Was Michael Owen a successful punt?

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Ferguson has pulled off many tricks and surprises in the past, so much so that Manchester United fans have learnt to expect the unexpected. But when Cristiano Ronaldo left for Madrid in 2009, no-one could have foreseen that Ferguson would try and plug the gap by signing the injury plagued goal scorer, Michael Owen.

After leaving a relegated Newcastle United at the end of the 2008/09 season, he was expected to sign for a mid-table club, with the likes of Stoke and Hull City rumoured to be interested. Yet Old Trafford turned out to be his ultimate, and unlikely, destination.

The fans were split. Some declared that this was merely another example of “Glazernomics”, others argued that signing a proven goal scorer, (a former Balon D’Or winner no less) on a free was an inspired move. The rest couldn’t look beyond Owen’s links to Liverpool. In the end, much as expected, Owen’s United career spluttered along like a vintage Porsche. He showed occasional flashes of his former glory, but often offered little more than an extra presence on the pitch.
Owen’s career in Manchester started quite promisingly, with his first season undoubtedly his best. Of course, it was in his first season that Owen made his mark, and embedded his name in United folklore with THAT goal against City. The movement, calm composure and clinical finish were a throwback to Owen’s pomp, when he scored for fun for both Liverpool and England. Of course, whilst many couldn’t ignore his Scouse links, that goal went some way to burning his Merseyside bridges. Fergie was certainly convinced, after the game saying.

“There is no-one better at taking chances. His positional play, first touch and finish were absolutely superb. World class.”
That goal served as a jump-start of sorts for Owen’s season. Whilst featuring intermittently, Owen contributed to the cause, scoring 9 goals in all competitions with 11 starts and 19 appearances off the bench. Notably, he scored a hattrick in the Campions League to help guide the Red Devils past Wolfsburg in the group stage. Whilst 9 in 30 games doesn’t seem so prolific, if you look at his playing time you see he scored a goal every 112 minutes of playing time. For a 30 year old striker coming of the bench, that isn’t bad. Yet, there could have been a few more moments of glory had he not gotten injured against Aston Villa in the Carling Cup final. The injury ended his season, two and half months too early.

That game against Villa summed up his United career. Having scored the equalising goal, Owen was looking lively and playing well. Alas, lady luck was not on his side as, when running for a loose ball, he pulled up and had to leave the game after 41 minutes. Scans showed a pulled hamstring, and Owen was out for the season.

Owen never sufficiently recovered his career at OT, with injuries continuing to dog him. The next season, Owen played well in the Carling Cup, and FA Cup, scoring 3 goals, but he rarely threatened in the Premier League, scoring only 2 goals in 11 appearances.

The goals weren’t flowing for Owen and he was continually over looked by Ferguson. The writing was on the wall when, this season, he only appeared once in the Premier League, with injury again knocking at his (rather expensive) door. In the Premier Leagu, his only contribution was two measly shots in the draw away at Stoke. Despite boldly claiming that he had “one more decisive goal” in him, sadly, it never materialised. Owen’s final flourish never came and he failed to secure a new contract to keep him at the club.

So, what to make of Owen’s tenure at Old Trafford? Fergie’s gamble didn’t pay off royally, but that doesn’t mean it was an unmitigated disaster. The 32 year old still contributed throughout his days at United, if not though his goals, then through his presence on the training pitch and the effect he will have had on the young strikers coming through. Despite relinquishing his pace to injuries, Owen never lost his scoring touch or his clever movement. There are arguments to say that, if it weren’t for injuries, Owen could have been a success for United. Alas, we will never know thanks to his rotten luck and a penchant for the bench. Nevertheless, Owen will always be remembered fondly by the red half of Manchester. Thanks for the memories.

Ollie (@Oliie678)

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104 Comments

  1. I think it was a punt worth taking. But for injuries, he would have had more playing time and probably made more telling contribution to United’s cause. With just a little more luck, he would have left United with 3 Premier league winner’s medals!!!!

