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Keep calm and score goals, this is Wayne Rooney’s finest season

With slightly less than two months before the end of the season – or almost four, for those of you who care about international football – it’s fair to say that 2012 will be remembered as the year of the strikers – or, as David Cameron would put it, the year of the strikes. But that’s for another time… – since this season has seen forwards under the spotlight even more than usual.

We all know about the brilliance of Lionel Messi, who recently became Barca’s all-time top scorer with 234 goals at the still relatively tender age of 24. We’ve watched in astonishment as Cristiano Ronaldo became the quickest player to reach 100 goals in La Liga and we’ve found the living proof that, while football is a team sport, having Robin Van Persie in your ranks might help a great deal the fortunes of a struggling team.

Likewise, the media have been relentless in highlighting the lows of Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll, who couldn’t imagine that a curse would be cast upon them when they put pen to paper in January 2011.

There’s a name missing from the list, a name that seemingly doesn’t get mentioned when experts analyse the best strikers on the planet. That player is Wayne Rooney.

Following a traumatic end to 2010, and a less than positive start to 2011, the Croxteth-born man burst into life scoring crucial goals in the closing stages of the campaign.

The United number 10 had gone from hero to zero within a few months, from scoring for fun and virtually carrying United within a twisted ankle of a Champions League semifinal and a league title the previous season, to a “get-me-out-of-here” plea as he labeled United “not fit to match his expectations”.

For a player so used to be in the right spot at the right time, Rooney’s outburst was spectacularly mistimed.

A goal draught and abysmal performances are hardly solid foundations upon which a player can express his disenchantment for his team’s performances and ambitions.

I, for one, wanted him out of the club. I felt betrayed and ashamed by his words even though I never booed him as I refuse to jeer any player wearing the United shirt.

My mate Ryan – a fellow season ticket holder with whom I share joy, despair and beer when watching United – and I joked that we’d only forgive him in case he scored the winner in the Champions League final – to be fair to Wayne, he did score – and express our dissent with a silent response whenever his name was announced and so did many others around us – although the fickleness of football fans was such that he was quickly greeted as a hero again by the majority at Old Trafford.

The goal against City, the hat-trick against West Ham which led to a ludicrous ban by the FA, the penalty that sealed the title at Ewood Park and the goal against Barca at Wembley went some way to restore Rooney’s credibility in the eyes of United fans.

More importantly, Rooney has carried the momentum into this season, becoming as crucial for United as he’s ever been. Perhaps, even more.

Sure, he’s had a few barren spells. His first touch let him down at times, granted. But he has scored 29 goals so far, most of which could prove crucial if United are to retain the title.

For a player widely accused of not shining when it matters – a critic that, baffling, was directed at Cristiano Ronaldo as well, when he played for United – Rooney has scored twice against Spurs (home and away), a hat-trick against Arsenal (at home), three times against Chelsea (his two goals at Stamford Bridge sparked a comeback from 3-0 down), both goals in a 2-1 win against Liverpool at home and twice in a 3-2 win away at City in the FA Cup.

Add to this a brace in the 2-0 against West Brom as well as a winner against Fulham and the picture is pretty clear, 21 league goals in 26 league games is a record any striker would be proud of.

Furthermore, this season is probably  Rooney’s best-ever season in a United shirt as he has shone not only in front of goal, but also when operating behind other strikers, being them Welbeck or Hernandez, and his four assists are a small return when compared to the number of chances he’s set up this season.

Many would point at Rooney’s goal-scoring record in the 2009-10 season but scoring for fun when play as lone striker and, therefore, being the focus of every move, while an amazing achievement, isn’t as complete as scoring almost 30 times when playing further away from the goal.

Silence has characterised Wayne’ season as much as goals have, with the striker adopting a low-profile off the pitch – his red card against Montenegro is the only time he made the headlines for the wrong reason this season – and that has definitely helped his focus as well as his relationship with the fans.

As amazing as it might sound for a player that has already scored 175 goals since joining the club in 2004, the best might be yet to come for Rooney at United, as he’s destined to grow in leadership, on and off the pitch.

Now, not to be picky Wazza, but what about that winning goal in a Champions League final? Wembley next year? That will do us, thanks.

 

Daniele (@MUFC_dan87)

112 Comments

112 Comments

  1. colver

    March 31, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Yeah the mark of a good striker is an ability to score when the rest of your team is misfiring. Sure he scored a lot of goals early in the season when the whole team was playing well. But what has most impressed me is his most recent scoring spree at a time when we may be winning but we aren’t playing particularly well either. Even against Bilbao he helped himself to three goals which if the rest of the team had done their job would have been enough to put the tie to bed.

  2. Moscow is my heaven

    March 31, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    If I were Rooney I would feel a little betrayed by the club. They promised him world class players but he has to make do with the shit midfield behind him. As a consequence he has to play deeper than his favourite lone striker role, a role which would have probably gained him 40 goals already this season.

    Valencia and Nani aside, he is running a one man show in attack, with Welbeck and Chicharito proving how inept they are in doing the simple things right.

    • Daniele

      March 31, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      @Moscow is my heaven: How exactly is Hernandez inept? Is that because he has 10 league goals in 24 games? Last year he had 13 in 27 and this year hasn’t started as many games as he did last term. Welbeck is quality and will only get better in my opinion. I struggle to see why some fans are so up in arms against a few of the lads.

