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The Academy: MUFC (3 v 1) Leeds United

After defeat at home to Portsmouth two weeks ago and an under-strength young team were beaten by Southampton on the South coast last week, I’m sure the Academy would be desperate for three points today to reward what’s actually been a very promising start to the new season.

1st Half

United got off to a flyer with Tom Lawrence producing a piece of magic to create a yard of space for himself which he used to smash the ball left footed into the bottom left corner from the edge of the box after an attack down the right.

In the 38th minute Leeds equalised through a somewhat fortuitous strike from leftback Turner. Having been booked a few minutes previous, he made a rampaging run down the left and found himself in acres of space thanks to makeshift United right back Luke Hendrie ball watching his way into the centre of United’s defence. That allowed Turner the time to produce a cracking strike from a very tight angle that found its way beyond Joe Coll at the near post. Coll will doubtless be disappointed with himself.

In between the goals the sides sparred with each other but to be fair United had the upper hand and the most chances. Zeki Fryers, who was starting under the ‘overage player’ rule, hit the bar after a deft back heel from Luke McCullough had put him in from a corner. Lawrence went close with a clipped effort from the right that couldn’t quite find the far corner and went over the bar. Sam Byrne could’ve found the net and so too could James Weir but neither could beat the keeper when one-on-one.

2nd Half

The second half began slowly but progressed into an open end-to-end match that could’ve gone either way but had United NOT come away with the win I think it would’ve been very harsh, they were (are) obviously the better of the two teams and to me they’re showing signs of becoming a very very impressive team that could produce some excellent prospects for the future.

Leeds did have their periods of pressure, but for a six yard box melee that could’ve turned into an equaliser they didn’t create any chances of note. They can play though, and they did look menacing but failed to break down a well organised centre back pairing of Fryers and McCullough. Even their long range efforts weren’t testing Joe Coll. They were also impressive in defence despite leaking three goals, particularly in the first half when they denied United any opportunity to attack with width. The defence and midfield worked hard to communicate and work as a unit to direct the play into the middle where United were too far apart from each other to hurt them. In the second half both Fryers and McCullough started to move out of defence when the opportunity proffered itself and the tactic began to break down

It was one of those direct runs by Fryers that led to United’s second on the hour. Fryers moved out of defence into an open midfield, he found Lawrence who worked the ball to Sam Byrne who neatly returned it. Lawrence produced a similar piece of skill he used for his first goal (shifted the ball from right foot to left foot with a back foot flick) to sell the defender who slid in with a challenge that took away Lawrence’s standing leg. The referee had no hesitation in awarding United the penalty and Lawrence stepped up to take it. Now, we all know that keepers in the Premier League study the penalty takers before each game, if Leeds had done the same thing they’d have known that Tom almost always slots his penalties low and to the right…..and that’s exactly what he did again for his second of the game and his 3rd of the season in two appearances.

Tyler Blackett finally overlapped Jack Barmby and whipped in a great cross that just eluded Byrne’s head and hit van Velzen in the chest but amazingly only barely went over the bar.

When Blackett overlapped for a second time with just a few minutes left on the clock, the outcome was very different. United won themselves a corner that Joe Rothwell and Tom Lawrence opted to take short. Lawrence gave it to Barmby who gave it back to Rothwell, he gave back to Lawrence who feinted, spun and delicately put the ball in the path of Rothwells clever run behind the defence, he found Barmby square and he took a touch to set himself up before burying it left footed into the bottom right corner. It was a great example of what this team’s about, tricky intricate passing that requires a huge amount of technique and skill to execute successfully.

That was game over and United had their first points of the season.

Individuals and Officials

A mention must go to the officials today who I thought had a tremendous influence on the game. The referee, Mr K Sarsfield, was on first names terms with the players, he explained his decisions, he shared a few laughs and officiated with a calm authority that football at this level really deserves and appreciates. At one point he asked Luke Hendrie “let’s see if you’ve learned your lesson?” after explaining why he’d continuously been pulled up for climbing on the attacker when trying to head goal kicks out……Luke didn’t make another foul of that sort again. Consider that Luke’s actually a midfielder standing in at right back, then how good is it that even a referee is having a positive effect on the development of the players……imagine Howard Webb being caught by lip readers offering anyone, especially a United player, advice?

That brings me nicely onto individual performances and a few observations.

The standout performance of the day came from Tom Lawrence. He’s figured heavily in this match report and he deserves any praise this performance brings him from wherever it comes from. I know my Twitter timeline was littered with praise for him, maybe they didn’t even know that he played through massive back pain he suffered whilst away with Wales in Bulgaria last week. Tom’s scored three in two games now but his game was and is about so much more than just goals. He drops into the hole and finds space to help himself and his team mates. He released James weir into a goal scoring chance behind the defence in the first half, he was integral in Jack Barmby’s goal and he looks to be the catalyst for anything this team might achieve this season.

Joe Rothwell also impressed me. To me he’s like a throw back to what I imagine Bobby Charlton would’ve looked like at 17, his frame, his style, his posture and even his hair! Joe appears to treat every pass with 100% concentration and has the desire to get involved, find the ball and keep possession. He knows when to march forward but he also knows when to track back to help a team mate who’s in trouble or out of position. If Joe adds shooting from the edge of the box to his game he could prove to be a serious weapon through the middle.

James Weir had a quiet opening half hour but then sprung to life. He’s tenacious and dynamic, he doesn’t look the most technically gifted player in the world but he knows how to win the ball back and play it out of trouble. His role and his development will be interesting to watch because I think he was pencilled in to play his part on the periphery of the team offering back up, but on today’s display he could possibly push for a more regular place in the team as the season unfolds.