    • Totally agree with that, imo one of the greatest strikers but also one of the most unlucky ones too.

  2. I came for free and i did more than what Anderson has done so far.It is too easy to say that i was a success.I also gave United fans a reason to mock Stevie G by getting a PL medal 😆

    • @Owen: 😆 He was a hardly a punt, a free trabsfer and £25k a week. Good lad and he enjoyed is time at the club, for me he was value 🙂

  3. I think it was not successful (in terms of impact) and neither was it a flop. He did the minimum required of a striker and that is to score goals. Of course his goal will be remembered against sheikh city but otherwise there isn’t much else to talk about

    • @Nelson: I did what was asked of me.I scored hatrick in Germany and was dropped next match.What more can i do? 🙁

      • @Owen: haha.welcome to the brutal world of sir Alex. you shouldn’t have been surprised by that since your strike mate who scored more than you was constantly benched – berbatov

    • @Nelson: ” He did the minimum required of a striker and that is to score goals”
      Is that the minimum then? That is rubish mate, sorry.

      • @Stephen: he did score goals just not important as they should have been bar the city one. he did the minimum, just that it wasn’t the minimum required of a club like united hence my assertion that he was neither a flop nor a success

        • @Nelson: Sorry mate, I don’t get that at all.
          Owen did well with us, he was a good squad player and scored goals, he never got to start as often a he should.

        • @Stephen: we are actually on the same page here. he did well( hence not a flop) as a good squad player but didn’t impact as much as we would have liked(hence not a success. success of a higher level)

  4. 24 Sep 2009
    95′ Michael Owen goal against Man Cit
    Manchester United 4-3 Manchester City
    enough said………….
    😈 8)

  5. Great first article Ollie, hopefully everyone takes a bit of time out to welcome our newest (one of 3 anyway) and youngest writer and make you feel at home.

    😀

    #goingplaces

  6. I want to be neutral today but the thought of that **** Terry lifting the CL makes me sick

  7. Chelsea were deserving winners. We may have superior technical players. But when it comes to grit, teamwork, determination and having central midfielders who know how to play football and defenders who know how to defend they are miles ahead of us. Lampard and Ashley Cole did England proud!

  8. Ashley Cole : (Messi + Ronaldo) of defense.
    Evra : (Messi – Ronaldo) 🙁

  9. As for tottenham it’s Thursday night channel five. but in all honesty, Chelsea have done the double, city the title and poodles the Carling while we end up with nothing. cruel fate me thinks :'(

  10. Cruel fate or perhaps a message that if Ferguson wants to win the league and win the European Cup he needs to strengthen considerably.

  11. I will leave you with this depressing statistics for robben. he has lost a Cl final, world cup final, Bundesliga, dfb pokal and another Cl final in quick succession. what a rotten bit of luck

    goodnight

  12. http://lockerz.com/s/210278861

    Well done david. Out and about enjoying the atmosphere with your little camera eh 👿 guess you’ve got nowt better to do then 🙄
    Bout as close as your ever gonna get to the CL trophy too for the forseeable the way you and your bosses act on.
    Boy do i despise this guy and everything he stands for.

  13. In the first bout of Glazernomics of the season, despite being linked with Kagawa and Hazard we have signed 18 year old midfielder Nick Powell from Crewe Alexandra for £4million.

    Great.

    • @Traverse: Sen the profile. according to Wikipedia he looks like another Scholes(whether he will match his talent is another matter) but is more versatile as he can play on either flank or as a striker. will it be a steal or another piece of glazernomics? only time will tell

    • My mate who’s a Crewe fan and 1st team manager of a decent club in that area reckons Powell’s a good player BUT he “can’t do the simple stuff”. I respect his opinion. He reckons if he concentrates on getting the simple stuff right he’ll be a top player/buy.