      • Moscow is my heaven

        March 31, 2012 at 5:04 pm

        @Daniele: He’s an old school poacher and gets on the end of tap ins. Super sub yes, first XI no. The modern game cannot afford the luxury of a 2nd striker, as shown by the fact that all the elite clubs in Europe deploy one lone striker.

        Welbeck? Please, he couldn’t score in a brothel.

        • Moscow is my heaven

          April 1, 2012 at 11:18 am

          @Moscow is my heaven: HAH, I dare any of the 5 people who gave me a thumbs down to tell me Welbeck or Chicharito can play up front on their own, and name me at least one top European club who plays with 2 strikers.

        • Stephen

          April 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm

          @Moscow is my heaven: AC Milan do to a degree, I didn’t give you the thumbs down mate, just trying to be a smart arse! 😆 😆

        • Moscow is my heaven

          April 1, 2012 at 12:12 pm

          @Stephen: Well, at least they don’t play 2 in midfield against Barca :mrgreen:

    • tonymontanna4united

      March 31, 2012 at 2:30 pm

      @Moscow is my heaven: Certainly in europe, people were saying we were creating the chances, but the strikers just werent finishing them, which was what ultimately cost us.
      Well dunno what i must have been watching then, but we didnt appear to create that much in any of the european games i saw, so certainly thats something that must concern a striker like rooney.
      The way we operate, we are far far too english in our set up. 4-4-2, everything coming from the wings, thats never going to do it in europe im afraid. Its just too easy for teams to overcome, particularly technical sides.
      So if, as i expect, we see very little by way of activity in the transfer window again this summer, addressing that midfield of ours, then ultimately i think it will lead to a fall out from wazza just as it was 2 years ago, when we continue to fail in europe again and again.
      But we shall see mate. I think this is gonna be a very important summer and will tell us alot about our intentions for the future.

      • Moscow is my heaven

        March 31, 2012 at 5:10 pm

        @tonymontanna4united: I wouldn’t hold my breath about new signings, especially if we win the league. Too many disappointing summers have dimmed expectations for me mate, we were saying 2009 was gonna be a crucial summer when we sold Ronaldo.

        It’s not just about finishing chances mate, Welbeck nor Chicharito can’t dribble the ball without falling over. I don’t know if they’ve been taking lessons from Park or something but they have zero composure and technical ability. If Rooney was injured we would be screwed because none of our strikers can play up front on their own, and none of the strike partnerships are effective without Rooney.

    • johnsom33

      March 31, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      @Moscow is my heaven: I thought we were working on this negativity thing? 😉

      • Craig Mc

        March 31, 2012 at 5:13 pm

        @johnsom33: 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 – Johnsom mi man you bring us a new MF with big star quality players, and we will bring the popcorn, a few jars of ale and POSITIVITY! How will that do you? 😀

        • Moscow is my heaven

          March 31, 2012 at 5:15 pm

          @Craig Mc: 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

      • Moscow is my heaven

        March 31, 2012 at 5:14 pm

        @johnsom33: For what it’s worth, Fergie has done a great job of rotating the squad to last the full distance.

    • johnsom33

      April 2, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      @Moscow is my heaven: *If I were Rooney I would feel a little betrayed by the club. They promised him world class players but he has to make do with the shit midfield behind him. As a consequence he has to play deeper than his favourite lone striker role, a role which would have probably gained him 40 goals already this season.*

      So your saying he should have taken the City money? How did City do in europe again this season I forget? Forget about Europe, Atleast he would have had a better chance at winning the league with…

      Your negativity while amusing is border line illogical. Rooney has played in the CL final 3 times in the past 5 years. He has also won the Premier League title 4 out of those 5 years and he has a great chance to win it again this season. As a competitor all you can ask for is chance to compete for titles, here he has that. I get it, you hate our midfield and half of our current team. But please dont let your hatred blind you from reality. We are a team in transition and yet we are still competitive. How is Chelsea’s current transition going? Arsenal? Liverpool? One bad season in Europe and you want Fergie to hit the self destruct button and start all over. The success rooney has seen at this club is obscene and I for one am sick and tired of spoiled United fans not knowing how good we have it. Every football fan in the UK is sick to death of seeing Fergies title machine continuously rolling. But your crying because we dont splash the cash on the players you want.

  3. tonymontanna4united

    March 31, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Before the season began i made a predicition that this would be wazza’s best season goal wise. Hes still got a few more to get to beat his 09/10 season best, but i firmly believe he’ll do it.
    In all honesty though, despite the goals, i dont think this has been one of waynes finest seasons. Certainly in a large number of games this year hes looked unfocused, at times uninterested, and extremely sloppy and wasteful, but then i think thats something fergie deserves a large portion of blame for. Having him operating far too deep, at times as a midfielder, is not where rooney is at his best.
    Still, i’ll say this, if theres only 1 striker from the PL im allowed in my team, then theres no other striker in england, id prefer ahead of wayne, and i include van persie in that too.
    Its just in europe where hes really let himself down recently, far too many sub par, anonymous displays from him, but again sticking up for him, i suppose its hard to stand out when your playing in a side that cant keep the ball more than 5 seconds, and as such creates very little.
    Put a martinez in this team, with vally and nani on top form, and maybe a gotze (pipe dream unfortunately) behind him, and all of europe sees what hes capable of, just as we see in england most weeks.

