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Young De Gea Is The Right (#)1 For United

As much as it had made the rounds in the transfer rumor mill over the last few months, it was of surprise to no one when David de Gea officially signed on the dotted line last week to become Manchester United’s keeper of the present and future.

Replacing Edwin van der Sar.

With Edwin van der Sar hanging up his gloves, it was expected that United wouldn’t be shy about loosening the purse strings to land a top-class keeper, and that proved to be the case, as De Gea commanded a reported fee of more than Β£18m.

Of the three signings that we’ve made thus far this summer, this one is the most expensive (up front, at least), and unlike the moves for Phil Jones and Ashley Young, it fills a pressing immediate need. At the same time, it’s an investment made with both the short and long-term future in mind, as is also the case with the signings of Jones and Young.

Maturity & Experience.

At just 20, De Gea is half the age of his predecessor, who certainly aged quite well, at least from a standpoint of his performances on the pitch. Even with his current facial hair, De Gea looks even younger than his years, but he’ll have much more time to grow into his adult face than he will to grow into role as United’s new #1.

With his youth and relative inexperience in mind, others might have thought that the likes of Maarten Stekelenburg, Rene Adler, or one of the many other names linked with the post were better options, but you can flip those same points to show why this high-risk investment will be an extremely high-reward one.

De Gea has less than two full seasons of senior club appearances to his name, but there’s a lot to be said for that ‘limited’ experience. Not yet 19, he made his senior debut in September 2009 in a Champions League tie away to Porto, getting called into action as a first-half injury substitute. Talk about getting thrown straight into the fire.

He got his shot to be Atletico’s #1 keeper in January 2010, and it’s safe to say that he made the most of it, otherwise he wouldn’t be at United now, would he? In the last year-plus, he won the Europa League and Super Cup with Atletico, and he’s now readying himself for the start of his United career after doing his part to help Spain capture the U-21 Euro title just a few weeks ago. Not bad, not bad at all.

That continental and international experience is an asset, as he’ll be dealing with high-stakes matches early and often with United. And while La Liga might not have the same competitive depth from top to bottom as is the case in the Premier League, it does boast Barcelona (Europe’s current beast) and Real Madrid (Europe’s all-time beast), along with some quality second-tier sides in Valencia, Villarreal, and Sevilla. From where I’m standing, trips to the Camp Nou and the Bernabeu, and facing established, talented (and mostly young) forwards like Messi, Villa, Ibrahimovic, Ronaldo, Higuain, Benzema, Rossi, Fernando Llorente, Negredo, Luis Fabiano, and Roberto Soldado domestically over the last couple of seasons, not to mention facing shots from a couple of studs by the name of Forlan and Aguero in training, is pretty good practice for what he’ll be facing in England.

Why De Gea?

Okay, that’s all well and good, but does he have the goods to come good at United? Yes, yes, and yes. Physically, he might look like he could blow away if a huge gust of wind came along (and like he might still be a little young to watch R-rated movies unaccompanied by an adult), but he packs a lot of talent and potential in his slender frame. At 6’4” with long arms, he automatically takes up a lot of space as it is, but he’s both quick on his feet and with his reflexes, and flexibility and leaping ability are no concern with him. His slight frame might cause some worries about whether or not he’ll be able to hold his own when things get hairy in the box, but that’s nothing a month’s worth of proper English breakfasts and a little extra time on the weights, right?

It certainly doesn’t hurt De Gea’s cause that the pressure on him will be at least somewhat reduced by the presence of a vastly superior back line than the one that he had to deal with previously, which might mean a little less action for him but much more confidence in the men in front of him than he may have had before.

With as long as United have allegedly been interested in him, De Gea’s had more than enough time to decide whether or not he was truly ready to make the move. It’s no small step up to leave what you’ve known for so long for a new and completely different environment, it’s no small privilege to put on the Manchester United kit, and it’s no small duty to follow in the footsteps of a great in Edwin van der Sar. So for him to make this move at such a young age, with the full knowledge of the high pressure and expectations that he’ll face immediately, is a telling sign of his confidence in himself, and I fully expect that confidence to carry over to when it really matters.

With United in the hunt for multiple trophies, and with our Premier League campaign featuring as difficult an opening stretch as there’s been for some time, it won’t take long to see just what De Gea is made of. Yes, it is a real risk to turn over such a key position to a veritable youngster, but it won’t take long to show that he has what it takes to etch himself in our minds and hearts just like the man before him.




  1. RedTan

    July 11, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Good read that , thank you.

    It is a tough one I suppose you have to have faith in the manger and the goalkeeping coaches. replacing a legend of the game and standing between the sticks for united is not going to be easy for any one. All we can do is give him 100% support. I imagine it is even harder for a young keeper than a young out field player coming to a club like united and having to experience a new culture and playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world.

