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Two opposites clash as United travel to on song Canaries + CONFIRMED LINEUP

Norwich City have re-established themselves as a respected Premier League side, after returning from their recent hiatus on the wave of two successive promotions. Indeed, last season they finished 12th, much to the surprise of many. Last season’s fixture saw United grab a 2-1 win, with Giggs scoring in the 90th minute on his 900th appearance. Despite the Canaries recent form, United fans will be expecting a 6th away win in a row, something the Red Devils have not achieved since February 2002.


Norwich, having made their successful return to the Premier League last season under the stewardship of Paul Lambert, since lost their manager to Aston Villa in the off season. As a result, Norwich began the current season sluggishly under their new boss, Chris Hughton.

However, they have gone unbeaten in the last 5 games, including wins at home against Arsenal, Stoke and Tottenham. With the partnership of Sebastian Bassong and Michael Turner flourishing, the Canaries only let in 2 goals in this period. Whilst Hughton’s side are not free scoring by any stretch of the imagination, they have performed well in front of their home fans, winning 2, drawing 2 and losing 1, and it was at Carrow Road that Norwich notched their last victory against United; a 2-0 win, with Dean Ashton scoring for the winners. But, other than this glorious night for the Norwich faithful, points have been hard to come by for them against the 19 times Premier League champions. Out of the last 14 games, this was their only victory, with one single draw their only other consolation.

Manchester United will certainly be looking to continue this proud record, but they may have to do so without one of their star strikers, as Wayne Rooney was forced off against Aston Villa with an ankle injury. But, with Javier Hernandez in fine form, scoring in each of his last 5 appearances for the club, this should be no issue for Sir Alex’s men, as the Mexican should slot in comfortably alongside the talismanic Robin van Persie. Evans is also doubtful, meaning Smalling could make his second league appearance of the season, after a tentative return from injury last Saturday.

Match Up

For Norwich, the key for them could be the performance of burly striker Grant Holt, as they will look to him to provide the outlook for them up front, with United likely to monopolise possession. Smalling could be in for a tough evening as the physical striker will look to take advantage of a player who has only just returned from long term injury. For the 2012/13 version of Norwich City, this game could be very paradoxical.

This season, they have been limited in scoring, with only 8 goals in 10 games, but they have been extremely solid at the rear end; their tally of 4 clean sheets is bettered only by West Ham and Stoke. Manchester United this season are the polar opposite. In their seventeen games, United have conceded a worrying 26 goals whilst scoring a whopping 44. This exciting play has been entwined with United’s typical resilience, something that was perhaps lacking last season. Already so far, they have accrued 5 times as many points from losing positions as the entire of last season.

A big part of Norwich’s quest for a win, without submitting to a late United charge, will be the performance of the midfield, as well as Holt up front. Alexander Tettey will have to be at his athletic best to close down Michael Carrick and, I predict, Anderson in midfield, as Carrick makes his 400th league appearance. Down the flanks, Anthony Pilkington and Elliot Bennett will be entrusted with keeping United’s adventurous fullbacks under wraps, as they tend to be the players charged with marauding down the wings to support lone striker Grant Holt. Indeed, the only player to average a position over the half way line, apart from Holt, was Pilkington.


Despite Norwich’s superb home form, I tip United to win. The home side will struggle to get a look of goal, whilst the opposite will be true of the Red Devils. However, I do think that Holt will take advantage of Smalling and will score for the Canaries, but two away goals will seal it for Manchester United. 1-2 final score.

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Confirmed Team:

Lindegaard, Rafael, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evra, Carrick, Giggs, Valencia, van Persie, Young, Hernandez




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  3. Ismail N

    17 November 2012 at 00:48

    Although both teams are in form, in term of class, Norwich is nowhere near United. So, 3 points for the Red Devils.

  4. ash is the man

    17 November 2012 at 11:13

    it would be easy to suggest that this is an easy game with 3 points in the bag however our last two games against norwich have been tricky. Hopefully today we hockey them with 2 goals each from chico and persie

  5. Ian

    17 November 2012 at 11:48

    Does any of our faithful readers want the chance to write today’s match report? Daniele’s away smoking dope in Amsterdam or something so can’t get it done…..opportunity knocks boys!

    Let me know, I’d love it if Opti, Moscow or CraigMc stepped forward!

    • Opti

      17 November 2012 at 15:03

      @Ian: I am reviewing a paper right now and haven’t followed Footy in last 5 days, so a bit out of loop.. who is Norwich 😆 😆

    • Moscow

      17 November 2012 at 15:51

      @Ian: What is football?

      • Onkar

        17 November 2012 at 16:30

        @Moscow: 😆 😆 😆 😆

  6. RMJ

    17 November 2012 at 16:58

    easy game my foot…giggs is starting……let the moaning begin………

  7. ash is the man

    17 November 2012 at 17:05

    line up?