  4. donibrasco

    March 31, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Meanwhile,city are losing at half time

  5. johnsom33

    March 31, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    @Ian “I’ve never seen a player be so productive in terms of his assists and goals, on footballing ability he’s better than everyone else”

    Why do people always forget Ronaldo exist? This Messi wankfest has gotten so far out of control that people are actually believing the hype that he is the greatest of all time. You talk about production, and yet Ronaldo produces just as much if not more and he is on a demonstrably inferior team.

    You say he does thing all himself and he doesnt need Xavi or iniesta, that is absolutely ridiculous. If that was true his numbers would be consistent with whatever shirt he is wearing, but of course we all know that it isnt the case. Even Argentina fans have voiced their frustrations that he doesnt do for Argentina what he does for Barca.

    Please understand when I say that I am not slagging of Messi or suggesting that he isnt indeed one of the greatest of all time. He is a great and having Xavi and Iniesta doesnt diminish his reputation at all, it enhances it. Messi is the best in the world right now because he is the best team player in the world. His understanding of his teammates coupled with his individual brilliance is what gives him the nod over Ronaldo.

    If you look at the stats for La Liga you will see that Ronaldo is just as productive. I will be the first to admit that stats dont tell everything, but they tell something. Have a look at these stats for the past two seasons and draw your own conclusions.

    http://www.ronaldo7.net/news/2012/448-an-analytic-analysis-on-cristiano-ronaldo-and-lionel-messi-stats.html

  6. johnsom33

    March 31, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    this clock in the Citeh game couldnt go by any slower haha. One minute I was excited about making ground on the goal differential the next minute Im hoping sunderland will hold on to a point.

  7. Moscow is my heaven

    March 31, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Lucky Citeh again, but if we win at Blackburn they have to go to the Emirates 5 points behind and with Arsenal looking to bounce back from today’s defeat to clinch a CL spot. It’s looking good for us.

    • johnsom33

      March 31, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      @Moscow is my heaven: Wow back to back positive post! Your a changed man 😆 😈 😆 😈

      I agree with you, hopefully Arsenal can do us a favor. I think the pressure is starting to get to City and teams are figuring them out. Have you seen Nevilles tactical breakdown on how teams are stifling City? His work on Monday Night Football is pretty brilliant.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBaDDC6ca08

      • Opti

        March 31, 2012 at 6:30 pm

        @johnsom33: how do you watch MNF? Aren’t you in the states?

        • johnsom33

          March 31, 2012 at 6:54 pm

          @Opti: There are ways my friend… 😉 😉 😉 The internet is a lovely place.

        • Opti

          March 31, 2012 at 7:41 pm

          @johnsom33: But it’s illegal!!! 😉 😉

      • johnsom33

        April 1, 2012 at 7:58 pm

        @johnsom33: I think its hilarious this post got 2 dislikes. we must have city fans trolling.

    • Craig Mc

      March 31, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      @Moscow is my heaven: We have to win at Blackburn, we can’t afford to allow City any psychological comeback. Blackburn is a very difficult ground for us, but we have to win there sometime. Fergie MUST put out a very stong team, and bulk up MF because they over ran us at OT and beat us. However I have a sneaky feeling we could pull off a narrow win – I pray so. Seeing Ballotelli as circus clown for City today, and fighting on field with his team mates and doing so for a good few minutes, well I firmly believe he is not right upstairs in the brain department. I hope Mancini continues to play Ballotelli because I think his stupidity will cost them. I don’t think Fergie would ever allow that kind of behaviour – he would have pulled Ballotelli off. I can’t remember United players fisticuffs on the field, but please somebody tell me if I am wrong! 😆

      • gator

        April 1, 2012 at 6:08 pm

        @Craig Mc: you just figuring out that bellend is crazy? 😈

        throwing darts at academy players
        fireworks in his bathroom before derby
        trying to put on a bib haha
        press conference in italy last week

        he would be sold off like morrison but at city he is the star. small club small minds 8)

        • Stephen

          April 2, 2012 at 10:27 am

          @gator: Quality post Gator mate.. 😆 😆 😆

  8. Stephen

    April 1, 2012 at 10:16 am

    City’s cracking up, they are cracking up, they are cracking up, they are cracking, City’s cfracking up! repeat three times…. 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

    • Daniele

      April 1, 2012 at 10:32 am

      @Stephen: I said on here a few weeks ago that by the time we play them we might be out of sight. Not so laughable now is it?Obviously tomorrow’s game is massive and i reckon they’ll make it hard for us but a win would be a major blow to citeh particularly as they’ve got Arsenal coming up.

      • Stephen

        April 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm

        @Daniele: We nned to do the business tomorrow mate, it could give us a massive physiological edge.

  9. Moscow is my heaven

    April 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    If we win at Blackburn and maintain the 5 point gap until the derby showdown, we can win the league at the Etihad with a win. Say they lose or draw at the Emirates and a draw would be enough. Only winning the league at Anfield can surpass this for greatest feeling ever.

    • Stephen

      April 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      @Moscow is my heaven: That would be great, Shitty play Le Arse next week. With them loosing yesterday they really have to win, especially if the Yids win today.