Luke McCullough looked assured again at the back. Tyler Blackett was strong in the tackle today but sometimes looks rushed when in possession unless he’s bombing down the wing. Great to see Zeki Fryers get a run out at this level. He missed the majority of last season so it could be argued that this is where he is at the moment. I’m not sure if he’s in the plans long term or short term but either way I think he had a decent game today and influenced the game defensively and also contributed up front. Luke Hendrie isn’t a right back…..no seriously…..Luke Hendrie ISN’T a right back! He’s a midfielder and he can pass and his teamwork’s excellent but his positioning that allowed Leeds’ goal was painful. He didn’t take his eyes off the ball from the second it entered his territory to the moment it left Turners boot, by which time it was too late, McCullough had been forced to move out to cover and the whole defence was in chaos as Hendrie marked nothing in the centre of the box.

Jack Barmby had a frustrating day in front of his Dad today. Switched from left to right he struggled to get past his marker and his first touch was letting him down. Just one of those days I think. Second half he helped himself to the goal and found a lot more space out wide on the left wing, only to be ignored or not seen by the playmakers in the centre.

Gyliano van Velzen: I’m lost for words here, I think it’s best I don’t say anything to be honest! My opinion last season was in the minority but I stood by it and predicted he wouldn’t improve. Personally I think when the Academy has taken to the field over the last season and now, they’re effectively playing with ten men. I hope to stand corrected over the coming months but on the evidence of the opening games I see no reason to change my mind. He failed to get himself into today’s game and on the few occasions he did he couldn’t beat his man, he held on to the ball too long and he wanders around like…..dare I say it?…..no I won’t! I really want the kid to develop so I’ll cross my fingers for all his adoring followers. I think I might make a new section of the report called ‘GVV WATCH’ and be as brief as needs be from week to week, we all know what I think of him without me repeating it every week!

Next Match.

Sheffield United (Away – KO 11:00): As far as I’m aware the squad will be missing Matthew Wilkinson, Ben Pearson, Don Love and new boy Gollini for the trip over the Pennines to face last season’s FAYC runners-up. James Wilson also picked up what sounds like a nasty injury at Southampton last week and could be out for a while. If I hear any news I’ll post it up in a match preview on Friday.

I’m travelling up to Sheffield for this one so there’ll be plenty of Twitter updates during the game. Anyone else travelling up feel free to let me know…..we’ll get a few songs going!

Ian
@Rimmerstweets

109 Comments

109 Comments

  1. Robert

    3 September 2011 at 23:43

    Thanks for giving such an insight to us guys who can’t watch these matches!

  2. [OPTI]Madschester United

    4 September 2011 at 12:37

    To all Mourinho+Sneijder lovers (i.e. Groggy):
    Mourinho called me and he told me to stay. He has an Inter heart and he has always told me to remain,” Sneijder told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

    • RedDevilEddy

      4 September 2011 at 21:20

      Fuck Sneijder

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      4 September 2011 at 22:12

      Point with above: Why would Mourinho be on his way to United, if he tells former top players not to come to Utd…

    • Stephen

      5 September 2011 at 18:19

      Next United manager? Me thinks not, the guy is a total prick.

    • Grognard

      6 September 2011 at 18:30

      NEWSFLASH! For several months now I changed my mind on whether we needed Sneijder. So Mourinho doing this does not bother me in the least. Perhaps you should read the following article to see what Fergie thinks of Mourinho.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2034314/Sir-Alex-Ferguson-supports-Jose-Mourinho.html

      • Onkar

        7 September 2011 at 06:31

        That is exactly what I was going to talk about! All the JM supporters here like Me, YOu (Groggy) and others like Tony can take some heart from this news. What matter what many thinks of him here as well I really wish that he should Follow the Great SAF. I would even say that at this juncture I would rather have him more than Pep. See once SAF calls the day off we would struggle to hold onto our forte as the Biggest and the Best in the World if we stop winning and that things always make me think of only one man and that Jose. I hope I would see him in Man UTD dug out managing the next generation team..

  3. RedDevilEddy

    4 September 2011 at 21:18

    I swear to God I’m the left footed Beckham

  4. colver

    5 September 2011 at 00:15

    Total BS. Sneijder is just protecting his ego because he is gutted he didn’t get his dream move. If we had made him and the club an offer as opposed to just holding talks he’d have signed for us in a heartbeat.

    • Moscow is my heaven

      5 September 2011 at 01:13

      Trust David Gill to be brave enough to make an actual bid 🙄

    • Grognard

      6 September 2011 at 19:10

      Didn’t get his dfream move. Mate his dream move is to make us pay him a king’s ransom while he dances to the bank to cash his monthly check. Let him rot in Italy.

  5. colver

    5 September 2011 at 10:33

    Barcelona vice president comes out and says Cesc is worth at least £52 million and they got him on the cheap.

    If only there was such a thing as footballing karma.

    • Onkar

      5 September 2011 at 11:29

      They are one hell of an Arrogant Pricks… I mean fine, you made the whine and sulk his way out of Arsenal and then you come out and say all this… Rubbish… I used to Feel that Real Madrid is/ was the biggest evil in the Football but now when I look at these Bastards I really feel that they are actually Saints compared to Barca… I hated Arsenal all along my life as Man UTD supporter. BUt now a days I pitty them more than what I hate them… 😈 👿

      • Grognard

        6 September 2011 at 18:44

        That’s exactly how I feel. Fabregas is a punk and a spoilt brat who had to have his way or he would have sulked in the corner and had a tissy fit. Bottom line is clubs need to be smarter about how they nurture young players and what players to actually go after. For years I have been against going after Latin born players because their allegiance and hearts belong in Spain or Italy. No not all of them but most of them. Problem is does United have that special machine that can probe the mind and heart of a young Latin born player to see where his allegiance and ultimate desire lies?

