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Paper Round-up

Red Rants’ Paper round-up: Wednesday

Today’s sport pages are all about England and Jose Mourinho’s alleged return to England, but there’s a few interesting bits of news for United fans.

Let’s start with the Telegraph where Sky Sports’ pundit Alan Smith claims that Phil Jones and Danny Welbeck are amongst five players with a point to prove in tonight’s friendly against Holland.

The Guardian reports that Fergie considers Sunday’s clash at Tottenham an extremely difficult test and that he’d be even happy to get to April’s title-decider at City two points behind Mancini’s side. The paper also cover the issue of ticket prices for the away game in Bilbao, after United have complained to UEFA while, in the same article , Danny Welbeck claims that “nothing can stop United” in their quest for the title.

The story on the ticket prices features in the Independent as well, while the Sun focus on the two “rebels” – Paul Pogba and Ezequiel Fryers – who have been issued a “sign-or-leave” warning.

On the Mirror , David McDonnell identifies Michael Carrick as United best player of the season so far and he wonders why the Geordie can’t get in the England squad.

Finally, the Daily Mail reports that United are chasing Torino’s winger Alen Stevanovic. The 21-year-old, who’s on the verge of earning his first call-up to the national team, could cost £6 million. In the same article, the Mail claims that United scout Martin Ferguson watched Rayo Vallecano’s right back Tiko against Real Madrid on Saturday.


Daniele (@MUFC_dan87)



  1. colver

    29 February 2012 at 15:47

    If Carrick does not play for England it just means he can stay longer at Manchester United and play the same role in five years time that Scholes and Giggs play today. The good thing is that his game is based on intelligence and that will give him longevity.

    Pogba I am disappointed about. We are partly to blame for not giving him the first team opportunities. While players like Welbeck and Cleverley are happy to wait their turn they are British and were kept out of the limelight as well as having a natural loyalty to the club. Pogba is over-hyped and in demand and of course with the help of his agent that goes to his head. But freezing him out of the first team isn’t the answer.

    Players like the Da Silva twins, Ronaldo, Rooney and so on got games at a similar age. From all accounts Pogba has shown the ability in training and reserve games to justify some game time. Perhaps with some game time he would have knuckled down and been more open to a future with Manchester United rather than becoming resentful and bitter and money hungry.

    Players are very mercenary. But the most mercenary players are usually those which are unhappy. It is when they are unhappy that they are most susceptible to agents whispering in their ears and telling them that they deserve more and their club does not value them. It is when they are unhappy that they listen to foreign clubs saying they want them.

    If Pogba leaves this summer I will place some of the blame on him for being greedy and not realizing that Manchester United is the best club for a youngster wanting to develop AND win trophies. But I will also place some blame on the club for not making him feel wanted and

    Regardless if Pogba leaves the club I do not want us to buy another youngster who will moan on the sidelines. I want us to buy someone who can walk into our first team and make a difference.

    • Stephen

      29 February 2012 at 16:05

      @colver: I think “blaming” the club for not plying a 17/18 year is a trifle unfair. That is almost blackmailing the club, play me and break the clubs wage structure or I will leave. If he signs for lets say Juve, what first team opportunities will he get? Italy is hardly renowned for promoting youth. If the manager feels he was ready then he would have played him, truthfully his refusal to sign a contract has hardly encouraged Fergie to say he has the character and motivation wear the shirt. Truthfully he is another greedy foreign mercenary and good riddance.

    • Moscow is my heaven

      29 February 2012 at 22:09

      @colver: Pogba has proved nothing and is welcome to fuck off if he so wishes. We don’t have time for this kind of shit, if he leaves, why not make a bid for Nuri Sahin?

      Fergie the liar is only facing the consequences of making excuses for not signing Sneijder. He hyped up Pogba to compensate for Sneijder, and it has blown up in his face because Pogba has started to believe in the old man’s hype.

      • tonymontanna4united

        1 March 2012 at 02:00

        @Moscow is my heaven: I had my say on pogba yesterday, but i will say, yes you are absolutely right. Pogba as of right now has proved absolutely nothing. But then really, what had smalling or jones proved when we forked out over £30m between them (particularly smalling who’d played about 2 PL games at the time).
        What about nani, anderson, the da silvas, hell even rooney.
        The money we paid for them, in excess of £100m overall, was a payment for all we felt we were going to get from them in the future.
        Pogbas potential probably tells us hes worth the £40k a week he apparently demands. Not right now, but for what we feel we can get from him in the coming years.
        When weve invested so much more money on other, equally unproven players in the past, can we not maybe wonder why pogba looks at the situation and thinks he too is entitled to a bit of the same? Entitled to what smalling, jones, and many before him, were given?
        Just my 10 cents worth, but i really dont think we can try and take the moral high ground here, taking a stand against the greed of the modern footballer, when, rightly or wrongly, we let a player bully the club into meeting their wage demands, just 15 months ago.

        • Moscow is my heaven

          1 March 2012 at 15:19

          @tonymontanna4united: It’s hard to disagree with that, the club has a share of the blame in this.

      • Stephen

        1 March 2012 at 11:14

        @Moscow is my heaven: Moscow, why do you always have to have a dig at our manager? Has he not done enough for our club?

        Calling him “the liar” is a best disrespectful and at worse a disgrace. You like me do not know his motivations behind what he said with regards to Pogba. It could have been a veiled attempt to get the lad to sign a new contract and make him say. He never commented directly about Sneidjer and said there would be no more new signings, a prophesy which came true.
        I could go on about the amount of lies your idol Mourinho has spurted out, such as referees in opposing managers dressing rooms, but there is no point.

