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.
It’s the cup no one cares about, and the trophy nobody dreams to win at the start of the season. It’s also the tournament in which, until a few years ago, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic would have been rested, rather than summoned for a mundane fourth round. It might also be the trophy that provides David Moyes with a much-needed confidence boost.
Having fought tooth and nail against Liverpool in the previous round, United sailed through to the fifth round tonight, their performance unexpectedly solid, considering the poor displays they had at times offered in the League Cup even under Fergie’s guidance.
A clean sheet in Europe after ages. Jonny Evans and Phil Jones again showed the fans that they are the future of this great football club. More noticeably, the former is a Manchester United academy product – one that we can gloat about. Every club has a player that surpasses or finally lives up to the expectations. In Jonny Evans, Manchester United have the former. A Manchester United youth graduate who has everything that a defender requires – two good feet, good awareness, command and who’s a good reader of the game.
Robin Van Persie has claimed Adnan Januzaj is one of the finest talents he’s ever seen and believes the young Belgian could develop into one of the best players in the world.
So far, Januzaj has been one of the few shining lights of United’s first post-Ferguson season, scoring twice on his first start for the club against Sunderland and making an impact after coming off the bench against Stoke last Saturday. The Belgian’s performances have been impressive and, having signed a new five-year deal, many believe the Belgian should be starting regularly.
Having spectacularly failed to strengthen the squad adequately over the summer, David Moyes must now try to address United’s shortcomings in the January transfer window and reports suggest the club might be eyeing a surprise for move for Roma’s midfielder Miralem Pjanic.
The 23-year-old Bosnian, who was on Spurs’ radar earlier this summer, has been an integral part of Roma’s incredible start to the domestic campaign, as new coach Rudi Garcia has so steered the Giallorossi to nine wins in the first nine games, scoring 23 goals and conceding only one.
David Moyes has rushed to defend Nani after the Portuguese was booed off the pitch by sections of United fans during Saturday’s 3-2 win against Stoke City.
Nani, who had been at his frustrating best throughout the afternoon, was substituted by Adnan Januzaj after 58 minutes and the Portuguese was targeted by boos as he left the pitch, after some fans had allowed their frustration to spill over and directed their anger to the Portuguese.