    • @Traverse: Didnt look all that in the play off game earlier in the week, but i suppose his stats (regardless of the league hes in) along with his young age, do speak volumes.
      Considering we spent about the same on bebe, i dont have a problem bringing the lad in. So long as he doesnt count as one of the 3 signings we were supposedly after.

    • @Traverse: I’m sure he’ll be a very competent player, but it is indicative of the bargain basement punt nature of our transfer activity of late (Owen, Bebe, Obertan, Diouf, Manucho) and one that came off (Hernandez). Is that really where we should be shopping from?

      Is that going to propel us to competing with Barcelona and Real Madrid? Isn’t that what our goal should be?

      Don’t get me wrong, if we sign this kid and also Hazard and Kagawa we’ll be set in midfield for the foreseeable future, but if Hazard goes to City/Chelsea and Kagawa ends up at Arsenal and we don’t sign anyone else in midfield we wont get as close to City next season as this.

      • @Traverse: Even with glazernomics, sahin and kagawa for combined £20m is too good a deal to miss out on. Ive no problem going for cheap “value” signings, so long as theyre of the required standard expected from this club.
        Kagawa, sahin, baines most certainly are. The lad asamoah at udinese look like he possibly could be too. I have no problem with players like that because, at the end of the day, they would greatly improve us.
        Would still like a big name marquee signing though, if for anything, just to send out a message to city that we are gonna be on their ass again next season.
        Hazard has been mentioned as that player. Great player he is, seems like a bit of a tit, so would rather look elsewhere tbh.
        Sahin, kagawa, clyne (on a free), baines and another big name CM would be what the doctor ordered, but we all know theres absolutely no chance of any of that coming true.
        The glazers and the £250k that exits the club every day for their interest repayments puts paid to that.

  14. @Traverse: Seen the profile. according to Wikipedia he looks like another Scholes(whether he will match his talent is another matter) but is more versatile as he can play on either flank or as a striker. will it be a steal or another piece of glazernomics? only time will tell

  15. Credit to Di Mattio he had the guts to give a young player his debut in a CL final. I remember when we had the opportunity we started with Rafael and Park in the midfield!

    • Yep, and it looks like that decision will cost us one of the best young CMs there is in Pogba.

      • @Ian: I think money and an agent cost us that….. But hey lets have a go at Fergie anyway, becuase he has done fuck all for us.

        • @Stephen: It was fergie though, not his agent, who was waxing lyrical over pogba and saying we didnt need sneijder as we had him though wasnt it.
          His agent seems to come across as quite decent from what ive read. This decision sounds to me like its been totally down to pogba, who is sick of getting no football here which is fair enough.
          If he leaves, then really only fergie can take the blame here. Hes the manager who bigged him up then repeatedly ignored him afterall.

  16. You know the world is unfair when John Terry lifts the CL cup. One of the most sickening sights in football.

  17. Money has won this season with City and Chelsea, harsh cruel World this is I am afraid.
    Ps you have to feel for Grog….. 😆 😆 😆 😆

    • @Stephen: I’m sure there are many sheikhs and warlords in the Middle East who can afford us, so why don’t they just jump in with a £2 billion bid? Why didn’t Abramovich buy us? The Sheikh would have also saved a couple of quid if he chose us. Honestly, Fergie with a tactically sound assistant and unlimited resources would be unstoppable why do none of these billionaires notice this?

      • @Moscow: Coz the glazers want to milk us for all our worth? seems more profitable for them to dip their hands in our accounts for 15years rather than getting a one-off payment but then again what do I know, mathematics/finance isn’t my strong point

        • @Moscow: 10 million fans putting in £200 each and that’d be achievable.
          In theory that sounds a lot, but honestly is it really?
          So many people seem so passionate about getting these leeches out, yet nobody seems to want to make the first move in actually doing so.
          Sitting and waiting about for something to happen is only making matters worse.