  8. Owen

    17 November 2012 at 17:07

    Probably weakest possible line-up.

    • AndyCR7

      18 November 2012 at 05:45

      @Owen: Are you questioning the legend? Do you know more than ferguson? 😉

      • The_Philosopher

        19 November 2012 at 10:03

        @AndyCR7: Ferguson go it wrong. Straight up.

        No question about that. Even his majesty the legendary Alex Ferguson makes mistakes.

        You can’t play Giggs in midfield.

        Ferguson would have done better to start Nick Powell.

        And I’m not even gonna say anything about him refusing to start with Anderson who has been hot all the way since pre-season!??!?

  9. Opti

    17 November 2012 at 17:15

    Comments on Lineup:
    1) Lindegaard is OK to start (but why is De Gea not even on bench?)
    2) Defense of Rafael-Rio-Smalling-Evra is good enough (w/ Evans+Vidic injured)
    3) Midfield of Vally-Carrick-Giggs-Young is laughable based on past performance. Young has sucked 2x in a row (Nani must be leaving for sure), Giggs has sucked all season bar a good carling cup game. Carrick will be busy.
    4) RvP and Chicharito up front makes sense with Rooney injured. Good enough
    5) Bench is a joke: 4 CMs (Clevz, Ando, Scholes, Fletcher), 1 “defender” (Jones back from injury), and Welbeck. Where is Nani?

    Also, 4 CMs on bench says all we need to know about Giggs and Young in midfield. 🙄

    Giggs to come out at half-time for Ando.

    • Opti

      17 November 2012 at 17:16

      @Opti: Anyone wonder why Pogba left now?

    • Stephen

      17 November 2012 at 17:17

      @Opti: Nani is injured

      • Opti

        17 November 2012 at 17:18

        @Stephen: well, that say all about Fergie’s faith in young wingers and midfielders…

    • The_Philosopher

      19 November 2012 at 12:07

      @Opti: Carrick Anderson is another good midfield combination.

      Why is Fergie not trying that one?

  10. Racs

    17 November 2012 at 17:16

    Could someone please provide me with a valid explanation as to why Giggs is starting? What the hell is going through SAF’s mind??????

    We could be in for a long evening lads

    • Opti

      17 November 2012 at 17:17

      @Racs: Experience trumps performance, in his mind #onlySolution

      • Racs

        17 November 2012 at 17:22


        Well lets just hope this doesn’t backfire especially after City’s performance and also Chelsea losing!

        We need to keep the momentum going and ensure we get back on top come the end of the game

    • The_Philosopher

      19 November 2012 at 10:10

      @Racs: You can’t play Giggs in midfield. Ever!

      But tell that to Sir Alex Ferguson. Ferguson got this one wrong.

      Giggs is only good for playing on the left wing or behind the striker.

      Not for dictating the pace of the game in midfield! The guy is 40 years old!

      (39 just now yes whatever same thing)

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  12. Racs

    17 November 2012 at 19:25

    Let the criticism commence. Where do we start? To be honest, I am not even going to bother reviewing todays game etc.

    There are aspects which we really really need to address. Its worrying

  13. fahime shuhaime

    17 November 2012 at 19:31

    This season should be the final season for Giggsy & Scholesy. They should have retired this season. If not, SAF will reluctant to invest and get replacement for them. Why Giggs is still in starting line-up? and why SAF keep on relying on both of them? 🙁

  14. Opti

    17 November 2012 at 19:35

    Poor performance, poor tactics, poor substitutions, poor game. We didn’t deserve to win this game and barely deserved a draw.

    Where do we start… nah. Not worth starting. Let me just say that Fergie lost this one with his insipid substitution and bench selection (4.5 CMs, 1 striker, 0 other attacking players)!!

    At 30 minutes it was obvious that only a moment of brilliance from our front two would gives us a chance to win game. At 65 minutes, we were a goal behind and ineffective as h***. What does Fergie do? He takes off our two clutch players (Valencia and Chicharito) and puts on a 38 year old midfielder and Welbeck, who hasn’t scored for United in ages, in their place. Then he moves a 38-year old Giggs out wide. Congratu-f***ing-lations!?!?!

    We didn’t create more than 2 decent chances ALL game and he takes off Valencia (who was poor, but can perform) and Chicharito who is our form player (who was poor but CAN score anytime) for these two geezers. Who are we kidding!?!?!?!?! The last chance of the game we had Scholes as our poacher.

    Perhaps we cannot get out of 2nd gear because we don’t have a 3rd or 4th gear. 👿

    • Opti

      17 November 2012 at 19:37

      @Opti: For substitutions, I would have done: Cleverley or Anderson for Giggs and Welbeck for awful Young. I thought that was obvious. Don’t remove clutch players when down 1-0 away from home… 20 years of watching United has taught me that much.