        United of late and especially Liverpool are finally it seems getting a clue as to what the best solution is to solving the mass exodus of players from their clubs to Spain or worse, Chelsea or City. Buy home grown talent and look at countries who share more of a cultural and climactic bond with us. France, Germany, Scandinavia, Holland, Belgium, Eastern Europe etc. These regions of Europe have no special allegiance or love for Spain and especially Barca or Madrid. The UK for us is a given. Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Ashley Young, Tom Cleverley are not about to knock on the Boss’ door and demand a transfer because they are already at the place they most wanted to be at, Old Trafford. But will De Gea, the Twins, Chicharito etc? Tough to tell. These kids have Latin blood in them and it is understandable if their cultural needs as well as their football naivete and desires lead them astray and towards riches and blind promises from Spain.

        So far Chicharito and the Twins as well as Anderson and Nani have shown remarkable loyalty under the circumstances. They are young and the urge to merge with Barca or

      • Grognard

        6 September 2011 at 18:57

        That’s exactly how I feel. Fabregas is a punk and a spoilt brat who had to have his way or he would have sulked in the corner and had a hissy fit. Bottom line is clubs need to be smarter about how they nurture young players and what players to actually go after. For years I have been against going after Latin born players because their allegiance and hearts belong in Spain or Italy. No not all of them but most of them. Problem is does United have that special machine that can probe the mind and heart of a young Latin born player to see where his allegiance and ultimate desire lies?

        United of late and especially Liverpool are finally it seems getting a clue as to what the best solution is to solving the mass exodus of players from their clubs to Spain or worse, Chelsea or City. Buy home grown talent and look at countries who share more of a cultural and climactic bond with us. France, Germany, Scandinavia, Holland, Belgium, Eastern Europe etc. These regions of Europe have no special allegiance or love for Spain and especially Barca or Madrid. The UK for us is a given. Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Ashley Young, Tom Cleverley are not about to knock on the Boss’ door and demand a transfer because they are already at the place they most wanted to be at, Old Trafford. But will De Gea, the Twins, Chicharito etc? Tough to tell. These kids have Latin blood in them and it is understandable if their cultural needs as well as their football naivete and desires lead them astray and towards riches and blind promises from Spain.

        So far Chicharito and the Twins as well as Anderson and Nani have shown remarkable loyalty under the circumstances. They are young and the urge to merge with Barca or Madrid has not overtaken their common sense yet. Not like it did with Fabregas and Alex Sanchez. For those players, moving to Barca could not happen fast enough. For ROnaldo it was going to happen just when he was reaching his full potential. Ah, but that there is my key point. If we are to go after Latin born players, perhaps going after them as kids is not the smart thing to do. Perhaps going after them after they have had their Spanish fill is wiser. Go after the tried and true veteran player that no longer has the Barca or Madrid bug up their ass. Sneijder is a bad exception because although he has no interest in those clubs, his middle name is mercenary and greed is what drives him. But there are literally hundreds of great players between the ages of 25 and 28 that have been there and done that and now are looking for a new home and desire to truly settle down and play for just one more club.

        I am not advocating that we raid the seniors home but truthfully, when does it stop with Barca and Madrid raping every club of it’s great Latin born talent? I’m sick of it and so my feeling is clubs need to look in other regions for their young talent and buy Latin born players who are a little older and who’s first desire is not to end up in Spain or Italy (Carlos Tevez need not apply).

        Having been a United supporter for most of my life, I find it amazing that any player blessed enough to play for this club would ever willingly want to leave it. To me this is tantamount to complete mental illness and immaturity. But then I don’t live in Manchester and I have never lived in Spain either although having visited it, I found it’s two main cities to be nothing more than heaping piles of shit. Overrated, hot and smelly. Manchester may be cold, rainy and not have the cultural trappings for these players but then again, it has what they all came there for, it has football at the highest level and greatest tradition. It offers atmosphere and silverware and good money and all it asks back is loyalty and professional commitment. Tough things to ask from uneducated shanty town rejects with olive oil skin and very little common sense and delusions of grandeur. Frankly I despise Spain and their football and I so wish the worst for them in the football world. They are a pariah and an infection on this game which is destroying the fabric of the sport and it’s professional fairness. One day their greed and corruption will catch up to them. Until then I say buy local and and by non Latin.

    • Stephen

      5 September 2011 at 18:22

      People need to get over this Red Rants obession with Barca, as I have said if other fans of clubs kept posting about us we would think they have a small club mentality, it is getting embarrassing. Barca are a great side with great players, they operate very similar to many big clubs and flaunt the rules, including Real and us.

      • Onkar

        6 September 2011 at 06:54

        I totally disagree here Stephen. I mean, Give me one example where we have had our players talking about our so called targets left right anbd centre till their head starts spinning…. Never happened. Secodly, we always pay price for the product that we are buying. We never make people turn their head and sulk and whine using our staff and player. Atleast I dont remember a single case of it. As far as Real goes they are also full of Scum bags but then they at least pay what ever it takes to buy a player. And Ronado is the Best Example of that…
        So I cant agree your comparison of Man UTD doing Busines and the Way Barca Doing their business…

        • Stephen

          6 September 2011 at 11:59

          Well a lot of out players were talking about Sneidjer this summer, Macheda and Rio on Twitter and Gary Neville and Scholes were also saying he would be a teriffic signing for us.
          “We never make people turn their head and sulk and whine using our staff and player” Well Berba sulked his way to us, Fergie also picked him up at the airport ahead of City when a fee had not been agreed.
          If Barca get a decent buy with Fabregas then good for them, Gill should take a leaf out of the book.
          Zlatan Ibrahimovic for €69,500,000, Dani Alves for €35,500,000, Dmytro Chygrynskiy – €25,000,000 who only played 12 games and even David Villa for €40,000,000 looks expensive for a player of his age. They hardly nick every player they go for, as I say people seem obbessed by then, is it becuase they are and jelousy? God knows, I dislike them but they are brilliant and have have the best player in the World and he is worth watching on his own.