  2. colver

    29 February 2012 at 16:25

    Stephen I absolutely agree that we shouldn’t break the wage structure. However it would not have really hurt to take him along for the pre-season tour as well as giving him starts in a few Carling Cup and FA Cup games. Especially as Ferguson told the press at the start of the season we didn’t want to sign any big name midfielders in case they blocked Pogba’s development. Perhaps then we would have avoided this silly contract dispute and signed him up at the usual rate.

    But for the most part it is a symptom of the modern game. There is no point stealing U18 youth players and bringing them through the ranks. All you get is a bunch of moaning, contract disputes and then you lose them to a rival club for nothing.

    Far better to leave development of youngsters to the smaller clubs and let the overhyped youngsters rot in other big clubs and spend our money on players who are in the 20-23 age range and capable of walking into the first team squad and making a difference.

    • Stephen

      29 February 2012 at 16:37


      It is hard to disagree there mate, I personally think Fergie was talking him up pre-season as a tactic for him to sign a new contract. If you have watched him in the reserves he simply wasn’t really ready for first team duties. He had a tendency to chase after the ball, rather than hold shape, but a few Carling Cup games wouldn’t have hurt.

      Foreign players from working class backgrounds tend to follow the money. Look at all the players signing for teams in Russia, Anelka in China, is a farce he still has something to offer the top leagues. Even Pastore signing for PSG is a waste, but financially beneficial. Nasri, Aguero, YaYa Toure and Tevez lets be realistic only signed for City for the money.

      The issue with signing players from 20-23 they are a their most valuable, we have paid top money in the past fort hat demographic in the past. We are still massively in debt and if we can produce our own then that would be financially a lot better.

  3. colver

    29 February 2012 at 16:30

    The days where a team like Barcelona or us in the 90s can field a team with five or six home-grown players is long gone.

    It is great that we have managed to bring through the twins, Johnny Evans, Cleverley and Welbeck. But with Giggs and Scholes retiring in a few seasons time and with Fergie’s extraordinary patience in Anderson sure to eventually run out (I have no idea why he has stayed so long with us when you consider how quickly players like Veron, Djemba Djemba and Kleberson were given the boot) we are in desperate need of a couple of central midfield signings.

    • Stephen

      29 February 2012 at 16:44

      @colver: You could argue we have the twins, Evans, Welbeck, Cleverley and Fetch who have sort of come through our system.
      Anderson staying for me is down to two reasons. Firstly he cost a lot of money, £18.6m and we would now have to sell him at quite a loss. The Glazers are not going to be overly happy taking a hit on a player who cost that sort of money. Also I think Fergie gets seduced by CQ, he recommends a player and Fergie believes he him. Forgetting about Manucho, Possebon, Bebe and Ricardo.

  4. Opti

    29 February 2012 at 17:21

    Can someone verify this:
    1) Club buys a player for 30 million
    2) Club uses players value as a way to boost value of club
    3) Even if player performs poorly the player’s value has decreased very little over time, so his “value” to the club is higher than what they can sell him for
    4) Therefore, keeping a bad (but expensive) player may be an economic thing?????

    Is that how it works with Anderson and Berba then? Using their costs to justify high value of United, which allows Glazers to spin debt figures???

    • Andrei

      29 February 2012 at 19:17

      @Opti: It works a bit differently. You hold on a player until his price is fully amortized. After that even if you sell at loss you can still technically show a profit. It is a pretty common accounting trick.

    • Andrei

      29 February 2012 at 20:56

      @Opti: To further clarify my response. The player value depreciates (i.e. goes down) as his price gets amortized over time. E.g United bought Berbatov for 30M. In the club books the player is a capital asset valued at 30M. Say you amortize Berbatov’s price over 5 years (a standard practice). This means that his “capital valuation” decreases by 6M every year. After 5 years he can no longer be listed as a capital asset in GL. And if you sell him for 1M you can show 1M in profits.

      • Opti

        1 March 2012 at 16:54

        @Andrei: Ahhh… so no one wants to sell a player while his amortization is high, because that counts as a loss, right?

        Or the other way around, for a club to make a “profit” the player must be sold ABOVE amortization value/

  5. Stephen

    29 February 2012 at 17:58

    Good luck tonight to the lads in the Youth Cup gainst Charlton, at OT!!

  6. Moscow is my heaven

    29 February 2012 at 22:05

    England are no match for Holland. No surprises there. Schooled at Wembley. Watching Sneijder’s wonderful passing and intelligence is just a joy. He is an attacking midfielder second only to Iniesta, and for us to miss out on a player of his quality is heartbreaking. Our club deserves this kind of player, not the likes of Anderson the Brazilian Donkey.

    It is quite clear that England will require a long long time to overhaul their grassroots system and their approach to training up and coming footballers, ‘get stuck in’ is any English coach at any level’s favourite phrase, but it is the downfall of a whole nation’s football. We should stay away from English youngsters. Technically, they are hopeless. We should chase around the continent for the cream of Europe’s crop.

    Scholes, Beckham, Giggs, Keane. They are a golden generation long gone and unlikely to be ever repeated in this country. Let’s look at European talent which will provide us with the most eye-catching and entertaining football, and as fans of the biggest club in the world, we have the right to demand exhilarating winning football.

    • RMJ

      1 March 2012 at 01:20

      @Moscow is my heaven: problem is sneijder cant seem to play in a 442 and offers zilch defensively which you cant get away with in the PL. This is an issue even with Cleverly and we haven’t seen enough of him this season

    • Stephen

      1 March 2012 at 11:25

      @Moscow is my heaven: Yet another dig at the English……..
      Are Sturridge, Wiltshere, Rodwell, McEachran, technically hopeless?
      I would never want to see thwm at our club… 🙄

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