    • Dr S

      17 November 2012 at 20:06

      Maybe the boss is just getting old. Perhaps he simply cannot see these things in the manner he himself used to at an earlier age.

      One of the signs of creeping old age is the desire to surround yourself with the familiar, to criticize and look down on the new: ditto Giggs and Scholes play until they drop; Pogba and Clevz and Anderson can’t get a look in.

      Perhaps Drog was right: as a coach, Fergie the legend has turned into a cowardly lion.

  15. colver

    17 November 2012 at 19:36

    Well we’ve seen this many times before. If opposition teams deny us space we suffer because technically (with the exception of Van Persie, Scholes and Nani) we are not that good as a team. In particular it was interesting to see how by nullifying our wingers the service to our strikers was totally cut off. You wonder why more teams haven’t figured this out already.

    • Opti

      17 November 2012 at 19:38

      @colver: This is Chris Houghton you’re talking about, not some prodigal Manager or standard Genius…

  16. Moscow

    17 November 2012 at 19:54

    So Giggs started in a midfield duo and we lost. How could this possibly happen, it’s worked wonders before! It was interesting to see that Norwich went with the same tactics that Villa used so well last week. They doubled up on our flanks and left our central midfield completely unmarked. Our entire service was cut off, and RVP kept dropping deep to get the ball and try and create while Hernandez lost the ball every time he received it. Result = zero attacking threat.

    Valencia is physically stronger than Young, but they are both very one dimensional, and this is exposed when the onus is on them to create space for themselves rather than running into free space. They were useless today, as they were against Villa. The one player who can conjure something out of nothing is in Fergie’s doghouse, never to return.

    If Anderson/Cleverley had started, then maybe they would have run about a little more, but let’s be honest they aren’t anything special. There really isn’t much more to say about the midfield other than the fact that it is not good enough and no amount of sugar coating with super strikers is going to change that fact.

    Fergie has got to go. Yeah this will probably be overwhelmed with an avalanche of dislikes but much like Giggs, he seems completely out of his depth and it’s looking increasingly clear that we cannot tolerate this madness anymore.

    • ForeverRed

      18 November 2012 at 02:12

      @Moscow: Does it not make others a little uncomfortable that a reigning manager is getting stands named after him and statues commissioned? There was a time that such tributes would take years after a changing of the guard, whereas now it’s happening while still incumbent. I have to say that personally, despite all Fergie’s remarkable accomplishments, this does not have a good feel about it and hints at a broader sentimentality and diminished objectivity pervading the club… team selections included.

      • Moscow

        18 November 2012 at 17:10

        @ForeverRed: I always feared Fergie’s twilight years. It becomes more about him than where the team’s long term future is headed. The seasons keep going and football never forgives complacency.

    • Redrich

      18 November 2012 at 03:20

      @Moscow: Well you’re getting lots of applause mate, so maybe the popular opinion is that Ferguson is the problem!
      However the quest for the Championship is, as they say a “marathon not a sprint”. And it’s understandable that you want someones head for this loss, but if you have a cat, I suggest you go kick it, then pour yourself a stiff drink, go to bed and wake up again when your sanity has returned. You will feel better in the morning, promise. 😉

      Mind you, this was a worrying loss. Our lack of penetration in the Norwich defense made us look like an impotent teenager making a move on his best friends sister. Rejected time and time again, we just couldn’t ask the right questions, and while we squeezed her tits for a while, we just couldn’t get her to go the whole way.
      We flirted with an ugly girl and when she said no, we couldn’t raise our game to perform the way we had to.

      I wouldn’t lose that much sleep over it, it happens to the best of us. 😀

    • The_Philosopher

      19 November 2012 at 10:58

      I don’t know why we still have Giggs in the team. He needs to call it a day now.

      Scholes still has some value so I would like to see him stay perhaps for one more season after this one. But Giggs has to go.

      And I agree that Valencia is one dimensional but he is very useful to have in your squad over a season. The problem with Valencia’s consistency on the right wing is that it cost Nani his place because he blows hot and cold.

      Nani seems happiest on the right wing to me. Although his trickery can also be useful on the left.

      Young shouldn’t be playing ahead of Nani. Nani should be given regular game time to help him maintain his form.

      But Ferguson has used both Valencia (Giving him the no. 7 jersey) and Young to try force Nani to hustle for his position in the team. I think the reason for the fallout that has perceivably occured between Nani and Ferguson is that Nani has not responded to the competition well and has interpreted his bench time over the past season and this season as a slight rather than a challenge.

      Ferguson has lost his patience with Nani’s entitlement complex and feels that Nani isn’t responding appropriately to the challenge or to Ferguson’s judgement. And so thats why he has put him in the dog box. Nani will have to either tow the line and play his way out of the dog box or leave.

      Yeah its the same old story with our midfield. Anderson and Cleverly should have started perhaps.