        • Grognard

          6 September 2011 at 19:08

          “If Barca get a decent buy with Fabregas then good for them,”

          And what of the game? What about the damage they do to other teams and leagues by raping them of their best talent? Talent under contract but still tapped up and seduced to break that contract. Why do they continue to go after that which isn’t theirs and why do teams, leagues and UEFA continually capitulate to their bully boy tactics. They sicken and disgust me. They have no class as an organization and they respect nobody.

        • Stephen

          7 September 2011 at 10:45

          What we, Chelsea, Real, Arsenal ect have never tapped a player up? Get real mate, your Barca bitterness is astounding. Stam admitted in his book he was tapped up by Fergie. Barca are NO worse than all big clubs, they tap players up it is life, do you think Real did not speak to Ronaldo?

        • Stephen

          7 September 2011 at 10:48

          Also “the game” a few weeks back you said it was Ok for Real to kick lumps of them, what about “the game” then? You get moralistic when it suits you mate don’t you?

        • Grognard

          7 September 2011 at 18:44

          It’s not about Barca’s right to buy Fabregas or any player. It6’s about their unethical tactics of tsapping him up, having Barca players suck his dick while with the national team and basically seduce the man away. It’s sleazy and unsavory and they make me sick. They don’t want other teams trying to go after their own players while under contract, so why do that to Arsenal or other clubs? They use their players and the media to basically unsettle stars with other teams until a move is accomplished. Madrid do the same thing. That’s just not cricket.

      • Grognard

        6 September 2011 at 19:03

        Barca are a cancer and everything that is wrong with the professional game. They are evil incarnate and along with Madrid need to be destroyed or at best exposed for the criminal empires they are. They upset many of us United fans because they have embarrassed our great team twice of late in European finals and have gloated about it while raping the world game of many of it’s greatest players even if they have to build ridiculous debts to do so. Actually it’s refreshing that supporters of big clubs expose them for what they are. We are a small club if we allow them to continually get away with murder and hijack every great player we and other British clubs have just because they think they have some god given right to do so.

        They are cancer to this great game as well as a corporate bully and people who cannot see this mate, are blind and naive. Above all, anybody who enjoys their brand of football needs to check their insides to see if they have a soul. Boring and redundant is what I would call their style of play regardless of their successes.

  6. Traverse

    5 September 2011 at 15:20

    With all the pretty football they play, the lack the smallest ounce of class. Or business sense if their wage sheet is to be believed!

  7. Traverse

    5 September 2011 at 16:55

    Incase anyone is interested, and if the link works, my studio held a 5-a-side tourney with some of the bands. There’s some pics of me representing in full Anderson kit.

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150777828395702&set=a.10150777825065702.729130.562550701&type=1&theater

    Got a chant of ‘Nani, Nani, Nani’ as I was showing my silky ball skills. Needless to say we lost 4 and drew 1, and scored only one goal. I got the assist!

    • RedDevilEddy

      5 September 2011 at 18:25

      Hhahaha, you’re brilliant!

    • RedDevilEddy

      5 September 2011 at 18:27

      I loved this pic of you by the way, you look like a bearded Nani 😆 😆 😆

      • Traverse

        6 September 2011 at 12:44

        Haha cheers! I decided to go Bobby Charlton and play with my socks round my ankles!

    • Grognard

      6 September 2011 at 19:12

      So what you are saying then is that you are better than Anderson? Sign him up. 😉 😉 😀 😀

  8. Moscow is my heaven

    5 September 2011 at 19:31

    I can only wish to live for the day Barca fall. It shall be glorious 😈

    • Owen

      5 September 2011 at 21:46

      Just wish Messi plays once against Barton or De Zong… 🙄

      • Nikos

        6 September 2011 at 11:24

        Judging by the 3 likes it’s not hard for me to tell that you suck.
        Messi is a great player and a great opponent and we should respect him.

        I always wanted Liverpool to play fine football and be strong so as our win is glorious.If you wish to have a weak opponent then you are just a FANATIC and not a sportsman.

        P.S. I wish Liverpool the best and may the Arbeloa days never come again. I wish Arsenal the best and not to become an english Porto.

        • Owen

          6 September 2011 at 14:37

          Then why are you doubting Barton and De Zong…?You should respect your opponent..Is n’t it?

        • Nikos

          6 September 2011 at 15:36

          Barton –> a leg breaker paid as a footballer —> deserves no respect

          De Jong –> a murderer like Barton

          Gattuso –> one of the ugliest cunts – murderers

          Materazzi –> FFFFUCK

          Of course, I got no respect for none of them and they should be out of most of the matches they played (unfortunately this didn’t happen). I am not a fan of Messi but I know that Barca can win us 6 times out of 10. This doesn’t make me want to break his legs.

        • Owen

          6 September 2011 at 15:59

          I won’t be surprised if you don’t respect even Keano then…

        • Nikos

          6 September 2011 at 16:04

          Nnnnnopppp… 🙂

          I respect him a lot cause there’s a main difference here. He got what he deserved. He got every yellow or red card he deserved. He also was man enough to argue with an opponent in front of the eyes of the referee and not behind his back. That’s a man’s behaviour not a cunt’s.

          Materazzi and Gattuso get 1st place of course.

          So, a cunt is a cunt and a diver is a diver wether he plays for MU or not.

        • Stephen

          6 September 2011 at 16:39

          Keano certainly isn’t a cunt, he is a United legend and we should respect him for that.

        • Nikos

          6 September 2011 at 17:33

          Keano is respected by everyone and he is a legend.

        • Owen

          6 September 2011 at 18:20

          Keano is respected by United fans only and in the same way like of Gattuso are respected by their fans..

        • Nikos

          6 September 2011 at 18:36

          Well, maybe that’s the case in England where somebody loves teams and hates teams that compete in the EPL. I like the team but I am not a fanatic so I can be a fan of Keano, Vieira, Aguerro, Dzeko or whatever.

        • RedDevilEddy

          6 September 2011 at 18:54

          mip

  9. Rimmerstweets

    6 September 2011 at 00:50

    Small matter of the NFL starting on Thursday….