  10. Stephen

    April 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    City have had a lot of praise this season, journalists have been slapping the salami over David Sliva and lets not forget their strange obsession with the Muppet Balotelli. We, as usual have taken far too much flack, De Gea has been slated and the inevitable “The worst United side for years” comes out, again.
    What they do tend to forget is that their manager is a vain poser, who spends £26m on a player who was described by Mourinho as having one brain cell. Fergie is a different level to the Italian, he buys players he can trust and who have several brain cells. Jones, Young and De Gea are clearly talented, but they are also sensible lads. When Tevez was called back, obviously my the Sheiks then you really know that Mancini is not in control of things at the Wastelands. If Fergie said a player will never play for us again, you know he won’t.
    This league is far from won, but we are in a cracking position and one every side in the Country would swap. Blackburn away is a very tough game and if we come through this one unscathed then another giant step to the title is made.
    What people seem to forget, the best players win games, the best team win titles.
    In Fergie I trust.

    • Jeet

      April 2, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      @Stephen: Well said, Stephen! Though I do believe you meant “psychological”, not “physiological” in one of your previous posts 😉

      • Stephen

        April 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm

        @Jeet: Posting on my BlackBerry, coupled with having little or no grasp of English spelling and grammar will always be my downfall……..
        Which is concerning considering my job! 😀

    • tonymontanna4united

      April 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm

      @Stephen: I agree regarding city mate. Most definitely a collection of egos, who were always gonna look good when the pressure was off, but soon as we started turning the screw, just couldnt do with the pressure that comes with being top.
      A collection of assembled players and not a team is what im basically saying, led by a mop haired idiot who claims fighting and fall outs between his own players is completely normal 😕
      I made a rather bold predicition some time ago, that i firmly stand by, that being that city under mancini, will win nowt now or in the future.
      He simply lacks the respect, or the cojones to say no to some of his pampered pre madonnas, and his football, despite looking good at the start of the year, has reverted back to that old italian style (3 DM’s), that was always going to mean dropped points.
      It was always going to be like this, the second anyone started to put a bit of pressure on them, and look how they capitulated, no one standing up and grabbing them by the scruff of the neck, none of them looking as if they care, just no reaction at all.
      As for us, well all credit has to go to fergie for the way hes kept us going this season (similar to last year too), however i have to disagree with you regarding the strength of this side.
      I firmly believe, and have done for some time, that this is the worst squad we have had for a long long time.
      However, and i know this is going to be controversial, i believe we are where we are at the minute in the PL, not because we are actually better than some people think, but because the quality in the PL at the minute is so unbelievably poor, that save for city and ourselves, there is very little quality in this division.
      Hell even city, for all their strength on paper, i believe would have found it tough to break into the top 4 with the same team just 4 years ago back in 07/08, where ourselves, chelski, arsenal and the scousers, were all a hell of a lot better compared to now.
      I mean i know a few city fans myself, and despite their signings last summer, most were saying they’d be pretty happy just to finish 3rd again, as going from 3rd to PL winners was unlikely to happen in just 1 season anyway. The fact they’ve gone from that, to being top for most of the season, well, it just sort of confirms to me that its been more a case of other sides standing still allowing city to overtake them, rather than city being quality. At least thats my opinion anyway.
      But anyway moving on, i am positive we will end up as league champions in may, and for that we do have to say well done to the boys for their almost superhuman effort after the league looked lost at xmas.
      They’ll all deserve a tremendous pat on the back if the league is won.
      However looking ahead and onto next season, i have to say for too long now weve merely stood still, pointed at the trophy in the trophy cabinet, and said no changes need to be made.
      Well our displays in europe this season as well as a close push by a city side that arent going to go away, tells you that just cant be the case again this summer.
      Some serious dough needs to be spent on some serious quality in that midfield of ours, and tactically we really need to wise up, if were not to see ourselves embarrassed again in europe, and we want to remain top of the tree domestically for the next few years.

      • Stephen

        April 2, 2012 at 2:47 pm

        @tonymontanna4united: I think there is still quality in the Premiership. Critics keep stating about us, City and Arsenal being knocked out of the Champions League as a case in point. I don’t agree, our league is far more competative than La Liga and certainly more than Serie A.
        Chelsea have simply been let down by the attitude of their players, Arsenal like us are in transition and City have a fantastic squad.
        The reason we are top of the league is simply down to the manager, he is a relentless winner and the greatest of all time.

        • Moscow is my heaven

          April 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm

          @Stephen: Man Utd – in transition since sale of Ronaldo.

          We need to spend BIG this summer otherwise this transition is never gonna end, or we end up being a mediocre team!

        • Stephen

          April 2, 2012 at 3:57 pm

          @Moscow is my heaven: Yes, but how many trophies have we won?

        • Moscow is my heaven

          April 2, 2012 at 4:56 pm

          @Stephen: Honestly mate, if we were to win the Carling Cup three times in the next three seasons, you’d say the same thing. Fergie and Gill are gonna have no trouble convincing fans like you that transfers are unnecessary this summer because we won the league.

        • Stephen

          April 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm

          @Moscow is my heaven: We are Champions arn’t we?
          You have taken a turn to negative town havn’t you mate? 🙂
          We do need to spend, but players like De Gea, Jones, Smalling and Evans are and will be very good players for us.