      • @Stephen: The spanish government bankrolling madrids title (as has been the case for decades).
        The sheikhs using their oil money to bankroll their first title in 44 years.
        Abromovichs oil money eventually leads to chelski getting their first CL.
        Malaga and PSG waiting in the wings aiming to do the same with all their billions.
        Who ever said money doesnt buy you success 🙄
        This game is officially fucked. Hate what it has now become.

        @Moscow: Supposedly 333 million united fans worldwide (ok probably only about 10% of them are actually proper fans). Why the fuck havent we just set something up, pooled our money together and put in a bid to the buy the club for ourselves.
        Fuck the red knights, they never had the money, and in any case they were made up predominantly of suits at the end of the day (which is what we want to avoid this time round).
        Lets get the proper fans together, put in some money and sort this shit out.
        If say 10 million fans could put in £200 a piece, we’d have enough to mount a serious takeover attempt.
        Maybe im wrong, but i think thats rather doable. I know i for one would jump at such a chance.

        • @tonymontanna4united: I wouldn’t be surprised if Fergie publicly denounced a fan-led takeover bid. This is the same guy who told us to ‘fuck off and support Chelsea’ when the fans questioned the Glazers.

        • @Moscow: Alex ferguson looks out for alex ferguson at the end of the day mate. Those quotes still leave me fuming even now, some 7 years on, but to be brutally honest just dont surprise me.
          The fergie that i knew and loved died in the months before that takeover.
          It was him, lets not forget, who was responsible for the spat over the horse with magnier, which led in part, to the sale of the club to the glazers.
          Apparently his response, after being told a nasty court affair would have a negative effect on the club was “I don’t care, no-one does that to me”.
          Harsh as this sounds, i honestly feel no love for the man any longer. I will always respect and admire his achievements, but on a personal level, no absolutely no way.
          Quite simply a brilliant football manager, but not a very nice person. That seems to be the way a few united fans feel about him it seems.
          Loved and respected for his achievements, but on a personal level, he’ll never be as loved as sir matt was and is to this day.

        • @tonymontanna4united: “Loved and respected for his achievements, but on a personal level, he’ll never be as loved as sir matt was and is to this day”
          What a load of rubbish, Fergie has made this club. The winning mentality has been installed by him. You are like many ungrateful mate, United before him were Spurs a good Cup side but never winners. Jeez the young supporters who can’t rememeber pre Fergie and have been spoilt..

        • @Stephen: No love perhaps because hes now a glazer fan boy, which puts him at about just the most opposite end of the scale to people like us (and yes that includes you stephen, as your not pro glazer are you) can be.
          Theres no inbetween here. Your either with the glazers or your against them. And we all know which camp fergie is well and truely in with, as hes never been afraid to tell us.

          PS- Really is there the need for childish put downs mate. Your better than that, and ive been here long enough and have said enough times id gladly see us go through a slump for a few years (going trophyless) if it meant the end of the glazer regime.
          Unlike other united fans, im not like a druggie who needs his fix (a trophy every season).
          The club means much to me than a nice shiny trophy every year mate.

      • @Moscow: A, London is more glamorous and B, we were far too expensive, he nearly bought Spurs. Also without him we have done Ok, we have just just been fortunate with the manager, not that people are remotely grateful.
        Fergie for all of his faults has been tremendous for this club, look at Chelsea, City and Liverpool as templates of how not to run a club.

    • @Owen: Chelsea won because they all got behind each other. This proves two myths are incorrect, JT is this wonderful leader bullshit and AVB is a footballing genius shite. Chelsea are a club run by its senior players which is disgusting, young players with big egos who soley care for themselves and not for the club. If they cared for Chelsea they would have performed regardless, Di Matteo simply panders around them and Drogba reminds me of some feather bowered diva.

        • @Owen: So what mate, they have to look at themselves and live with their behavior this season, we will be back.

        • @Stephen: We will be back is not going to happen easily this time.It is not like last time when Chelsea were at peak.Then our side was good and it was just a matter of time to start winning.
          Now serious investment is required.Gill does not need to shout only that we can compete with City,he needs to show it.Else future is not looking much bright.