    Anyone watching……?!
    😉

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      6 September 2011 at 03:19

      Let’s see.

      NFL game = 4 hours of 100-200 commercials and 60 minutes of stop-and-go actual sports.

      Nah, I’ll pass.

      • Rimmerstweets

        6 September 2011 at 04:18

        You must be watching the US coverage then Opti, UK coverage cuts to some pretty decent analysis during most commercial breaks.

        Great game…..even if I don’t always know what’s actually going on!

        • [OPTI]Madschester United

          6 September 2011 at 10:31

          Yup. To me, NFL has become a sport of profit far more than a sport of entertainment.

          The best way to learn about NFL’s rules and penalty system is by playing video game Madden… that’s how I learned it upon arriving on US shores.

    • Grognard

      6 September 2011 at 19:15

      I’m a massive NFL fan and Cowboys and Patriots fan. Can’t wait. Love the NFL almost as much as United. Prediction, Tom Brady to march the Patriots all the way to their fourth Super Bowl championship. They really reloaded this off season.

  10. despicable

    6 September 2011 at 06:43

    Nice details, Rimmerstweets, I saw the game and felt that GVV keeps the ball a little too long(He seems to try too much and not play for the team), Also Barmby played well in second half.

    And loved watching Weir and Rothwell, Weir held ball well.
    Also Rothwell was so dynamic with the ball.

    Nice Review!!!

    • Rimmerstweets

      6 September 2011 at 15:01

      Thanks.

  11. colver

    6 September 2011 at 10:57

    Stephen the problem is that it is not a level playing field. In the Champions League if they hit any road bumps the referee steps in to help them out. Despite all this talk about financial fair play they have been spending around £70 million a year with hardly any player sales even though they are hardly a rich club. And if that wasn’t enough they have been despicable in their dealings with Arsenal.

    Real Madrid spend a lot of money but they pay fair value for the players they buy so indirectly other clubs benefit from their wealth. The £80 million they gave us for Ronaldo was a lot of money considering the player wanted to go to Real Madrid and nowhere else and had been promised a move by us. Also as far as I am aware in their history they have never had the same number of favourable on the field decisions as Barcelona.

    • Stephen

      6 September 2011 at 12:08

      Real are hardly a bastion of moral virtue mate. They tapped Ronaldo up for two seasons lets not forget. They sold their training ground to buy the Galactico’s, Mourinho’s lunatic behaviour since he has been there should have had him banned at the very least. Barca got a good deal with Fabregas, but they have over paid massively themselves at times also who cares about Arsenal? Also I recall Real got a decent buy in Beckham from us a few years back and claimed they made up the transfer fee they day he signed with shirt deals.
      With favourable decisons, people have said the same about us, also Inter knocked out Barca when a perfectly good goal was disallowed, lets not forget that.

      • Onkar

        6 September 2011 at 13:42

        Yup but then the same Inter and the same so called LUNATIC manager manage to survive the Single Worst Red Card and Single Best Oscar Winning performance in the same Tie… So if you feel that the Goal should have stayed.. Sorry bro then Match should have been 11 vs 11 and not 10 vs 12 (i.e 11 Barca + 1 referee) isnt it??? So better not speak about the on field drama that they have brought to this game and for all there so called attractive footy in my opinion they have brought more disreput to this game then there positive contribution… And sorry to but no need of sensing any J factor here as there in no level paying field in this debate… May whole world except you and obvious barca fans would accept that they get what they wnat ion field more than any other TEAM….

        • Stephen

          6 September 2011 at 15:22

          What Mourinho’s sides never dive? his Porto side cheated to UEFFA Cup glory, do we forget Robben, Ballack, Drogba and at Real Ronaldo who is the biggest diver in football.
          Onkar, don’t start by calling me a Braca fan. I was born in Manchester and support my local club and know else, I don’t have a sister club eg Bayern, Barca, Juve ect for me it is United or nothing and that is what BNarca are to me, but facts are facts.

        • Onkar

          7 September 2011 at 06:45

          May whole world except you and obvious barca fans would accept that they get what they wnat ion field more than any other TEAM….

          See thats what I said, so I made a clear distinction in what I said. I said YOU AND obvious Barca Fans (which we all who are present here). So please what ever it is Dont take a wrong conclusion out of it… I know You are from Manchester and a Local Lad and you know that I am here long enough and have never taken any personal Dig at anyone except may be Groggy but I know he wont mind.. So What I said was Man UTD Fan like you and Other Barca Fan whoc visit this Place… I think I am much more clear now….

        • Stephen

          7 September 2011 at 10:36

          I stand corrected matey. 😀

        • Onkar

          7 September 2011 at 06:52

          And as far Sister Club goes I take Pride in saying that Even though I am not from Manchester and have never visited that city or stadium, even I have SINGLE CLUB LOYALTY… And I take pride in that…. I would go a step forward and say that it is easy to be a FANM if you are Born and Bred there having many of the prior generation following it but FAR MORE difficult to be an equally MAD FAN of the same thing even though you dont belong there, and uyou are the FIRST in the FAMILY. So I take pride in that… Hence, dont give me all that Sister Club and Two club theories. Infact when talked about the Obvious Barca Fan which you mis understood I was talking about the some one with same features having not ONE but TWO Sister Clubs….

        • Stephen

          7 September 2011 at 10:53

          To support two clubs for me is support neither.

      • Grognard

        7 September 2011 at 18:55

        Nobody is giving Madrid a free ride on this. In many ways they are just as evil as Barca as they use the same sleazy tactics on and off the field. But as long as they have Mourinho and Ronaldo, they get a pass from me and that’s simply because the are favorites of mine. I have that right. I’d give anything for them to not be in Spain period. As much as I have hated Italian football all my life I find that I don’t despise the big Italian sides like the Milan’s and Juventus. Not on my favorites list but still, nowhere near the Spanish giants on my contempt meter.