    Does any one know how his English is. The interview I saw with him was in Spanish. I think the fact little pea spoke English was a big help to him setteling in last year

  2. RedDevilEddy

    July 11, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Fantastic read, love your articles Eddie!

    I have a lot of faith in De Gea. From what I have seen he far more than decent, and although he looks a little weak I read on that they had put him on a dieet/weights program to make him bulk up a little. Really hope he’ll come good!

  3. Jonny

    July 11, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    remember when andres lingard thought he had a chance of being United’s no. 1?

    • RedTan

      July 11, 2011 at 2:40 pm

      If Da Gea does a Taibi early on he could very well be πŸ™‚

      πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

      • despicable

        July 11, 2011 at 3:42 pm

        How about this.. awesome video of Barthez…

        he was always good apart from big mistakes.. πŸ™‚

      • Phoenix Red

        July 11, 2011 at 3:50 pm

        πŸ˜† I was only chatting about him to a mate the other day, fuckin Taibi! What a disaster! Lets not wish that experience again, although if i do remember, Taibi had a stormer of a debut. I’d have alot more faith in De Gea. It will be interesting to see if Lindegaard proves as good as Kuszcy!

      • RedTan

        July 11, 2011 at 4:43 pm

        Didn’t Taibi get man of the mach against the dippers, if I remember correctly. Good post on the Bartez video. He was a mystery that fellow. Apparently he spent a lot of time in the laundry room smoking ciggies. I bet he would be great fun on a night out.

  4. [OPTI]Madschester United

    July 11, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    I think he will come good… Fergie learned from the post-Schmeichel era… and doesn’t make the same mistake twice (except against Barca ;))

  5. Abu

    July 11, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Fergie…learn…Hey I’ve see worse.

    I mean we know this has happened, I think there is nothing we can do here but speculate, cross our fingers, and see come August. But something to worry me about is the defense in front of him; what’s up with our wings? Evra, Rafael & Fabio. Is that it?

    • RedDevilEddy

      July 11, 2011 at 4:19 pm

      Evans can play left back, and Smalling can play right back. In emergencies Giggs and Fletch can be deployed on each full back as well, so I’m not too worried about that.

      Even Valencia can play right back! Don’t see why people get worried about that position, defenence is the last place we should worry about. πŸ˜•

      • Abu

        July 11, 2011 at 6:57 pm

        I think there needs to be a solid foundation at those positions. So you are saying Smallings is our new Wes Brown? Evans is O’Shea. Eh, I can deal with that.

  6. Phoenix Red

    July 11, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Nice article Eddie 😈 I admire your optimism. Two things bother me about De Gea. The language barrier is one, so i hope he’s learning english quickly! And the fact that when playing for United in goal, there are long periods of inactivity, so it takes a very high level of concentration to remain alert and do the business. Foster, anyone???
    Having said that, we have been looking at De Gea for awhile so there is confidence in the lad. I really hope he becomes a star at United!

    • johnsom33

      July 11, 2011 at 4:45 pm

      The Language thing bothers me, but his youth and “stature in the game” worry me more. Can we really expect Young De Gea to shout at Rio and Vidic? Because I just dont see that happening. Like you said Being a GK at United is different than most clubs because you are only called into action a few times a game. The GK sees the entire field in front of him and he is a big part in organising the defense.

      • jos

        July 12, 2011 at 7:55 am

        Well I never saw EVDS shout at Vida/Rio! In any case, they are not school boys.
        There are many great keepers not known for shouting at their defense. Organization is not about shouting but communication. I’m sure the universal language of Football will be more than sufficient, if one is smart enough. From the looks of it, Degee looks up for it!

  7. RedDevilEddy

    July 11, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Congratulations to the Beckham family! Finally a daughter, eyh David? πŸ˜‰ Can’t believe they named her Harper Seven Beckham , I didn’t know you were actually allowed to call someone a number. πŸ˜† Oh well, we all love number seven at this club!

    • RedDevilEddy

      July 11, 2011 at 4:31 pm

      Harper Seven Beckham πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

      Holy fuck I love being alive!

      • RedTan

        July 11, 2011 at 5:46 pm

      • jos

        July 12, 2011 at 7:59 am

        I remember an Episode of the popular US sitcom ‘Seinfeld’ where George decides to name their child Seven! He picks up a fight with his fiancee over that!