  18. “That was the quickest John Terry got into his kit since Wayne Bridge came home early one day.” 😆

    • @Owen: The **** even remembered to put on his captains armband too as he went up to collect his medal 🙄
      Absolute tosser of a man.

  19. You know I’ll have to say, I never understood why Man U brought Owen to the club as it seemed like an attempt by Fergie to grasp at straws. Owen’s brightest points seemed to be Real Madrid but ultimately always had the EPL in his blood.

    This brings up the question though just what Fergie is going to do this summer in the squad. With Berbatov getting the boot, Owen getting let go, our back four looking terrible and no real partnership with Rooney/Welback/Hernandez, it makes me wonder what the 2012-2013 campaign is going to look like.

  20. @Stephen: Im not disputing any of that though am i mate. I wasnt slating fergie for anything directly related to on field matters.
    All my problems are directly related to off the pitch, and my views of fergie the man, behind the football manager.
    So i may dislike that side of fergie, and so i may (i feel deservedly so) have a go at him from time to time.
    Doesnt mean i dont appreciate what hes done for my club nor his achievements.
    I will forever be greatful for the success he has brought this club, and i will forever view him as one of, if not the, greatest manager of all time. Doesnt mean that makes him a great person though.
    It doesnt make me any less of a fan either so lets knock off that crap too (having a pop at fergie and having a pop at united are 2 very different things).
    I feel the way i feel, and you feel the way you feel. Thats fine. As i said above, calling into question fergie the man, doesnt take away my respect for his achievements on the field, just the type of person he is off it.
    A lying, corporate yes man, backstabber, who looks out for fergie and fergie alone.
    And thats the be all and end all of it for me. Great manager, not so great a man. You obviously dont agree though and thats fair enough.

    • @tonymontanna4united: You like Mourinho, is he a great person? Fergie is twice the man that prick is.
      Fergie looks after United, yes he looks after himself but who doesn’t in life. You like me do not know what goes on behind closed doors, you want someone knew, well be careful what you wish for. He has made mistakes, but he has done so much right as I say you cannot remember living in the Liverpool shadow, he has made the club you support today mate. People like Grognard will come and go, but United as it is today was made by Fergie.

      • @Stephen: Mourinho? I dont think ive ever mentioned him tbh stephen so dont know where you got that from.
        And i never said anywhere i wanted fergie gone either. As i said, my beef is with fergie the man, not the manager.
        As a manager he is the best around. And thats a mother fookin fact, end of.
        My beef is everything to do with fergie the man, who is (again this is my opinion) a disgusting liar and major supporter of a totally corrupt regime.
        A selfish man who puts himself above the needs of this club when needed (getting rid of stam, the magnier fiasco, comments about keane being an enemy of the club because he criticised us after our CL exit turning the fans on a club legend etc).
        And a man who contrary to belief, deserves criticism just like anyone else, with said person having their support questioned for doing so.
        And as for him making united, well your right in part. He is the reason united are the monster they are today, but lets not forget this club did exist before fergie, and it will continue to do so a long time after hes gone too.
        I find it rather disrespectful that fans go on about this being “fergies club” while at the same time, we go on about city and claim were different because here no one is bigger than the club.

  21. Stephen you can’t try and force people to change how they feel about Fergie. Despite what many of his worshippers may say he is not God which has been proven many times this season and before. Everything that has a beginning has an end, remember Clough?

    If as you say Fergie has his hands tied behind his back and is performing miracles why doesn’t he look like he is in a struggle? Believe me his emotional fatigue would show in press conferences or dropping hints for the owners here and there. But it appears that he is happy and would even oppose any change to the current model. Now why could that be the case? Maybe total control over the club and a huge paypacket as a compromise for the ownership? In fact I think he lied again when he claimed to be a socialist. People like you are loyal to him but he clearly wasn’t loyal to the die-hard fans who were priced out of the club, in fact telling them not to let the door hit them on the way out.