      We should offload Giggs, Fletcher, Anderson (if we’re not gonna play him), Bebe, Macheda and buy one quality midfielder and one quality left winger (Maybe ditch Young as well and get another winger). Finished.

      Fergie is losing it a bit. A commentator said it last season when we lost the second Manchester Derby, “Ferguson always turns to Giggs and Scholes like an old man reaches for his comforter.”

      Giggs and Scholes are gonna answer all of his problems. When Ferguson runs out of ideas he turns to Giggs and Scholes. When he doesn’t know how to beat the big bad Barca’s and City’s of this world, Giggs and Scholes will rescue him. He is getting a little old and senile.

      I must admit I am tired of his poor team selections as well.

      I wouldn’t mind seeing him go just so that we can have a presentable team. But it would be nice for him to finish with a bang. Another treble perhaps.

  17. slowshow

    17 November 2012 at 20:22

    Valencia and Young should not be playing for United. Both players are just too predictable and useless in attacking positions. An inconsistent Nani is far better than these two posers.

    • ForeverRed

      18 November 2012 at 02:51

      @slowshow: In all honesty, both are limited, one footed players. Both nice guys and tryers, especially Valencia, but as you say slowshow, it is entirely predictable what they will do when they get the ball and thus relatively easy to counter. Moreover, Valencia seems to have lost all confidence to take a man on (his biggest asset) and has resorted to cutting back inside and laying it back, or waiting until the entire defence is in position before swinging in a hopeful cross. As for Young, he is just not a Utd player, much less a 17M one. How much more wisely we could have spent that money, not to mention Bebe, Anderson, Tosic and others who have failed to make a mark (and those still with us likely far from doing so as long as Scholes, Giggs et al continue to get the call).

      Today we got what has been coming for a while and it was only Norwich who frankly lacked any sort of pace, which is our standard vulnerability. We have too many safety-first players in key positions (Carrick, Valencia, Young etc). Just wait until we meet a half decent European side – actually just look what happened last year – I don’t expect much different this year given the side is essentially the same, RvP aside. I really want Fergie to go out on a high (ECL), but at the same time you feel he is just oblivious to the obvious deficiencies in the team he has built and apparent sentimentality towards certain players. In that sense, it’s hard to be sympathetic.

    • Ian

      18 November 2012 at 16:16

      ….and Rooney can’t finish, van Persie’s movement is poor, Vidic can’t tackle and Scholes can’t pass.

      Great post!

  18. Redrich

    18 November 2012 at 05:07

    3 loses so far – and of course, it could have been many more. The PL is a good benchmark for this team and a training ground for the possibilities of what we might achieve this season. What we might achieve will depend solely on the shoulders of the make-shift nature of this team.
    We all know that Giggs and Scholes are ready for the knacker’s yard and that with Carrick we should have limited expectations, and that Rio and Vidic are an ambulance waiting to happen and that Rooney and RVP are our golden fleece. We all know this to be true.
    What we don’t know is how Cleverley, Anderson, Smalling, Jones, Welbeck, Hernandez, Evans, Buttner, De Gea, Lindegard will fare when we’re all said and done in May.

    Clearly, we are betting on a few, or perhaps a lot of them to shine or at least stand out from the crowd. Not my idea of the makings of a solid season, but certainly the approach that our management team has taken.
    There has always been the argument about youth -v- experience, and that if we are to make our up-and-comers anything more than that we should give them an extended stay at the highest level. Well, it appears that this is our game-plan for this season and we will be damned or blessed as a result of it.
    We will never win it all, all the time and so perhaps this is the time period when we don’t win anything, any time.
    If we can’t go out and buy ourselves a better team, then we’ll have to pursue the less attractive option of reviving the team with a mixture of over-experience and under-achievement.

  19. Stephen

    18 November 2012 at 11:28

    Fergie really needs to look beyond Giggs and Scholes. Starting a nearly 40 year old winger in the centre of midfield is baffling at worst incompetence.
    Anderson and Cleverley must be rotated with Carrick, it is so obvious that it us startling. The substitutions as well were mindless, you need a goal so you take off your goalscorer and best provider.
    Or list of late goal have wallpapered over the blatant problems of the midfield, I am not joining in the Fergie must go brigade, but he has questions to answer in doubt.