        Nothing would make me happier than a financial crisis hits Barca and they go bust. Their failure on the field is secondary to my desire to see them end up in the second division because they ended up broke from all their greed and and were also penalized and sent down. I can dream can’t I?

    • Grognard

      6 September 2011 at 19:20

      At some point a team with a great player who is targeted by them or Madrid need to do what is right for their team, their league and the game and that’s refuse to sell, complain about harassment to UEFA and FIFA and bench the player if he continues to sulk. Send a message to that team and to all players that the sanctity of the contract must be maintained and adhered to the letter of the law. Barca, Madrid and their minions like Marca need to be punished for their disrespect to other teams and leagues and they must be fined for tapping up players and using dirty tricks to seduce and sway them away from their contracted clubs.

  12. Moscow is my heaven

    6 September 2011 at 14:52

    Inter’s victory over Barcelona in 2010 depicts the ultimate triumph of industry over gamesmanship.

    Mourinho instilled a mentality and confidence in his players so strong that they were able to exhibit some superhuman defending in the face of diving, whinging and, of course, the customary red card which most teams who play well at the Nou Camp have to contend with. It was a very moving performance, the bravery and conviction of Mourinho’s tactics convinced me that very day that he is the man to take over Ferguson’s throne.

    Barcelona, credit to them, learned from their mistakes and turned up the cheating and diving to a level which I have never seen before. Not even Mourinho could have anticipated such a horror show as he witnessed in last season’s Champions League semi finals.

    Any man would be driven insane by such injustice. I do not blame Mourinho for his antics like all the media and Barca lovers like to attack and mock. I would have been equally pissed off.

    ALL HAIL THE SPECIAL ONE

    • jos

      6 September 2011 at 15:15

      I wonder if this is a Barca/Real blog or a Man Utd blog.

      Who gives a fuck about Barca or Real. Both are equally bad. Real are the very epitome of evil themselves, always tapping up others players and ruining careers of even great players (how they bought the likes of Schnijder, Robben etc, never used them and then sold them for peanuts to their CL opponents!!!). Same is Barca. They wasted Zlatan and then Villa! This, from my recent memories.

      Coming back to Utd, we seem to be interested in another Everton prodigy, Berkely. Anybody knows how good is he? At least physically he looks superhuman (6’2 at 17 years of age). Keown seems to think he is something really special. Time to do a Rooney on Everton again?

      • Don

        6 September 2011 at 15:27

        From the glimpses I’ve seen of him he seems the business..I’m sure after seeing how Rooney turned out Everton will be loathe to lose this player to the likes of us…and on the same note I expect the likes of Man City/Chelsea will pay over the odds for such a talent with the hope he will turn out into a Rooney…it seems Everton yongsters have a fire in them which adds that extra bit of special quality to their play..the jury is still out but any boy who can shine in a Premier League game with grown men at 17 has got to have something special in his locker…

      • Stephen

        6 September 2011 at 15:32

        Agreed the anti Barca shite on this blog is very odd and not United, especially as there seems to be some very strange love for Mourinho. This is a United blog and I can’t stand both sides, but the way Real tapped up Ronaldo and Beckham and are managed by TNSSO makes me hate them more.

        • Nikos

          6 September 2011 at 17:54

          Indeed, this is not United at all.

      • Grognard

        7 September 2011 at 18:58

        Relax mate, it’s international break and when this happens this becomes World Soccer Weekly so just get a grip. Some of you out there have such tunnel vision. I love footy in general and can talk about a lot of things, not just United. Show some range and some flexibility for crying out loud. At the end of the day it still all relates to United. 🙄 🙄

    • Stephen

      6 September 2011 at 15:28

      What were Mourinho’s Porto side then? Oh sortry your Barca bitterness cannot see what is the reality. Mourinho’s sides cheat, he is a cheat and has always been one. Open you bitter eyes and realise that his Chelsea side were negative cheats, eg Robben, Ballack, Drogba. His Inter side should never have made the final as Barca has a perfectly good goal disallowed. Scholes scored a perfectly good goal at OT which was also disallowed and as you call him the SPECIAL ONE which in its self is embarrassing, danced down the touchline of the sode you support. His Porto side were cheats personified and against Celtic were a disgrace, yes ALL HAIL THE SPECIAL ONE really no he is a cunt.

      • Nikos

        6 September 2011 at 17:57

        FUCK YEAH!

    • Stephen

      6 September 2011 at 15:35

      Mourinho? What is fails to promote youth, wingers and his football is turgid. If he can’t beat a side he cheats and kicks lumps out of the side he is playing. He starts campaigns against other managers and refs, he lies and cheats Yes perfect for us, not. 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄

      • Moscow is my heaven

        6 September 2011 at 17:02

        Apart from the youth, wingers and kicking lumps, he sounds to me like SAF in full flow 🙂

        • Stephen

          6 September 2011 at 17:06

          😆 😆 😆 😆

        • Grognard

          7 September 2011 at 19:01

          You see that too. SO does Fergie. He is very much like Fergie was when he was younger but some of our members refuse to see this because of bias. They do not like the man because as Chelsea manager he ruled our world. I say get over it and if the chance comes to hire him, I say make it so.

        • Stephen

          7 September 2011 at 19:22

          He is nothing like Fergie, he attacks, Mourinho defends. He is not United, I have no issue with him being a former Chelsea manager, i just hate the scumbag.

        • Grognard

          8 September 2011 at 18:40

          So then you are calling Fergie a liar and or an idiot for comparing himself favorably to Mourinho? 😕 😕

        • Stephen

          9 September 2011 at 08:53

          No mate, you are blinded by Mourinho and this is a topic where we will never agree on. For me he is Anti-United in hi footballing outlook.

