“Wayne said that we should have pursued Mesut Özil. My reply was that it was none of his business who we should have gone for. I told him it was his job to play and perform,” said Sir Alex Ferguson in his autobiography, as he explains his opinion over Wayne Rooney’s desire to leave Old Trafford in October 2010 when the club, according to Rooney, wasn’t ambitious enough.
How times change. Three and half years on since that day, Rooney has won other two Premier League titles with United, seen the man that had not too subtly told him to mind his business depart, before threatening to leave the club himself, only to become United’s player of the season, so far.
A picture speaks louder than a thousand words. Juan Mata is a Red!
From August up until yesterday, pretty much everything involving Manchester United was bad news – abysmal results on the pitch, disgruntled players suffering injuries, disillusioned fans doubting the wisdom of appointing David Moyes as replacement Sir Alex Ferguson and, more crucially, players wanting to leave the club.
The last couple of days, however, seem to have signalled the start of a turnaround as far as the club’s fortunes off the pitch are considered, with the announcement of Juan Mata’s arrival followed by the news that Wayne Rooney is intentioned to extend his contract at Old Trafford.
Bryan Robson has insisted Sir Alex Ferguson’s presence at Old Trafford at away games this season has nothing to do with Manchester United’s dismal season and while admitting that United’s form is cause for concern, Robson maintained that David Moyes remains the right man to the club forward.
With United 14 points adrift of Arsenal in the Premier League, out of the FA Cup and denied a spot in the Capital One Cup final after Wednesday’s defeat on penalties against Sunderland, pressure on Moyes is mounting to deliver results, with many claiming that Sir Alex’s decision to attend games at home and away has had a destabilising effect on an environment already made precarious by his retirement.
Shinji Kagawa will remain a Manchester United for the foreseeable future despite Juan Mata’s imminent arrival, claims Thomas Kroth, the former Dortmund player’s agent.
Kagawa has yet again struggled to make a decisive impact on his United career, having started only 12 games between Premier League and Champions League this season without registering neither a goal nor an assist so far and only showing glimpses of his talent, such as in the 5-0 win away at Leverkusen.
If there’s a man who epitomises Manchester United’s fall from grace this season, that’s Michael Carrick. The Geordie midfielder hasn’t performed particularly bad this season – certainly not when compared to some of his teammates – and even though he hasn’t reached the stellar standards he achieved last campaign, he’s had a positive influence on United’s midfield.
Carrick, however, symbolises the catastrophic bad luck United have endured with injuries this season, for having just returned from a six-week absence following surgery on his Achilles tendon, the 32-year-old will now miss up to a month after picking up an ankle injury in Wednesday’s Capital One Cup semifinal against Sunderland.
David Moyes has been assured that his job remains safe, despite United’s dismal season plummeting to new lows on Wednesday, as United crashed out of the Capital One Cup after a spineless and shambolic performance.
With the FA Cup and the Premier League already gone down the drain, United are left with only one chance of trophy this season, but not even the most ardent of Reds – or the most optimistic of gamblers – would bet on David Moyes’ men lifting United’s fourth European Cup in Lisbon later on this season.
Just when it appears that Manchester United might be about to – whisper it – sign a midfielder, another man who’s been linked with a move to Old Trafford, which would be a return in his case, has spilled the beans over the reasons that led him to leave the club 18 months ago.
Paul Pogba has been making waves with Juventus ever since he joined the Serie A giants for free in 2012, after United had allowed his contract to expire and the Frenchman has admitted he left Old Trafford after been left “disgusted” by Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to pick Rafael ahead of him for a central midfield spot.