    • ash is the man

      18 November 2012 at 11:54

      @Stephen: as soon as i saw the line up with giggs in it i shook my head for bearly 5mins in disgust, ando has been impressive lately and deserved his chance, young is hit and miss but mostly miss, i said it to you guys before the game it would not be easy

      • Stephen

        18 November 2012 at 16:47

        @ash is the man: It was a poor decision, Giggsy should never start games now, we need to move on.
        Football is to some degree about loyalty, loyalty to players, managers and fans. Saying Fergie should be sacked is typical of this site and modern blame culture. But he is too loyal to Giggs and Scholes to a lesser level, he was far too loyal to G Red.
        He deserves our loyalty for his accomplishments in the past and where where we are now, considering budgets. I hear many supporters on here moaning about “tactics” well Wenger is meant to be the great thinker of football and wins nothing. Fergie is a great man manager and you don’t win anything with a fantastic knowledge of the game.
        But the re has to be a thought to the future, he cannot go on forever, the clu is bigger than the manager. Mourinho is always mentioned and is simply not a fit, but if Guardiola was available at the end of the season and he said ti the board, “I want United, I have been offered Milan and Chelsea” what do we do?
        Should we now look to the future, or wait until fergie wants to go? Tough one, I think the club is always bigger than any individual, no matter how great.

        • Moscow

          18 November 2012 at 17:03

          @Stephen: If we don’t get Mourinho, then he will simply go to Chelsea or City where he will have an unlimited budget. Is that what you want?

        • Opti

          18 November 2012 at 18:45

          @Stephen: My dream is Guardiola + Ole Gunnar Solkjaer OR

          Fergie + OGS for 1-2 years then OGS takes over. I don’t know if we can trust OGS’s managerial skills at top level yet. Even Fergie took Aberdeen far in Europe, but Ole has not exactly brought Molde to European mediocrity yet (i.e. doing poorly in Europa League… but still two games to go). Let’s see how Ole fares in Europa League this season and Champions League next season. If he can bring Molde to Group stages and 3rd place or better, that would be a MAJOR accomplishment…

        • The_Philosopher

          19 November 2012 at 11:42

          @Stephen: I would love to see David Moyes take over with Ole Gunnar Solkjaer as his no.2 and Gary Neville as part of the technical team.

          Mick Phelan can go but Rene should stay.

          Mourinho would do major damage at City so it might be good to take him on instead of Moyes.

          But Mourinho needs fat budgets to get anything done.

          Moyes might be able to get us trophies on a limited budget.

          I’m not convinced about Guardiola. I just get the sense that anyone could have been Barca coach and won things while working with the squad Quardiola had there.

          Was Barca amazing because of him? or because of Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Pique etc

  20. Stephen

    18 November 2012 at 17:48

    I am not bothered where he goes, as long as it is not United.

  21. Stephen

    18 November 2012 at 20:21

    Opti, I totally agree.

  22. RedThru

    18 November 2012 at 21:54

    I’m just TOO pissed off. Too much money has been pissed away on downright average players that its just not true. Two super average defenders for 30M, Young and Valencia for the best part of 40M, Van Persie for 24M at age 30 (a 70 million pound outlay for four years. He’ll likely only play one then sit injured and laugh). And meantime, where is the young talent that we used to be famous for? Cleverly? Don’t make me laugh. Wellbeck? Say no more. Time for Ferguson to go before he and the Glazers take us lower than whale shit. Red Rant over.

    • Stephen

      19 November 2012 at 07:43

      @RedThru: Are you being serious? RvP was a tremendous signing and Vally was our player of the year last season, knee jerk much?

  23. colver

    18 November 2012 at 23:44

    Young is not up to starting for Manchester United but he was signed to be a squad rotation player. Of course the price was too much but you do need a certain number of English players in your squad and sadly we haven’t produced a quality home grown winger since Beckham, Giggs and Sharpe. The real problem is that he is getting more games than he should be getting because Nani is out of favour.

    And of course the problem is that by putting Nani in the dog house we’ll have to sell him on the cheap and then come up with another £10-20 million to sign a replacement, again reducing the funds available for buying a midfielder.

    I totally agree about Giggs and Scholes. Scholes and Giggs should be coming off the bench not starting games. If Ferguson doesn’t think Cleverley and Anderson are good enough to start every game he should sell them and buy someone he would feel comfortable playing.

    As Ferguson seems to be far too sentimental I’d actually rather Scholes and Giggs retire, even if in the short term it would reduce the quality of our squad, just so Ferguson was forced to face our central midfield inadequacies, rather than thinking to himself “Well I’ve got Scholes and Giggs and they occasionally turn back time and put in a world class performance so I can save a few bob to indulge in my striker/winger fetish”

  24. Stephen

    19 November 2012 at 10:16

    Colver, Nani is injured currently. If we had Rooney, Kagawa, Vidic and Nani we would look a different side, so injuries are not helping.
    Saying that all isn’t ideal in the Garden of Eden, with our combacks masking obvious flaws.
    Playing Giggs from the start is madness now, we need to move on from this nd give Cleverley, Anderson games. We have a Champions League game on Tuesday, whay not play Giggs in a dead rubber rather than a “should win” game.
    Fergie trusts his “boys” but he needs to move on.

    • The_Philosopher

      19 November 2012 at 11:09

      @Stephen: What are we doing on the training pitch that we’re always suffering an inordinate amount of injuries?!?!?!