      • Owen

        6 September 2011 at 19:49

        Even Big Sam any day instead of Fraud One…

        • Grognard

          7 September 2011 at 19:01

          Talk about a loser!!!!!! 🙄 🙄 🙄 🙄

    • Grognard

      6 September 2011 at 19:21

      I love you man. Well said.

  13. Stephen

    6 September 2011 at 15:55

    Also people seem to forget with all the Arsenal sympathy how the3y poached Fabregas in the first place. Like us with Pique they utilized a clause in Spanish football to sign him. They still have a 50% buy back clause, more fool Weneger for not winnning anything for 6 years and you get what you deserve in football and he deserves everything he gets.

    • Grognard

      8 September 2011 at 18:43

      I have no problem the way big clubs poach very young players. The system and territorial boundaries in place are so barbaric that clubs need to use creative measures. It’s the poaching and tapping up of stars from teams that bugs me. All big clubs do it of course but to varying degrees. And then there are the two Spanish giants who just cross every boundary of ethics, respect and good taste not to mention etiquette.

  14. Grognard

    6 September 2011 at 19:26

    Personally I think the pro Barca shit on thios blog is intolerable. Makes me question some fan’s loyalty to our cause and United’s. To ever cheer or even respect the Spaniards for the scum that they are is unforgivable and totally intolerable form my point of view. Yes I am harsh but the truth needs to be known and to have Barca continually get way with murder in their boardroom and on the field while singing their praises is beyond contemptible. To support or tolerate a club like that speaks of one’s truly bad taste and poor judgment. It discusses me. 🙄 🙄

    • Stephen

      7 September 2011 at 10:40

      Yet you love Mourinho, who is scum personified. So maybe you need to look at yourself rather than judge others. Saying that Barca play great football does not make me less loyal to United, jeez your bitterness is blinding you my friend and you are loosing all perspective.

      • Grognard

        7 September 2011 at 19:06

        Mourinho is far from scum and perhaps you should respect Fergie more who calls him a very close friend and who likens him to himself a few years back. So what’s next, putting down Fergie too for bad taste? Get over the bitterness mate, he is a great manager and his CV more than proves while your rather sad attempts to destroy his legacy are only met with a laugh and a chuckle. Sorry but the truth hurts. 😀

        • Stephen

          7 September 2011 at 20:17

          Home truths aznd bitter? Mourinho is scum, he is a liar and a cheat. And what do you care about Fergie? I thought you want him sacked? Oh by the way that makes me more than “chuckle” which is beyond sad.
          I also thought you hate “chicken shit” tactics which he is personified, his football is dire, open your eyes and get over your own Barca bitterness.

        • Grognard

          8 September 2011 at 18:46

          I’d say the same of you to open your eyes. Do you watch Real play? How about Inter when Mourinho was there? If you did you would realize just how ridiculous your comments sound to me mate. I’m sorry but you are the one who has a bitterness problem. I have no problem with what Barca have done to United because we deserve3d both losses. I have a problem with what they are doing to the game as a whole and for me that is a noble cause and not a bitter journey down a lonely road like your venture sounds.

  15. Grognard

    6 September 2011 at 19:29

    And I am not even bitter about the two losses in finals we have suffered at their hands. We deserved to lose both games because we were out managed and out played. Hell, I am more upset with their victories in the transfer market and their cheating ways in so many other games especially their criminal antics and that of refs on their payroll when they played Chelsea a few years back and every game they are involved in ever since. They get away with murder and for people not able to see this, then I suggest a new pair of prescription glasses or therapy.

  16. RedDevilEddy

    6 September 2011 at 20:04

    You guys know what? Fuck Barca. Fuck Sneijder. To be quite honest, who the fuck cares about any other football club besides United?? Too many footballers are money hungry bastards who don’t deserve an inch of respect, and their ability of getting a circled object from one place to another should be ignored when they are such pricks. There is a reason why I love United, instead of Chelsea, City, Barca or Arsenal. We don’t get bullied, we don’t get fuck with, and we stand up for something whenever we should. I don’t understand all the bullshitting Fergie gets by United fans, what the fuck do you guys expect him to do when a ref or the FA fucks up majorly? Yeah he is a manager for United, but how does that make him obligated to be a bigger pussy than us fans? 😕 If you ask me that should make him even more determined to speak when he fucking should!! Jeez, I don’t give a shit about Barca and I don’t understand why they get so much respect.

    THEY ARE BORING! 🙄 🙄

    They get into space, and they pass the ball there. If you ask me they are fucking overrated. Yeah, they beat us but I won’t call them better than us. Maybe equal, but in a different way. Their hype makes them much better than they fucking are. I don’t hate Barca, but I don’t care about them either. I just don’t give a shit about them, and why should I? We face them twice during a season at most, remember that before 2008 we hadn’t met them one fucking time since 1998. NINETEEN FUCKING EIGHT!!! Who the fuck is to say that is won’t take us another 9 years to meet them? They are on form, but so what. We are better.

    UNITED! UNITED!

    • Nikos

      6 September 2011 at 21:36

      It’s nice to watch Barca in big games but not for a whole season cause they’re really boring.

      Never shooting outside the area or blasting the ball and never crossing the ball. Of course, it’s the diving-spanish-mediteranean temperament that makes me getting bored in sam big games too.

    • Grognard

      7 September 2011 at 19:10

      Like I have said time and time again, Barca are a bore and they win because their style (or lack of) bores teams into a sleep and then they pounce on you with a quick through ball or lob chip etc. They succeed not because of these tactics but in spite of them because they have built a juggernaut by developing and buying the best players in the world. I’d shudder to think how good Xavi, Messi and Iniesta would be if they played United style football? Barca is 9.96 on the boring meter and they are 11/10 on the cheating and corruption scale. And the fact some on here cannot see this as it’s plain as day speaks of blindness brought on by apathy and lack of knowledge.

      • Stephen

        7 September 2011 at 20:12

        I have heard it all now mate. Barca are not boring they score lots and they have Messi who I would pay to watch him alone.