        • johnsom33

          April 2, 2012 at 7:35 pm

          @Moscow is my heaven: What kind of point is that? again borderline illogical. You say “screw trophies, where are the signings?” What the fuck is the point of signings players besides to win trophies? Go join Citeh if you only get your jollys from big name signings.

    • Moscow is my heaven

      April 2, 2012 at 2:46 pm

      @Stephen: @tonymontanna4united: We have played some unbelievably poor football this season, the best yardstick to measure our European progress is to look at how Athletic spanked us home and away. We couldn’t deal with their passing and movement, it was eerily similar to the CL final.

      Let’s hope Mourinho joins us and not City…

      • Stephen

        April 2, 2012 at 2:49 pm

        @Moscow is my heaven: Lets hope he just stays in Spain…
        We have also played some brilliant football this season, lets not always focus on the negative eh mate? Do you forget 8 – 2 Arsenal?

        • Moscow is my heaven

          April 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm

          @Stephen: The first 5 games were an illusion. We played against severely weakened Spurs and Arsenal sides. After the Chelsea game, we were simply found out and were subsequently knocked out of 4 competitions. Believe me mate, we have shown ourselves to be a relatively average outfit this season, but the quality of the league has declined. Just look at how much Liverpool have fallen from the days of Torres-Gerrard-Alonso-Mascherano. Now they lump long balls to Carroll.

        • Stephen

          April 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm

          @Moscow is my heaven: La Liga bar the big 2 is also very weak, Serie A is also very poor.
          We at times have played some great stuff this season. We are also in transition bringing in a new keeper, Jones, Welbeck and Cleverley have all had more game time this season.
          To compete and still develop young players is brilliant management.

        • Moscow is my heaven

          April 2, 2012 at 3:05 pm

          @Stephen: Athletic are mid-table yet they outplayed us… I can think of a lot of teams giving us a game like Valencia and Athletico Madrid…

          We’d struggle to deal with Spanish teams in general, their strength is in midfield and possession, we haven’t been able to deal with that at all this season.

        • Stephen

          April 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm

          @Moscow is my heaven: If it where a Champions League game I am almost certain we would have gone through mate.
          The issue with Spanish sides is that we play 4-4-1-1 and they like to flood the midfield. The United way is to get the ball out wide and get crosses in the box.

        • tonymontanna4united

          April 2, 2012 at 4:02 pm

          @Stephen: I know you personally feel he was over rated so apologies in advance im bringing him up again, but that was the advantage of quieroz when he was here.
          He had us getting to grips with a number of different formations, 4-3-3, 4-5-1, 4-4-1-1, sometimes changing within a game several times.
          And the players were all able to do that.
          The champs league final v chelski is a key example.
          First half we seemed to start with a standard 4-4-2, hargo out wide, tev and ronnie up top, rooney out wide, and we absolutely pasted them, should have been 3-0 up.
          2nd half when chelski started to take a hold of the game, and took control of the midfield, we changed it round and hargo came inside to form a 3 man midfield (carrick, scholes, hargo) and the front 3 of tev, roon and ron, played narrower and it became more of a 4-3-3.
          Such things just cant be done now it seems as rooney can only play off someone, valencia whilst brilliant, is rather 1 dimensional and cant cut inside, and our midfield, whether a 2 man, 3 man or sodding 12 man, seems to get over ran and unable to keep the ball whoever were playing.
          Ive said before and i’ll say again, a top class coach is a must this season, just as much as a midfielder, because weve been tactically outdone so many times in europe its embarrassing.

        • Stephen

          April 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm

          @tonymontanna4united: Mate we have been to 3 finals in the past 5 years, only to loose to the best club side ever. CQ wanted to play 4-5-1 or 4-3-3. When Fergie plays it people call him chicken shit, when CQ plays that formation he is a genius.
          His Portugal side were the most negative side I ahve ever seen, for mehe is very overrated and people get sucked in due to that he is foreign. Also the manager makes the decisions, Fergie is no mug and thinking all the great things about us in the past were down to CQ is a falacy. We have played some great stuff since he has left, people choose to ignore it.

  11. Moscow is my heaven

    April 2, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Rooney on Facebook:

    “Just finished a light training session having returned from a short squad training camp to Scotland. We trained really well over the weekend and the boys looked focused. Results went our way, but it is up to us as a team to take advantage with a good result tonight.”

    Win tonight, then beat QPR at home, City will be 8 points behind before a ball is kicked at the Emirates. C’mon lads let’s win this title #relentless

  12. Owen

    April 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    City’s weakness has been the return of Paul Scholes…

    • Stephen

      April 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      @Owen: He has been superb since he has come back, I wonder if Grognard thinks the same.. 😉 🙄

      • Owen

        April 2, 2012 at 2:49 pm

        @Stephen: Have watched almost majority of games after Christmas..And really not sure any other midfielder has performed better than Scholsey except Yaya Toure..May be that Song from Arsenal will have a claim.He has really been good and provided a lot of assists considering his defensive role.

        And Scholsey is still as good as Modric.

        • Stephen

          April 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm

          @Owen: He is playing better than Modric at the moment, no doubt.