    It’s every man for himself in the corporate jungle and if Fergie wants to side with those leeches and play that game then he should in turn be judged without sentimentality by the fans.

    • @Moscow: Everyone has an opinion and I am not trying to force peoples views.
      How is he turing into Clough? We lost the league against a team with no budget on goal difference, Clough got Forrest relegated, big difference. If Fergie wnet, the next manager will also side with the glazers, don’t you get it?
      Are you saying it is Fergies fault with the increase in season ticket prices or the the fact that staff at Carrington are being laid off? Get real, Fergie has made numerous mistakes but the vendetta against him with some fans has been going on for ages, oh yes “ALL HAIL THE SPECIAL ONE”

      • @Stephen: I wasn’t making a direct comparison with Clough, just giving an example of how everyone has an expiration date. Everyone knows SAF is unsackable, it is up to him to decide when his time is up. Whether that decision comes too late, time will tell.

        Yes, Mourinho is an incredible manager he has beaten the greatest team in the world ever in their own back yard to win the league in his 4th country. Why you would use that against me I do not know, since there is great mutual respect between Jose and Fergie, many expect him to be the successor.

        • @Moscow: Yes we all know your love for the man mate, you have mentioned it from time to time… 🙄

      • @Stephen: “Are you saying it is Fergies fault with the increase in season ticket prices or the the fact that staff at Carrington are being laid off?”

        Not at all mate. But it is his fault that he supports a regime that is responsible for these acts, is it not. Im not even going to get into the “he should speak out against them” stuff as its been done before, but he could, for example, just sit there and say nothing maybe, rather than coming out and waxing lyrical over these people.
        Or for example, when he was asked by concerned fans about the future of the club after the glazers takeover, he could have simply said “dont worry, just keep the faith” rather than the deeply offensive and totally unwarranted “fuck off and support chelski” response he came out with.
        Does he not deserve blame for that?

        • @tonymontanna4united: Blame? Fergie is far from perfect, but you like Grognard and many others simply want to forget what he has and still does for the club. Who ever comes in after him with be more Glazers man, which is far more concerning.

        • @Stephen: But im not forgetting what he does though am i. As i keep saying, this isnt anything to do with ferguson the football manager, but everything to do with ferguson the person.
          Comments like “fuck off and support chelsea if you dont like it”.
          Comments like “I dont care, no one does this to me” about magnier and the court case going on that was going to affect the club.
          Comments like “Theyre good owners”, “they’ve done a good job”.
          Do they, regardless of what the man saying them has achieved, not deserve criticism at the end of the day?

    • @Moscow: And please don’t mix sentimentality with loyalty, if we finished out of the top 4 or even worse then obviously he should go. You want Mourinho and mate this is your right bro, but don’t use Fergie as an excuse for you own agenda mate, we were 30 seconds from winning the league and if we sacked him it would be a joke.

  22. This is what happens when there is no more football to watch. roll on the euros please!

    • @Nelson: Then we can begin scouting players we’re not going to sign 😆

      I expect Germany to destroy everyone in their path before getting beat 1-0 by Spain ie. same old story.

      • @Moscow: it is going to be a tricky tournament and don’t be surprised if a shit team wins. personally I am looking foward to the group of death, see how it pans out

    • @Nelson:
      Mignolet/courtois
      alderwield vertoghen kompany vermalaen
      fellaini witsel defour
      hazard lukaku dembele

      How the hell did belgium not manage to bloody qualify with a team like that. Some real talent in that team, could be a dark horse for the WC in 2 years maybe????

  23. @Moscow: As for signings. our business will be restricted to kagawa, clyne, the crewe kid and probably some other unknown quantity. no big names coming although I have this terrible thought that sir Alex would bring in Del Piero. after Owen and bebe anything can happen 🙂

    • @Nelson: “I am very aware of the Premier League, and in recent years it has been the stand-out league in the world. If it came calling, especially if it was a club like Manchester United, it would be very hard to resist.”