    • Grognard

      8 September 2011 at 18:49

      It’s not about what they do to us mate, it’s what they do to the game. And as much as I love United I love the game more and respect it and want it and the leagues in Europe to operate in a fair and healthy manner instead of this top heavy pyramid system that UEFA and FIFA are allowing to exist.

  17. RedDevilEddy

    6 September 2011 at 20:30

    Well taken goal Ashley, suck on that you “I’d rather have Sanchez”-bitches. :mrgreen:

    • despicable

      6 September 2011 at 22:04

      ya it was nice.. he could have had another is second half!!

  18. Moscow is my heaven

    6 September 2011 at 20:37

    I know me and Grog sound obsessed with Barca but it is difficult to hold back the sheer contempt and hatred one can feel towards a certain entity. I admit that I do have certain doctrines, and one of them is that Barca are the greatest evil in world football and must be eradicated for the sake of the beautiful game.

    I know this is a United blog, and I will try to refrain in the future from spitting venom at that despicable organisation but no guarantees 😈

    • Owen

      6 September 2011 at 21:13

      Lets move to Criticize Bayern Munich now…What you say..? 😆

      • Grognard

        7 September 2011 at 19:12

        Again you come out trying to antagonize me yet when I was gone you were sad and wanted me back. Now I ask you mate, please, stop trying to antagonize me. It’s beneath you.

    • Stephen

      7 September 2011 at 11:39

      Go into Barca rehab mate, day at a a time 😆 😆 😆

      I can’t stand Barca, but I hate Liverpool, Citeh and Chelsea a lot more. I also hate Real not only because they are manager by the scumbag, but they tapped Ronaldo for seasons and nicked Beckham off us for peanuts.

      • Grognard

        7 September 2011 at 19:18

        I hate Liverpool, City, Arsenal and Chelsea as rivals and nothing more. I am not from Manchester so the hatred for those clubs that comes from being born and raised in United territory is only mildly there. I am a fan of United but I am also a fan of the world game and football overall. I do not live my live through a tunnel vision perspective and when I see things that are bad for the game, not just United, I get concerned and upset. The Spanish giants are ruining the game as their capitalistic bullying and unfair tactics are destroying the fabric of the game and creating such great disparity that it should concern all of you, yet it doesn’t. Well Fergie will not be here forever and one day you will all wake up to my words and realize that Barca, Madrid, FIFA and UEFA have taken a bit out of you and the game as we live in mediocrity post Fergie. Nothing I hate more than blind ignorance and a refusal to see things as they are and with an educated mind, not just the blind passion of team supporter. I guess it’s true for many out there that ignorance is bliss.

        • Stephen

          7 September 2011 at 20:06

          Arsenal and Chelsea are in London mate, Manchester is 400 miles north. My hatred for those sides is down due to the rivalries between the clubs over the seasons and not due to provincial blindness. I am not tunneled with my vision, it is you who is via the blindness of your Barca bitterness. You love Mourinho and he and Real “bully” their way through football constantly.
          In words said previous, fuck Barca, Real and many others, but lets not use bitterness and clouded judgement to force ones opionion against anothers for one persons agenda.
          So no I am not ignorant but I also do not have an agenda.

      • Grognard

        8 September 2011 at 18:51

        Hate real all you want, I do to. But I cannot help but like Mourinho, Ronaldo and Ozil. Still, I agree hating them is a very legit emotion. As for getting help for my Barca hatred, NOPE, not gonna do it. It forges and anger and energy in me. I hate them and that drives me.

  19. RedDevilEddy

    6 September 2011 at 21:03

    “If it is not worth fighting for, it is not worth having,” – Ashley Young’s tatto on the left arm

    United player to the bone, my God am I happy we signed him!

    • despicable

      6 September 2011 at 22:05

      I am getting that on my arm soon 🙂

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      7 September 2011 at 03:59

      just tattooed that on my d*ck with space to spare 😉

  20. Don

    7 September 2011 at 02:37

    I really don’t know what Fabio is thinking..a midfield of Lampard, Milner and Barry is wirse than watching paint dry..Milner really looks out of his depth at the International level..technically he just isn’t there..Lampard for me should be excluded from the 3 Lions …he can’t create for others…he has a knack of scoring but as a central mid he offers little in terms of creativity and provifing for others..Gareth Barry…boring…thrown in Clev and Adam Johnson…it is amazing how boring England is to watch….its no suprise they do zilch when it comes to tournaments..outside of Young, Rooney and Adam Johnson there is no creativity in the side..WIlshere can’t be back quickly enough..

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      7 September 2011 at 03:59

      where was Cleverly?

    • Stephen

      7 September 2011 at 11:40

      Agreed Milner, Barry and Lampard = No creativity.

  21. [OPTI]Madschester United

    7 September 2011 at 16:34

    Is it Saturday yet? 😐

    • Traverse

      7 September 2011 at 20:09

      And even then we have to wait til everyone else has finished playing. And even then it’s on ESPN meaning I probably have to hear Steve Mcamanaman not get punched in the throat repeatedly.

      • [OPTI]Madschester United

        8 September 2011 at 00:07

        everyone else’s game = appetizer/side dishes
        our game = main entree
        ESPN = I can stream legally and with good quality!!!
        ———–
        can’t wait to gorge on EPL!

      • Don

        8 September 2011 at 18:03

        I actually like Macca’s commentary..he’s witty and he’s grudgingly forced to admit United are quality in relation to the likes of Liverpool…oh how I wish ESPN could have all the Premier League rights…FOX just doesn’t cut it in the states with their poor coverage… there’s an obvious difference between the quality in production…

  22. Don

    8 September 2011 at 18:04

    Looks like only a matter of time before Pogba gets a first team run out:

    http://www.manutd.com/en/News-And-Features/Football-News/2011/Sep/paul-pogba-aiming-for-united-first-team.aspx

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