      I think United has more injuries than anyone else in the league.

  25. Stephen

    19 November 2012 at 12:05

    Mourinho is a great manager, how he did not get the Spanish manager of the year is a joke. I am simply not a fan of his behaviour, he has an inability to control himself. For me he would drag the good name of the club through the mud, which he has done with all the clubs he has been at. You cannot question his record which is phenomenal, but he is simply not my kind of guy.
    Moyes has never won anything, which for me rules him out. He works well under tight budgets which would go down well the Glazers, but he need someone who has a proven track record.

    • The_Philosopher

      19 November 2012 at 14:10

      @Stephen: I’m told David Moyes believs in hard work to get ahead.

      If thats true then I totally back him to succeed Ferguson. Because thats what Ferguson believes as well.

      Ole and Gary Neville have played under Ferguson as well and should have enough of his work ethic ingrained in them to move the team along.

      Moyes, Solskjaer, Neville and maybe even Giggs in the coaching staff. In these men would I trust.

  26. Stephen

    19 November 2012 at 14:32

    What we want to get away from is the “jobs for the boys” culture of the club. Phelan gets a lot of stick, but we honestly don’t know what he contributes. Mulensteen again seems to get away with criticism, but again we don’t know what he actually does.
    Fergie seems to be the one driving the team, Phelan just slouches cross armed on the bench and Rene just sits chatting to Fergie. If we are going to look to the future, Pep is the obvious candidate with Ole ideally as his number 2, as Opti suggested. For me Moyes is a good manager, but we need more and someone who has managed and had success at the highest level like the Spaniard is ideal. My concern with him is the pressure, he left Barca due the stress of managing them, succeeding Fergie is not exactly going to be a walk in the park.
    I can feel Moscow now saying what I have described is Mourinho, butt as I have said his behaviour totally repulses me and he won’t have the budget he likes. I think he will leave Real in the Summer and could pop up in Paris.

    • Moscow

      19 November 2012 at 16:29

      @Stephen: If you simply don’t like Mourinho, then there is nothing I can say to change your mind.

      The best alternatives for us would then be Klopp or Moyes (bring Fellaini with you!) who fit the bill. OGS is still unproven and Guardiola would need a massive transfer budget to overhaul our side to match his philosophy.

      On the other hand, Mourinho trumped Guardiola when he had Messi, Xavi and Iniesta. If he takes over Chelsea/City, he would be unstoppable with unlimited funds at his disposal. I’m sure none of us would be less pleased than you having to witness him dominate our league.

      • The_Philosopher

        20 November 2012 at 10:03

        @Moscow: OGS is unproven as a manager at the top levels yes.

        But he has now won back to back titles at Molde surely that says something.

        It doesn’t mean he can take over at United. But it does mean that he can make a valuable contribution in a support staff role.

  27. Stephen

    19 November 2012 at 16:40

    Moscow, I don’t like him mate and I am incredibly closed minded when it comes this issue, like my wife when she is out shopping. Klopp is a great shout, but he is German, I think Fergie would have a heart attack being succeeded by one!

    I see your point when it comes the Guardiola, he would have to change the entire ethos of the club, which would not be cheap. I am not sold on Moyes, for me we need a manager who has Champions League experience and has a won trophies.

    More than likely Mourinho if he leaves Real will end up in France, he wants to win all the major Countries domestic honours and PSG would give him the money. I cannot see him back at Chelsea but City are a possibility.

  28. colver

    19 November 2012 at 22:42

    Mourinho would be a great stop gap and is EXACTLY what we need because his genius is taking a team which is already quite good adding a few players and a bit of tactical discipline and winning trophies. He’s done it with Chelsea, Inter, Real Madrid and could definitely win us a title or two. OK he comes with some controversy but compared to his antics abroad (and La Liga and Serie A can make anyone crazy) he wasn’t that badly behaved at Chelsea.

    Because the reality is that there isn’t a good British manager who can replace Ferguson. And after seeing Vilas Boas screw up at Chelsea and Tottenham there is a risk in hiring foreign coaches. Mourinho at least knows the Premier League and brings extra experience from managing Real and Inter.

    Personally I’d much rather continue winning trophies under Mourinho than risk hiring someone else and enduring a dry spell.

    Also I feel that while Ferguson still wants to win he is becoming a bit sentimental and developing a huge blind spot in his old age when it comes to our midfield and increasingly our defensive problems (all he does is keep banging on about scoring goals).

    There is no way Mourinho would tolerate conceding two goals a game and you can bet his first order of business would be to sign a central midfielder.

  29. Redrich

    20 November 2012 at 06:37

    There is no other manager coming to our club in the immediate future! We have a very fine manager who has the skill and experience to take us forward and who has the pedigree of no other manager who has ever come before him.
    Get over the silly little loss to the .. eh, the canaries – not a benchmark for this team and not a team that dominated us in any shape or form. This was a game when United could just not find the way to create the chances for our strikers. Shit happens, and in that game, we couldn’t get it to work for us.

