the campaign.
And yet, despite the cries for a toned-down and humble approach, there have been a few moments in which we have begrudgingly allowed ourselves to get carried away with excitement. Marouane Fellaini’s debut and Adnan Januzaj’s first start for the club were both greeted with the mixture of curiosity and excitement that characterises potentially important moments, as was Wilfried Zaha’s debut last night.
Pro-footballers are a special breed. They dedicate their lives to the sport. Every day ensuring they’re in peak physical condition, training every day and focussing on beating their next opponents, so come the weekend, they are ready for the thrill of delivering in front of thousands and thousands of adoring fans.
Much like football, poker requires a burning desire. An immovable focus. And that’s why more and more top pros are turning to the green felt after retirement.
We look at some of the players who have experienced success both on the pitch, and off it.