In the wake of Friday’s World Cup draw, Brazil finds itself well and truly at the centre of the footballing consciousness once again. This is true for Manchester United fans more than most, with the club currently heavily linked with current Brazilian Footballer of the Year Everton Ribeiro, an exciting midfield talent currently playing for Cruzeiro.
The fortunes of the Premier League’s Brazilian cohort have been mixed, but how well have those from the Samba nation fared at Old Trafford in particular? Unfortunately, the following list is largely one of mercurial, injury-plagued talents who have failed to ever reach the potential they hinted at in their youth. There is, however, one baby-faced right-back exception…
After a lifetime in football, Mike Phelan may well have spent more time in the spotlight in the last few weeks than at any other stage of his career.
Phelan has been without work since David Moyes decided not to retain his services after taking over at Old Trafford this summer, yet the name of the former United Assistant Manager has been at the forefront of fan discussion after Phelan claimed he had controlled the United team in all but name during Sir Alex Ferguson’s last five years in charge. To all but the most blinkered observer, it was a thinly-veiled plea for new employment. If reports that he is about to be offered the vacant manager’s position at Wigan Athletic are to be believed, it may well have worked.
Wayne Rooney produced another match winning performance in the 0-5 hammering at BayArena setting up 4 of 5 goals scored by Manchester United. Without a doubt, he’s been the standout performer this season so far with 8 goals and 15 assists in 17 games. That tells you he’s directly/indirectly involved in 23 of Manchester United’s goals this season so far. That number of assists is more than Ozil (Assist-king), Oscar, Hazard and Eriksen COMBINED.
If there’s one thing you never do, it’s question Fergie. But in the wake of Ravel Morrison’s impressive start to the season, netting a wonder goal in West Ham’s 3-0 triumph against Tottenham, it does make you wonder if it was the right call.
Whilst United have been crying out for midfielders, Morrison has, finally, been doing all his talking on the pitch -with two goals in four starts for the Hammers- warranting a call up from Gareth Southgate to the England Under-21’s where he again impressed.
Fourth round. Four-goal victory. It all sounds right all of a sudden. Three wins on the bounce and unbeaten in the last six in all competitions. Twitter has surprisingly gone quiet and the infamous #MoyesOut mania is fading away. Good signs. All of this means we have a great many things to worry about in the next few weeks. Keep the ball rolling.
I’ve always felt we are the most fortunate bunch of all sets of fans. The success, the drama, the quality and sheer passion – we have seen it all in the Fergie era. And I have no doubt we will continue to do so, with our new boss too. Passion. Manchester United has had so many players insanely proud of wearing the shirt, giving it all game in game out for the crest at the front. One such player from that famous clan is the Manchester-born Gary Neville. G-Nev always wore his heart on his sleeve whenever he stepped onto the pitch and one could never forget his celebrations in front of the Kop after John O’Shea’s last-minute winner at Anfield.
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.
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.
I’ve started this series of weekly articles to illustrate my opinion on the team, manager, tactics and formations. I can only tweet 140 characters and this blog gives me a platform to release my frustration, and give my opinion on the club. We have recently seen some awful United displays, and something needs to change.
Four games in, and United and City are level at 7 points. Predictions for City this season are sky high with conventional wisdom that Pellegrini will be able to steady the club, and increased spending expected to turn into points.
This is a team many expect to win the title or come very close. City have had a fairly soft start when compared to United, and have looked unconvincing without Kompany. An embarrassing loss to Cardiff and a nervy draw against Stoke show a City side with serious flaws.
Despite fear of a disastrous start of Moyes’ United tenure with such a difficult schedule to begin, United are only 3 points back of the top spot and level with City. Despite a disappointing loss to Liverpool, and a cagey draw against Chelsea, a big win over Swansea, and a very comfortable win over Chrystal Palace have United looking solid if not spectacular.
Ahead of Sunday’s first derby of the season at the Etihad, Michael Carrick and David De Gea have expressed their belief that Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie are on course to develop into a fearsome partnership.
Van Persie and Rooney were both on target against Crystal Palace on Saturday and they delivered again on Tuesday, as United put four past Bayer Leverkusen in their opening Champions League match of the season.
Now ‘silly season’ is over I agree with many that the time is right to stop griping about the horror show transfer window and focus on how David Moyes can maximize results with the squad we have.
These are my own theories as to what I hope David Moyes does with the team by breaking down the positions, players and formations.
Let me start with a quick analysis of the players we have and what I believe is our best eleven.
The morning after the night before felt discouraging and underwhelming, the disappointment amplified by a summer of empty promises.
United fans went to bed dreaming of Ander Herrera and Sami Khedira and woke up to the news that Marouane Fellaini had become a Manchester United player overnight.
The Belgian could well prove an astute signing but the harsh truth is that United forked out £27m when, less than a month ago, they could had signed the same player for £23.5m.
First there was “The Poseidon Adventure” then “The Towering Inferno” followed by other noteworthy disasters like “Earthquake, “The Day After Tomorrow”, “2012″ and of course everyone’s favourite, “Titanic”. Now it seems the right time to add another to the list. The long anticipated but highly dreaded “Manchester United – 2013 The Summer That Never Was”.
What can I say folks. I have gone on and on for weeks with my doom and gloom predictions and glass half empty outlook only to be proven correct at the end of “Zero Day”.
Fucking shambles, nothing more nothing less. As of 11pm: Fellaini unconfirmed, Herrera fell through, Mata to PSG therefore possibly not a single player brought in.
I’ve tried to back the club all summer while others suggest there’s no money and no intention to buy anyone. Even as the incompetent clowns behind the scenes find original ways to make a mess of every single thing they do (bar finding new sponsors) I’ve been confident they would get it right eventually.
“Be patient” I said, “we will sign quality players” I said. None of that has happened and we’re now at the farcical end of a farcical summer.