      • RedTan

        July 12, 2011 at 10:06 am

        See above link

  8. RedDevilEddy

    July 11, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    By the way, am I the only one who is bothered by Michael Owen being our current bearer of the legendary number 7 shirt? I mean, previously worn by Best, Robson, Cantona, Becks and Ronaldo, who the fuck is Owen to wear it?! I know some people will give me the “it’s just a number” shit, but fact is it’s not just a number. It’s THE Manchester United number! I’ve got no problems with the club giving Owen a new contract, but for fucks sake give someone else the shirt! Nani, Young, Cleverley, or even Morrison for that matter! It bothers me… 😐

  9. despicable

    July 11, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    We are linked with all the midfielders around the world.. The Guy i want to see in United colour is Miralem Pranjic. The Guy is good. what you people say? πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  10. Grognard

    July 11, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Sorry Eddie but your article is nothing more than a feel good hope and a prayer that De Gea will work out for us. It really is based on very little tangible proof. My question to you is how many times have you watched De Gea play? And I don’t mean just with the under 21 team? I mean really, how many games have you seen him play for Atletico over the past two years?

    The reason I ask this question is that I have watched this lad play around 25 times in that period and to be honest have been very unimpressed and at times felt incredibly underwhelmed. And lets forget my bias for German keepers also as even I knew the chances of a German keeper showing up on a Ferguson run team was slim. De Gea was his choice over Stekelenberg of Ajax and that was the only real competition. Problem is Martin Stekelenberg right now is the far superior keeper. He has more pedigree, experience and ability. De Gea may have the potential to become a great keeper and yes he has shown flashes of brilliance but then again, even Ben Foster showed flashes of brilliance.

    I beleive the lad is too young to be manning that hot seat and I think he has far too many questions regarding his skill set and his desire to be here. Yes he signed with us but it’s not like he had much of a choice. It seems from where I’m standing that Atletico wanted the money and Real and Barcelona were in no need for his services so he had to make a hard decision if he hoped to ever see the Champions League again.

    I honestly do not believe he is 100% committed to United. I may be wrong but I think he came here reluctantly. Add to that the fact that he has areas of his game that need work and his aerial ability despite his height is questionable. He has poor footwork in the box at times and his positioning on corners and especially on free kicks is somewhat suspect as are his reactions to well hit shots. Reactions are a little off as are his reflexes but his height and lankiness often bail him out. His distribution is adequate but his long kicks need improvement. His presence in the box also needs to improve as he is not an intimidating presence in the fashion of a Schmeichel or Kahn. He needs to be louder and more assertive in his communication with his defenders and I don’t even know if he speaks any English either. Where I do think he is strong is in one to one confrontations with players. He comes out quicly and has the ability to guess and make a big save.

    Only time will tell about De Gea but I am not yet convinced that he is our man. Hopefully I am wrong but then again I do pride myself on my ability to judge keepers and I was the one who said four years ago the guy to go for was Neuer and look at the keeper he has become. I also do not have the faith that United is in anyway a great place for keepers to develop. The ones that have been good here were experienced and well developed players. The younger ones have struggled to find the form, quality and consistency to make the grade. Lets hope I’m full of crap and De Gea becomes the world class giant Fergie and his staff think he is. He better be or Grognard’s wrath will come down strong and the names of Neuer, Adler and Stekelenberg will be echoed along with mighty venomous anger. πŸ™‚

    • despicable

      July 11, 2011 at 6:37 pm

      What was your opinion of Barthez? He was more in Neuer Mode, Brave and good reflexes, but Prone to mistakes.

      Have you seen top 10 goals of Bundesliga this season, 3 of them are due to Neuers Mistake,(Not saying he is bad), just that he is prone to losing concentration occasionally.

      I do follow Bundesliga a lot, but this season i felt he was not calm.. may be due to shaky shalke defence that was pathetic.. Sure he will do well at Bayern, but always felt he is more of reflex and instinct player.

      What you feel Grogy? (I might be wrong.. Open to criticism πŸ˜‰ )

      • RedTan

        July 11, 2011 at 10:11 pm

        Did you see despicable’s link above on Bartez

        Fergie “I thought we were buying a goalkeeper I ended up with an out side left” πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ “Hes the best attacker we’ve got” πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚


      • despicable

        July 12, 2011 at 8:19 am

        @RedTan : You mentioned my comment to me only mate..

      • Grognard

        July 12, 2011 at 5:26 pm

        There is nothing I hate more than top ten highlight shows or YouTube videos because they magnify a players abilities or flaws a thousand times from what they are. Why not check the Neuer videos that have him look like a man mountain that cannot be beat? Fact is that every keeper on the planet and every keeper in history has made mistakes and many of them. It is part of playing that position. The key is to limit those errors and to make more outstanding saves. I prefer Beckenbauer’s feelings on Neuer when he said he would pay anything to get him because his presence on a pitch would save any team a minimum of ten games a season, which is a lot for any player. And if you want to play dirty, I could go off on all the bad mistakes EVDS has made but even more so the really bad ones David De Gea has made over last season. But I won’t. I wish the lad very well but openly I have my doubts he is the man for the job.

