Ryan Giggs has urged Manchester United to show they can go head-to-head with title favourites Chelsea and Manchester City and show more consistency than they’ve done so far.
Despite a slow start, United entered the international the break in fourth spot, eight points behind league leaders Chelsea but only three points adrift of City, with the former due at Old Trafford on October 26, while the latter will host United the following week. Giggs insisted that while Chelsea have been impressive and City have looked solid, only a positive result against both clubs will give a valid indication of how far United have come under Louis Van Gaal.
October is a weird month. Summer is nothing but a distant memory, Christmas is still only a blip on the horizon, days get shorter and rain falls with the same impeccable regularity with which Oliver Holt writes a patronising column in the Daily Mirror.
Leaves turn yellow and fall, England stumble from one unconvincing performance against a pub team to a mediocre showing against a Sunday league outfit, as Fleet Street’s finest desperately try to convince us that we should all care ever so dearly about a group of players that means nothing to most of the country and even less so to United fans.
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has insisted that Angel Di Maria left the Bernabeu for Old Trafford purely because the European champions could not afford to meet his wage demands.
United broke the British transfer record in the summer when they shelled out £59.7m for the Argentine, whose £200,000-a-week deal makes him the third-highest paid player at the club behind Wayne Rooney and Radamel Falcao, but the Real Madrid manager said his club did not want to sell but had to cave in eventually.
Manchester United fans took a lot of stick last season after they dropped from being the Premier League champions to finishing seventh in the space of 12 months.
The Red Devils are bouncing back in 2014-15 however, and despite a slow start that saw them pick up only two points from their first three games, Louis van Gaal’s side head into this weekend’s round of games in the UEFA Champions League places.
United have won three of their last four, scoring 11 goals during this run that has seen them leapfrog the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, all whom were expected to compete for a top four finish this season.
Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane said he turned down a move to Manchester United because the club had just signed Phil Jones and the Frenchman feared that might limit his first team opportunities.
The French defender was one of European football’s most promising prospect when he left Lens in the summer of 2011, with Real Madrid beating PSG and United in the race to the then 18-year-old.
David De Gea is set to have his wages doubled as Manchester United are reportedly ready to offer the Spanish keeper a new five-year deal worth £120,000-a-week.
News of the new deal, which according to the Daily Mirror will be offered to the Spaniard before Christmas, comes as speculation linking Real Madrid with a move for the 23-year-old intensified over the last couple of days.
Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he still hates to see United losing to Liverpool and Manchester City, an event which, courtesy of David Moyes, Fergie got to experience more often that he’d have bargained for last season.
In an exclusive interview with MUTV in an interview broadcast on Monday evening entitled Sir Alex: Life After Management, the former United manager admitted emotions still run high in him when United face their two main rivals.
Despite a slow start to the season under Louis van Gaal, Manchester United appear to have turned the corner under their Dutch manager.
United went into the international break in the fourth and final UEFA Champions League place following successive victories for the first time this season.
Van Gaal will be keen to get three points in their next fixture, on Monday night at West Bromwich Albion, as only three points separate them and the team down in 16th position, Stoke City.
Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal are all amongst the opponents Manchester United will face over their next five Premier League fixtures. This will help give us some indication where the Red Devils are right now.