  13. Owen

    April 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Missing Grognard 😥 .Come back from Shitty Blog Grog..Time has changed 😆

    • Moscow is my heaven

      April 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      @Owen: I thought the long term injury to Anderson would bring him back but hey ho…

      • Owen

        April 2, 2012 at 2:51 pm

        @Moscow is my heaven: Last time when Grog was happy,we lost to Basel then..

      • Stephen

        April 2, 2012 at 2:53 pm

        @Moscow is my heaven: I want Anderson to leave my great club in the Summer. Funny people don’t talk about his potential or that Fergie misuses his great talent.

        • Owen

          April 2, 2012 at 2:55 pm

          @Stephen: Anderson is new Hargo but atleast he was great in those 30 – odd games.

        • Moscow is my heaven

          April 2, 2012 at 2:58 pm

          @Stephen: He is quite simply atrocious, he had a promising debut season but since then has just been an embarassment to this club.

        • Stephen

          April 2, 2012 at 3:03 pm

          @Moscow is my heaven: Hr also cost £18.6m, no value eh? 😯

        • Moscow is my heaven

          April 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm

          @Stephen: Anderson is our Iniesta 🙂

    • tonymontanna4united

      April 2, 2012 at 3:53 pm

      @Owen: I certainly hope hes back soon. Never got the chance to chat with him properly when he last returned because he was off again so quickly 🙁
      Hopefully he’ll be back again at some point though.

      • johnsom33

        April 2, 2012 at 7:47 pm

        @tonymontanna4united: Send me your email Address and I will forward it to Grognard. I still talk to him once in awhile and Im sure he would be glad to hear from you. If you feel uncomfortable giving me your email, then send Ian a message. He can pass your email along to Grog as well.

        Johnsom23@yahoo.com

        • Ian

          April 2, 2012 at 8:02 pm

          I’m happy with that, no problem going via me. i a n r i m m e r @ redrants.com

  14. Owen

    April 2, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    They say this is worst United Team and City is as good as Barca..But apart from Yaya,Silva and Micah,i am not not sure which other players i will swap.
    They talk as Hart is new Schmeichel but he has easily conceded 4-5 goals and De Gea has not done any worse .

    • Moscow is my heaven

      April 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      @Owen: I’d take Aguero over Welbeck in a heartbeat.

      • Stephen

        April 2, 2012 at 3:33 pm

        @Moscow is my heaven: I would take Dzeko over Welbeck.

        • gator

          April 2, 2012 at 6:33 pm

          @Stephen: and they will take second place while welly and chicha will take winners metals 8) again

  15. tonymontanna4united

    April 2, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    @Stephen: There are still some good sides, dont get me wrong, swansea are just one example, i personally think theyve been superb to watch and a real breath of fresh air to the league, likewise norwich, everton, spurs are all very good sides.
    Im not saying the spanish, italian or whatever league, is better as a whole, im just suggesting the top sides in this league have declined, and rather severely, over a period of the last 4 years.
    I mean liverpool as moscow says, from xabi, gerrard, torres to carroll, downing and adam.
    Arsenal from fabregas, nasri, even arshavin who looked quality to gervinho and walcott.
    Chelski, the old age pensioners, from… well theyre still pretty much the same, just a lot older and a lot worse off for it.
    And ourselves, well we all know what a loss ronaldo was to the side. Even if we havent exactly missed him results wise (weve still been pretty much the best side in the world results wise after barca), theres certainly been a noticeable drop in our performances and style of football, which ive said many times before, i find more workmanlike ie get the goal, job done.
    Im not saying the league or ourselves, are bad, just that weve declined quite badly, and unfortunately we dont seem all that eager to rectify the situation to get back to the highs we enjoyed in 2008.
    Likewise the scousers, chelski and le arse, who all seem lost in some sort of transition without really making the necessary changes to make sure they can get back to where they want to be in a few years.
    As you said yourself, we are where we are because of 1 man, and 1 man only, and that man is fergie.
    And whilst i admire the job hes done and i will celebrate this title like i have done all the others, i still feel that for a club such as ours, we should be winning titles in a manner that befits manchester united.
    By blowing away every other side in the world with scintillating football, and always looking to improve season on season with new quality additions to the side, moving on the deadwood, easing in the new generation, updating the tactics etc etc.
    Sadly i dont think weve done enough of that the last 4 years despite what we may have won in that time, and the position we currently occupy in the table right now.
    But thats just my opinion mate, everyone is welcome to their own.

    • Opti

      April 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      @tonymontanna4united: “fresh air” is not a coincidence and Fergie knows this. That’s why he stated earlier this year (through Berba’s agent) that United will focus on a more mobile and fast-paced playing style in the coming years.

      I think that is what we are transitioning into and once Giggs and Scholes retires this will be fully implemented into the United fold (albeit, 4 years too late, imo).

      Football has changed, like JayWire pointed out many times. Fergie is finally on-board and I think this summer’s signings will show that…. #crossingfingers.

      Of course, I know s**t, so it’s just a plausible hypothesis.

