What a tournament this World Cup is turning out to be……and it’s only into its eighth day!
As with South Africa four years ago, the pre-tournament talk going into this years Brazilian World Cup was of stadium issues, crime and local disorder but, just like back in 2010, the concerns appear to have been over played (so far). There is however one huge difference between 2010 and 2014…..the quality of the football so far in Brazil has been unbelievable, unmissable and full of goals and top players stepping up to perform.
So, which players have caught the eye of our RedRants team and, more importantly, you?
Followers of football, it is said, have some of the shortest memories around. If the transfer saga involving Juan Mata, who today completed his £37 million move to Manchester United to Chelsea, is anything to go by, they might be getting shorter by the month.
To a certain extent, Chelsea fans can be forgiven for their sluggish recollection ability. Following a slow start under Jose Mourinho, the Stamford Bridge Victory Machine has ground into forebodingly full flow, efficiently churning out win after win after win as the season enters its inevitably tense denouement. They now sit two just two points off the top of the Premier League, having scored as many goals as Arsenal, the competition’s current leader. Mata has hardly featured in this impressive ascent, meaning that for many Chelsea fans, Mourinho’s selection policy has been proved justified.
Moments of inspiration are hard to come by during the January transfer window. Indeed, with numerous Premier League teams too often guilty of committing to overpriced and under researched transfer deals the month after Christmas, Manchester United have typically avoided high-profile dealings in the window altogether.
Yet as the start of 2007 approached, Sir Alex Ferguson was on a bit of a roll in the transfer market, with Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Michael Carrick having all been acquired during 2006. One of his most inspired pieces of business, though, was a short term deal: his loan signing of Henrick Larsson from Helsingborgs IF in January of the New Year.
Michael Carrick has withdrawn from England’s squad to face Scotland at Wembley tonight due to an apparent eye infection.
The extent of the ‘injury’ is unknown but with only 4 days until United kick their Premier Leage campaign off at The Liberty Stadium its another piece of news David Moyes would prefer not to hear (ahem).
Thiago Alcantara has agreed a five-year-deal at Old Trafford, with the move now just needing Manchester United to meet the Barcelona midfielder’s £15 million buy-out clause.
Reports in Catalan daily, Sport, suggest the 22-year-old is closing in on a move to the Premier League Champions, with United boss David Moyes admitting he is ready to spend in a bid to end his first season at the club with silverware.
While the worst kept secret of the summer looks set to end in days, inversely the ‘Wayne Rooney is not for sale’ stance looks set to be challenged by Barcelona.
Norwegian starlet Mats Daehli has left Manchester United in a transfer deal worth £1.5 Million to Molde where he’ll join up with United legend, Olé Gunnar Solskjaer.
Fellow countryman Solskjaer was instrumental in bringing the exciting Scandinavian midfielder to the club when he recommended Daehli to Sir Alex Ferguson in February 2011.
Daehli quickly became a favourite amongst Academy observers with many instantly commenting on his obvious ability. Daehli went on to win the much coveted Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award in his first season.
Representitives for both United and David de Gea met recently to offer the keeper a new improved contract after an alleged approach from Barcelona.
After suffering a shaky start to life in the Premier League, de Gea has improved his performances to such an extent that many Reds placed him second in their list for last seasons Player of the Year Award.
United get their hands once again on the Premier League trophy in an emotional day at Old Trafford.
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