      David Silva

      “I could never play for another club in Spain and the truth is that if you are leaving Real Madrid, there is only one club you can join that is not a step down – and that’s Manchester United… They are a huge club and if the reported interest they have in me turns out to be true, then I would really have to sit down and listen. If Manchester United could offer me first-team football with the situation as it is at Madrid, it would be very hard to turn down. Alex Ferguson is a great coach and I would never think about joining a team where I didn’t believe I could win things, so all of a sudden that limits your choices. At Manchester United you know success is likely and that’s a big factor for me at this stage of my career.”

      Rafael van der Vaart (who cost £0.6 million more than Bebe)

      “I could easily have spent the Ronaldo money but I didn’t want to because I couldn’t see any value in the market…”

      Sir Alex Ferguson

      • @Moscow: I can only assume sir Alex didn’t trust Silva’s injury record and his ability to handle the physical nature of the premiership.that one got away.we move on only question is, will we let such a situation happen again?

  24. I will say Fergie is far from blameless,he is a hyporcite of the highest order. I respect what he has done for the club and we have to accept that under the Glazers we simply cannot compete with City, Chelsea, Barca and Real. OPnly under Fergie do we have a chance, I am maybe suffering from Stockholm syndrome 😀

    • @Stephen: Without doubt fergie is most probably the only person in the world who could get as much out of this team as he has. However, hes also most definitely the only top manager in the world who would put up with our owners, and work under such conditions.

    • @Stephen: Deep down you share our grievances with Fergie but I can understand that it is difficult for you to criticise him when he has given so much. But professional football is ruthless sometimes and Fergie is going to get as much as he dishes out 🙂

      Long live Mourinho, conqueror of Barcelona and the love of my life! 😆 😆 😆

  25. Berbatov’s TV interview excerpt:

    ‘I rejected City’s offer to play in the best club in the world’

    ‘Will you sign for City ?’
    Berbatov: ‘I would never do this. I’m a loyal person.’

    ‘Tevez done it out of spite. But I wouldn’t do something like this. I had the opportunity to sign for City, but i choose United’

    ‘My goal in my life was to reach the top and Manchester United was exactly this.’

    ‘He (SAF) is honest. He knows how to talk to anyone. After meeting with him you are going out so motivated, you want to conquer the world.’

    ‘City are the champions, but to me they bought the title, as they bought so many players. I’m sure next year, MUFC will be on top again.’

    ‘I’m looking for answer myself why I was sitting on the bench. I spoke with SAF about 10 times.’

    ‘Sometimes, when I remember some moments in MUFC, I’m feeling sad, because I know that this adventure is coming to an end.’

    Berbatov about the Champions League final in 2011: ‘I felt like someone stuck a knife in my heart’

  26. @Stephen: in that list only Jones and Hernandez were an unknown quantity, to me anyways. I watch la liga and I can tell you DDG already proved that he could play at the top level. Young always looked good in his watford days and it was only a matter of time. I think his move to Villa somehow stalled the growth of his potential. if he had moved directly to us instead of via Villa then he could have been a different prospect. that was a period when ronaldo grew by leaps and who knows, Young might have been a different level

  27. @Stephen I don’t think I have said that they were finished articles. they are standouts due to their potential

  28. I think its OK to be objective about Ferguson. When it comes to the Premier League he is unparalleled. I cannot think of another manager in the world who could have got us level on points with City by the end of the season with a far far far inferior squad.

    Where he is very limited is in Europe. Even had we won the title I would have written this season off as a failure after our dismal European showing. To be knocked out by Basel and Bilbao is truly a sign of how far our star has fallen in Europe.

    Our transfer record has always been hit and miss which makes our budget limitations more of a hindrance than they should be.

