North London, 28 April 2013. Manchester United travel to the Emirates having already clinched the title and they are welcomed onto the pitch by a guard of honour, while Sir Alex Ferguson prepares to face Arsene Wenger for the last time in his career.
In the away end’s concourse, travelling United fans have been bouncing long before kick-off.
It’s been one of the most exciting Premier League seasons in history, there’s no doubt about that. At the very top Manchester City and Chelsea are neck and neck and nipping at their heels is a stream of clubs desperate for those final Champions League spots including Manchester United.
It’s been a surprising campaign so far with both Southampton and West Ham flying high in the top-flight with Ronald Koeman’s men currently sitting pretty in third. But can they maintain that run to send them globetrotting around Europe come next season?
David De Gea has become the subject of increasing interest from Real Madrid who have identified the 24-year-old as the heir to Iker Casillas’ long-standing throne as number one goalkeeper.
Signed from city rivals Atletico Madrid in 2011 for £18.9 million, De Gea has developed into one of the best goalkeepers in Europe and is arguably the reason why Manchester United have a strong chance of finishing in the top four. A number of outstanding saves throughout the season has allowed Louis Van Gaal’s side to pick up crucial points in their pursuit of returning to the Champions League, but there is belief that De Gea sees his long-term future at the Santiago Bernabau.
Louis Van Gaal’s reign at Manchester United is three months and, as the third international break drags on and on, it’s time to reflect on some of the (early) positives and negatives we’ve seen so far…
Red Rants have teamed up with Weekend Football to give you the chance to win a pair of VIP tickets to watch Man United v Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday 8th November.
The tickets are in an 8-seater executive box on the Stretford End goal-line and include a four-course meal, complimentary drinks, a match day programme and last but not least, your own private balcony!
How to enter:
Manchester United extended their unbeaten run to three games last night, snatching a late draw away at West Brom. It was neither what United wanted nor what they deserved, as West Brom’s second goal came totally against the run of play, but United’s shaky back four conspired against them yet again.
Here’s five talking points from last night.
Since the dawn of time Manchester United and Liverpool fans have argued. Ancient cave paintings illustrate the fierce debates over which club is in decline and who is launching a resurgence. Even as man evolved to use tools and Liverpool fans continued to worship the sun the debates continued to rage. Currently the heated exchanges focus on who has been worth the money, Mario Balotelli or Radamel Falcao.
So far neither has set the Premier League alight, both standing in Diego Costa’s terrifying shadow. That said, one is looking like a work in progress and the other an impulse buy from the discount bin at Blockbuster.
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.