      #20 within reach. Liverpool within reach of relegation. I am still standing. Therefore, I smile 🙂

      • tonymontanna4united

        April 2, 2012 at 4:44 pm

        @Opti: Well we’ll have to wait and see mate. Weve been sitting here patiently though expecting some sort of changes to be made for years now and here we are still waiting.
        After the barca mauling we all thought we’d see some activity there and yet we got nothing.
        We all know the areas that need some investment both on and off the pitch (a new continental coach) just depends now if fergie wants to, or indeed has the funds, to be able to address them.
        Im not gonna comment until the summer to see what happens, but for me, i think we need a world class, or potentially world class, defensive midfield screen (martinez, sahin would be perfect) and a more creative advanced playmaker, aswell as a LB (anyone just please get evra as far away from the first team as is possible) and of course a decent tactician whilst also seeing the likes of pogba and cleverley, become key members of the squad, aswell as fryers, fabio, keane etc getting some decent game time.
        Could happen, but were probably just as likely to see pogba sold, scholes get a new contract, and the constant calls of “no value”, “lets see if fletch makes a comeback so we dont need anyone”, so i guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

        • Stephen

          April 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm

          @tonymontanna4united: Investment in the midfield is essential this Summer. Also with Berba more than likely moving on, a striker would also be needed. The keeper and defence are solid now, out wide we are very strong. Left back is always a dubious one due to the erratic form of Patrice.
          I again think there will be little activity, but lets wait and see.

        • tonymontanna4united

          April 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm

          @Stephen: You know, its never gonna happen, but i still think torres here would be dynamite.
          We definitely could do with another striker for sure, preferably someone with the ability to play up top on his own if need be, which is something none of our strikers seem able to do.
          As for LB, well tbh i have liked fryers for a long time now, so would like to see a bit more of him, or even young tyler blackett who has looked promising whenever ive seen him.
          To be honest, id just like to see anyone who isnt evra starting.
          Hell, id feel more at ease, if united just hosted a lucky dip and a different member of red rants was chosen to play at LB every week, than i do seeing evra not only start there, but wear the bloody captains armband.

        • Moscow is my heaven

          April 2, 2012 at 5:24 pm

          @tonymontanna4united: I’m glad I’m not alone in thinking Torres would be brilliant for us, Fergie would resurrect his career.

  16. colver

    April 2, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    It could be the Champions League final and Bilbao would have still beaten us. They seriously impressed me and if we had any sense we’d try and nab some of their players in the summer. Their youngsters are the same age as players like Jones and Cleverley and Welbeck but twice as good.

    The other teams we could have beaten if Fergie had got the tactics right and picked his strongest team instead of rotating.

    But Bilbao gave us the exact same lesson Barcelona gave us last summer. Tactically and technically they outclassed us.

    • Opti

      April 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm

      @colver: I think Fergie FINALLY learned after the Bilboa massacre. See my reply to Tony’s comment right above. United will become a fluid footballing machine in coming 2 seasons….

    • Stephen

      April 2, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      @colver: Calm down, they are 11th in the league, behind Levante, Getafe and Osasuna. If we were playing in the Champions League we would have won, no doubt. It was a competion we were simply not interested in.

      • Opti

        April 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm

        @Stephen: I am not sure I buy this argument. Professional athletes are extremely competitive individuals… they always play to win and would never “not care” about a game. They may not care about being out of the UEFA Cup, but they definitely didn’t mean to get outplayed by a superior side, which also beat Schalke away from home.

        Bilboa (and other spanish bottom 18 team) are quality teams…

        • Stephen

          April 2, 2012 at 4:35 pm

          @Opti: I simpl don’t agree, are Crystal Palace a better side than us? We lost to them simply like the Europa we were not as motivated as we would be in the League or Champions League. Are Levante a quality side? I think not.

        • Moscow is my heaven

          April 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm

          @Stephen: You’d think not losing to Basel to ensure Champions League survival is good enough motivation…

        • Owen

          April 2, 2012 at 5:33 pm

          @Stephen: Levante have beaten Real Madrid this season.They are a quality side.

        • Stephen

          April 2, 2012 at 5:38 pm

          @Owen: Blackburn have beaten us, are they?
          Getafe beat Barca, again are they?

  17. Opti

    April 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Ian,

    Is there any way to assign numbers to comments. For example, if I want to say “Hey Ian, Based on comment 36 by Tony, I think you’re spot on. United will win the quadruple next year and Liverpool will get relegated” 😡

  18. Opti

    April 2, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Two years ago, I cheekily said that Kevin Prince Boateng could be interesting to have in a United shirt.

    Today, I cheekily state that Hatem Ben Arfa and Adel Taarabt would be interesting to have in United shirts. Attitude asides, these individuals display superior technique to almost our entire starting 11.

    What do you think?

    • Stephen

      April 2, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      @Opti: Both I would say are high maintenance, I will say Nani and Rooney are 10 times the players they are. They both have poor attitudes especially Taarbabt and Fergie does not go for player like that.

  19. Moscow is my heaven

    April 2, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    We would have thrashed Athletic in the Champions League… yeah, okay.

    • Stephen

      April 2, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      @Moscow is my heaven: We would have won, I do believe this. If you have no hope in our side then that is up to you mate.

      • Moscow is my heaven

        April 2, 2012 at 5:01 pm

        @Stephen: We would have played 4-4-2, and played Giggs and probably Park in midfield. Result = same old story. Oh yeah, I forgot we really stepped up our game against Basel and Benfica in the CL. Please…

        • Stephen

          April 2, 2012 at 5:05 pm

          @Moscow is my heaven: We might as well give up then………
          We are so awful, we are Top of the League and could be Champions ahead of the largest spending side in the World.
          I agree we were poor in Europe, but the success we have had over the past 20 yrs is incredible, we should be grateful as no other side has dominated like we have.