    Over the last five years or so there have been far more misses:

    HITS

    Valencia….great price for a great player
    Nani……..nowhere near world class, far too inconsistent but for £20 million he’s certainly been a good investment
    De Gea….top dollar but after the hell Fergie put us through after Schmeichel it was a good choice
    Hernandez…even if the guy turns out to just be a one season wonder his goals helped us to the title last year and for £7 million that’s pretty cheap

    JURY IS OUT

    Phil Jones….overpriced and overrated like the huge majority of British youngsters. The guy needed at least another few years at Blackburn learning to defend before he joined us.

    Smalling…better value but at his age he needs to be playing every week at a midtable club. Like Hernandez had a bad second season

    Bottom line in an area of the team as important as defense with a pressing need to replace guys like Rio and Vidic we should have been buying experienced internationals not wet behind the ears youngsters with barely a season of football at the top level.

    Young…not really first team quality which is OK because he is a useful squad player but £15 million for a squad player isn’t exactly cheap

    Misses

    Anderson…total waste of space. We should have cut our losses years ago and bought someone who can stay fit and play football.

    Berbatov…very sad to say this because the guy is supremely talented and a great servant for the club but he was on a different wavelength from our technically limited players.

    Bebe, Manucho, Tosic, and all the other ridiculous punts.

    • @colver: I can’t remember the last time I was excited about a transfer… I think maybe back in 2008 I was watching Sky Sports News at midnight praying for Berbatov to successfully complete his move.

      We are a team of old pensioners and overrated youngsters now, it is sad to see our fearsome team of 2006-2009 decimated to this sorry bunch. Only Nani, Valencia and Rooney pose any sort of threat to teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Citeh. We played Park in a title decider so he could ‘track back’. Those days we had Rooney-Tevez-Ronaldo-Berbatov frontline, now we only have joke strikers who are all midgets except Welbeck who can’t finish to save his life but is hailed as part of the new Cole-Yorke partnership by Fergie. SAF is in my opinion a liar and a coward, which hasn’t stopped him before but now the cracks cannot be covered unless there is serious investment so when this Glazer nightmare is over he should be given a one way ticket to the Bahamas.

      • @Moscow: Mate I am just reading Berba’s comments on Fergie in the press today. Now we all know that Berba is far from a trouble causer, so no downers on him please. Berba says he went to meetings with Fergie 10 times to ask if he had any chance of being anything but a bench player. Fergie assured him that he would be used, but then left him on the bench most of this season. Now I have to say that Berba gave his all to get to United in the 1st place, and he absolutely LOVES Man Utd, an none of you can deny this. I never believed Tevez when he said Fergie made outright promises he did not keep, but I think now he was telling the truth. That doesn’t mean I like that little bastard Tevez in any shape or form, but his arguement is and always has been against Fergie, and not against our players. Now tell me please if I am wrong, but I don’t recall Tevez criticising any of our players, apart from a recent paper stir where they said Tevez says he only keeps in touch with Evra. Evra kind of denied what the paps said today, when he said that quite a few of our lads have kept in contact with Tevez. So I have to question Fergie’s integrity, because I don’t think his dealings with Berba or maybe Tevez were just at all. Pissed off at Fergie to be honest.

  29. I am going to use my photoshop skills and design a new United Kit inspired by that gorgeous away jersey to be worn by Netherlands in Euro 2012, just for fun. Damn I might even by one of those Netherlands away shirt 😀

  30. Since Ferguson has ruled out a move for a holding midfielder and also announced Michael Carrick who is 31 as the successor to Scholes, we can expect a total of 0 actual midfielders arriving in the summer. It is a shame because now we are set for another European campaign of humiliation and teams will be coming to Old Trafford with relish even more than last season.

    The only glimmer of hope appears to be the little window between now and the Euro final because after that Fergie will simply state that values skyrocket after international competitions. Gill will also be putting on a huge grin which is even more disgusting than Fergie’s lies.

  31. Kagawa’s price has been set at £16.17m. We paid more than that for Carrick SIX YEARS AGO. In a time where transfer fees are going mad, that is certainly value.

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