    Why in hell are we talking about Ferguson-replacement when we lose a close game to Norwich? If we lose to City, or Chelsea or Barca, then that might provoke some conversation, but not when we lose a close game to Norwich!!
    Nobody likes to lose, but there has to some perspective in the level of ranting, and this time it seems to be way over the top to me.
    Ferguson played a team that should have beat Norwich, and in selecting it he felt that he was saving some of his squad for a busy holiday schedule ahead. Didn’t work out against Norwich, but who knows what the next 6-8 weeks might bring?

    Not that we could ever give the man the benefit of the doubt, but surely a modicum of trust.

    • The_Philosopher

      20 November 2012 at 10:26

      @Redrich: I don’t think this ranting is over the top.

      Ferguson has been making these kind of sloppy selections for a long time now.

      Our midfield has been shambolic for a long time as well and he hasn’t addressed the issue.

      If he was saving Anderson and Cleverly for the champion’s league then why is he bringing Fletcher, Carrick, Larnell Cole, Davide Petrucci, Nick Powell, Ryan Tunnicliff to the game against Galatasaray?

      Anderson was not being rested, Giggs was given a game ahead of him. What is up with that!

      Ferguson got it wrong bottom line.

      The next couple weeks will be hectic for sure but that doesn’t excuse the poor selection and substitutions against Norwich.

  30. Stephen

    20 November 2012 at 11:36

    So you are sayig Fergie should be sacked because he played Giggs against Norwich, not forgetting we have qualified already for the next round of the Champions League and we are second?

    • The_Philosopher

      20 November 2012 at 13:26

      @Stephen: No I’m not saying we should sack Ferguson for the Norwich game. That would be ridiculous.

      I’m just saying please forgive us if we’re gonna vent our long standing frustrations over an issue that has been festering for a very long time.

      Forgive us for wishing we didn’t have to sit through awful games like that or complain about the same issue over and over again.

      Ferguson is a legend yes. And we still need him I believe. But he is not sacred or beyond reproach just because he’s won 37 trophies.

      I am by no means saying lets get rid of Sir Alex. I believe that when he steps down the party could quite possible be over. We could dip in our winning mentality and be overtaken by City and Chelsea. Sir Alex Ferguson is an absolute gem. If he had another strong 5 years left in him I know we would destroy City and put them back in their place just like we did with Arsenal and Chelsea before regardless of how much money they spend. (We beat Arsenal so bad they stopped playing the title chasing game. They decided that maybe money and a champions league spot is good enough. Chelsea undid themselves with by dumbing Mourinho)

      I just wish we could have the Scot without his selection hang ups. Especially when one feels that even an amateur can see the problems with his selections or tactics. And the midfield denialism is a complete mystery. Ferguson isn’t always right just because he’s been so successful.

  31. Stephen

    20 November 2012 at 12:34

    I think if Fergie were to be sacked we would be the laughing stock of football. The simple fact we lost the League on goal difference, we are currently lying in second in the table and we have comfortably qualified for the next stage of the Champions League. Our fans have and are somewhat spoilt, but the position we are in is a fortunate one, due to the amount of times we have come back from a deficit and some decisions have gone our way.
    What I do believe is that Fergie needs to give the board a leaving date and this has to be planned as an exit strategy. Due to the power of the man and the fact he has been at the club so long, this needs to be managed properly.
    There are two schools of thought, does he mentor a new arrival for a year, not for me as the new incumbent needs to be his own man. Fergie cannot wake up at the end of this season with his chubby fingers around the handles of another Premier League or Champions League, (I wish) and decide enough is enough. The important thing for us is finding the right man and this to coincide with their time frames as well. This needs to be planned meticulously and we cannot be left in the lurch and the club suffers.

    • The_Philosopher

      20 November 2012 at 14:05

      @Stephen: And I’m all for a succession plan too.

      And apparently we have one. So I don’t think we need to worry. Ferguson will just decide when that plan kicks in.

      I would love to see someone come in and work with Ferguson for a whole season before they take over just to see how its done. Yes I hear the argument for a manager being their own person and I don’t expect anyone to try and be Alex Ferguson but I don’t think spending a year being mentored by Ferguson is a bad thing. You could learn a lot from the gaffer and then incorporate those lessons into your own style. You never know Sir Alex might just know a thing or two that you don’t

      It comes down to humilty. I really appreciated Roberto Di Matteo for taking the number two job at Chelsea under AVB. I thought that showed great humility. Its not always about you and your massive ego.

      Thats why I worry sometimes about Mourinho. He has a colosal ego. And thats why he didn’t get the Barca job I’m told. Because of his arrogance and his massive ego. The board of directors felt that they couldn’t give him instructions.