        • Opti

          April 2, 2012 at 5:16 pm

          @Stephen: Stephen, you can’t claim that because of 20 years of success, we MUST believe that we would have beaten Bilboa if the game had been in the Champions League. That makes no sense and is irrational.

          We lost to Crystal Palace in a one-off game with a sub-standard starting 11. We lost to Bilboa TWICE with our best starting 11 and got handily outplayed (read: Barca-esque outplaying) both HOME and AWAY. That means that Bilboa cannot be ignored as anything but a quality side. If Bilboa are quality, then Valencia and Atletico Madrid are quality, which means that La Liga has at least 5 good teams… that’s similar to the EPL.

          I am sure any United fan (read: not fan-boy) is grateful for Fergie’s success and love’s being top of the league; however, that doesn’t mean that we should ignore our obvious weaknesses and sub-par performance against teams like Basel, Benfica, and Bilboa.

        • Opti

          April 2, 2012 at 5:17 pm

          @Opti: On second notice, WE SUCK AGAINST TEAMS THAT START WITH B….

          and we’re playing BBBBlackburn today… foooooooooooook!!!! 😈 😈 😈

        • Stephen

          April 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm

          @Opti: Are Basel a better side than us?
          We were shite in Europe, but I feel to believe we are not as good as Benfica, Basel and Bilboa.
          We on our day are a very good side, Barcalona and Real are the only sides I really wouldn’t fancy us against one on one.
          We do need to invest but we do have some real quality, Rooney, Carrick, Vally, Rio, Vida, Young, Nani and on current form Scholes are top players. De Gea, Smalling, Jones and even Rafael in the future good be top draw players.
          We are blending youth and experience, which is not easy and for me w eare doing well.
          It would be wrong to say the managers record in Europe is good, we should have won many more European Cups without a doubt.

    • RMJ

      April 2, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      @Moscow is my heaven: I don’t think just cause we picked up Martinez and Sahin we are gonna over night change into the next big thing…right now real has the best squad while Barcelona has a better first team and some really decent players in the squad.

      Did any watch the Bilbao vs Barcelona game? the Catalans didn’t play a full strength side but was still comfortable in their win…

  20. Moscow is my heaven

    April 2, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    We better fuckin’ win today.

    • Stephen

      April 2, 2012 at 5:31 pm

      @Moscow is my heaven: We fucking have to win, if we loose I might explode.

      • Moscow is my heaven

        April 2, 2012 at 5:47 pm

        @Stephen: All hell is gonna break loose here if Welbeck misses a sitter tonight. I will be all guns blazing and ranting 🙂

        PS. Hope you like my new avatar 😈

        • Stephen

          April 2, 2012 at 5:51 pm

          @Moscow is my heaven: I think it is revolting.. 😈 😆
          I can’t stand Welbeck, for me he is far too cocky and simply does not have the talent to back it up.
          I am getting concerned about your feelings about TNSSO, you need help.

        • Moscow is my heaven

          April 2, 2012 at 5:57 pm

          @Stephen: I think it’s his devilish grin that gets me…

        • Stephen

          April 2, 2012 at 6:00 pm

          @Moscow is my heaven: I am more of a purple nose man! 😛 😛 😛

        • Opti

          April 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm

          @Moscow is my heaven: Mourinho avatar in a United forum… you gotz ballz! 😛

        • Moscow is my heaven

          April 2, 2012 at 6:21 pm

          @Opti: Haha, it was a good jibe at Stephen. He’s been very aggressive lately.

          (How the hell do you even remove this avatar?)

        • Ian

          April 2, 2012 at 8:03 pm

          He has?!! 🙂

  21. Moscow

    April 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    test

  22. Opti

    April 2, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Last time we played Blackburn: 3-2
    1st goal: Berbatov takes down Samba in penalty box. Yak scores from the spot.
    2nd goal: Poor defending from United let’s the Yak through 1-on-1. Scores
    3rd goal: From Blackburn corner, blackburn out-hustle De Gea and after two headers score.
    They had 3 attempts at goal and 3 goals.

    Without Samba, I cannot foresee anything but a resounding win for United. De Gea has improved, Vally is in-form, Rooney is in team, and Scholes is back.

    Holding my breath nonetheless…. getting excited for GAME TIME!

    COME ON YOU RED DEVILS!!!! 😈 😈 😈

  23. Owen

    April 2, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    United bring in Phil Jones, Paul Scholes and Javier Hernandez for Ryan Giggs, Ashley Young, and Danny Wellbeck. Jones will play in midfield today

  24. Owen

    April 2, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Man Utd: De Gea, Rafael Da Silva, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra, Carrick, Scholes, Jones, Valencia, Hernandez, Rooney. Subs: Amos, Giggs, Smalling, Park, Young, Welbeck, Pogba.

  25. gator

    April 2, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    how does this team line up? roony on the left valy on right which of the mid 3 is forward scholes? wow

    • Owen

      April 2, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      @gator: This is something like 4-3-2-1 😈

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