      I don’t know if Mourinho would be willing to stay the course at United. I can see him having two, three maybe four good seasons with us but then would he endure? Would he be here 10 or 12 years down the line?

      Moyes has proven he can be loyal by staying at Everton for 10 long hard financially lean years. He has the tenacity and the fighting spirit. If he is willing to assimilate our club’s winning ethos and if he has the humility to listen to club stalwarts like Solskjaer and Neville and he has the wisdom and perspicacious judgement to incorporate all of that into his leadership then I would say we have the perfect successor to Sir Alex.

      On the other hand it might turn out that he just doesn’t have that x factor to keep the team driven in the face of adversity. Sometimes winning is just in you and can’t be taught. The fact that he hasn’t won anything could definately work against him. I’m putting my faith in his Glaswegian roots.

      My personal dream team would be:

      Manager: David Moyes

      Assitant Manager: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

      Technical Advisor: Gary Neville

      • Moscow

        20 November 2012 at 15:28

        @The_Philosopher: “Thats why I worry sometimes about Mourinho. He has a colosal ego. And thats why he didn’t get the Barca job I’m told. Because of his arrogance and his massive ego. The board of directors felt that they couldn’t give him instructions.”

        Does Fergie listen to instructions? Does Fergie not have a massive ego? Is Fergie humble?

        “I don’t know if Mourinho would be willing to stay the course at United. I can see him having two, three maybe four good seasons with us but then would he endure? Would he be here 10 or 12 years down the line?”

        Where would he leave us for? The only league titles he hasn’t won are in Germany and France.

        • The_Philosopher

          21 November 2012 at 07:59

          @Moscow: Ok yes I concede that Ferguson isn’t the epitome of humilty.

          But he is no where near as belligerent as Mourinho.

          Ferguson has these conservative old school values; telling the younger players that they can’t have super cars during the chevrolet deal. Being civil with the Glaziers and assuring everyone that they are good for the club despite the obvious financial rape that they have perpetrated. Ferguson has always tried to show some class.

          Mourinho on the other hand might have publically denounced the Glaziers (which I personally wouldn’t mind) and that would have led to major turmoil for the club, even leading to his dismissal.

          He has also had some intense moments with the Real hierarchy during the early stages of his Real career and people were speculating that he would leave after one or two seasons with them.

          Mounrinho is a loose cannon. He jabbed a member of Barca’s coaching staff in the eye during one heated El Classico. He just seems to always be leaving carnage and destruction in his wake.

          That said I must admit that he wouldn’t put up with the midfield problems we’ve had.

          If he was willing to make United his final club then I would welcome him.

          He is a fine manager and his ambition would not tolerate the challenge from City, Barca, Munchen, and Real.

          I just worry about him buying a full squad (Glaziers permitting) instead of nuturing youngsters like Fergie has done so well. I would hate to see United become as superficial as City, Chelsea and Real.

  32. Stephen

    20 November 2012 at 13:55

    We are supporters and we have a voice. We should never sit and be silent and just accept everything which goes on with our club, there is another blog which has that philosophy. All managers make mistakes, look at Real they have had some poor results this season, Mancini with his playing 3 at the back and so on. Fergie just makes really obvious ones! The midfield is an area which he has neglected and made errors with, but this has been over talked. We will not spend in the window so the usual “who should be buy” debate is pointless, we will have make do with what we have, which all in all isn’t bad.

  33. Moscow

    20 November 2012 at 15:05

    Fergie is unsackable, and that is the real problem. Fergie is wrapped up in his own little fantasy world, and I’ll tell you what, with the current midfield we are going to win fuck all just like last season. I support Man Utd, not Fergie and if the club suffers because of a problem then I will advocate getting rid of the problem and right now that’s Fergie. He has total control, therefore he is ultimately responsible.

    It is up to him whether he upholds the ‘no-one is bigger than the club’ philosophy and sacrifices his own ego for the good of the club. I used to believe that we lacked the resources but we obviously don’t, Fergie is now the root of the problem.

    We should have lost a lot more games than we did, and we will be annihalated in Europe.

  34. Stephen

    20 November 2012 at 15:27

    Moscow, Mate we lost the league on goal difference, hardly a humiliation. Fergie does have total control which could be a double edged sword. You would rather him control the club rather than the Glazers, or as Chelsea with the Russian Tsar in control. He does believe in his own hype and appears to some level that he blameless, even when he makes obvious errors. The one thing the trophies have kept coming regardless of his questionable decisions, he is the best man manager in the business. This is where we have issues, his legacy will always be the spectre to hover over a new manager. The change over must be operated correctly and he needs to be totally out of the club. We cannot have the Busby scenario when he is still at the club, also we don’t know that we will get annihalated in Europe, who knew Celtic would beat Barca or Chelsea win the Champions, football bloody hell as someone said 🙂

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