        As for Barthez, he is nothing like Neuer in any way or form. I personally thought Barthez was way overrated before he showed up at OT. Benefited from a strong French defense and never really wowed me with any specific skill.

      • Grognard

        July 12, 2011 at 5:33 pm

        Also it’s not criticizing you mate if you feel that way but I hacve watched Neuer play over a hundred times for club and country and the guy has simply won me over with incredible displays of goalkeeping. Yes he is prone to a real clanker now and then but I have seen the same from the likes of Schmeichel and Casillas. Yes his strengths are reflexes and instinct but he also has strong fundamentals like positioning, aerial skills, distribution skills, range, quickness and above all, he gets the attention of both teammates and opponents in the box because he is aggressive and intimidates. I see very little of this in De Gea who for me is all about reflexes and height but very little fundamental strength and no communicative skills or presence. He is young and he has a lot to learn but I am not so sure United is the right place to learn goal keeping. After all, Kuczczak, Foster and others have failed at OT waiting to get their chances. Fergie lucked out with Schmeichel and then bought EVDS an accomplished veteran keeper probably five years too late.

    • johnsom33

      July 11, 2011 at 8:33 pm

      Lets not forget Anderson put two past Neuer. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜†

      • RedDevilEddy

        July 11, 2011 at 9:02 pm

        I love you more than Rafa Benitez loves pizza! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: πŸ˜†

      • RedTan

        July 11, 2011 at 10:07 pm

        Quality, I hear he loves the deep pan stuffed crust. But enough about his sex life with Torres

      • Grognard

        July 12, 2011 at 5:34 pm

        That’s a low blow mate. OUCH! πŸ˜€

    • Lars

      July 12, 2011 at 3:41 am

      I also have questions concerning his commitment to United. It took a while for him to sign and he was wavering back and forth saying that he is coming and then he is not and so on. If he does turn out to be a legitimate #1 goalie, then I have a sneaky suspicion that once his contract runs out (5 years) or a year prior he will demand a move to Barca. But, let’s hope de Gea’s youth will allow for Fergie to mold his mindset and realize what United is all about.

      Secondly, language should be no problem in the world of modern day football at the World’s Biggest Club (or at least he shouldn’t be given the opportunity to use this as an excuse)!

      I am cautiously optimistic that he will do well; at least he is better than PiG and Lindegaard.

      • Grognard

        July 12, 2011 at 5:57 pm

        The problem with Spaniards or any Latino for that matter is that when they reach a certain level in their skill set or career, the allure of Madrid and Barcelona begins to overpower them. It’s not always the player’s fault. Madrid and Barca use the media and have many ways of testing and tempting players to sign with them. Their seduction techniques are multi faceted and include many trappings like homes, cars, weather conditions, family concerns etc. I always find it hard to take when a player like Tevez will tell a team like Man City he has to leave because of family concerns in Argentina but that if Inter Milan or Madrid want him that is OK because those cities are so much closer to Argentina. Culture and greed has everything to do with it but it is a greed that is rooted in cultural acceptance and basically the old fashioned concept of having your cake and eating it too. Everyone of these kids born in Spain or other Spanish or Portuguese speaking countries to play for either Barca or Real Madrid, just the way it is for English kids growing up wanting to play for either Man Utd or Arsenal or German kids growing up dreaming of playing for Bayern or Italians growing up playing for Juventus or either of the two Milans.

        Fact is our manager suffers from delusions of grandeur because he thinks he has the power and the seductive qualities to convince players from these Spanish or Portuguese speaking cultures that playing for him and playing in cold damp North West England somehow is greater than these other places. Well in the beginning some might choose to come here because we simply showed more interest in them (Ronaldo is a good example of this), but eventually cultural or even family pressure rears it’s ugly head and the greed to emulate their success closer to home or in an environment that reminds them more of home is stronger. Then Fergie asks the question why anyone would ever want to leave Man Uts, as if they are the only brand worht playing for in the world.

        Bottom line is Fergie and his scouts have been looking for players in all the wrong places. They need to look for stars in countries that haven’t got cultural or historical connections football wise to Spain and Italy. Germany, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, Eastern Europe, Africa, France and the Baltic countries are all good starting spots. I am not big on Asia or North America when it comes to finding great talent so I limit myself to these places but I get aggressive there knowing that culturally the players are more apt to understand and like English culture, the food, the trappings and the weather. Above all, chances of a kid like Eddy watching and falling for United while living in Norway are greater than if Eddy was Italian or Spanish or Brazilian. English football and United for that matter are very popular in Russia. Yet we never ever look there for players, and I do not mean just proven ones, but kids. I just have a feeling that when the twins get to a certain level and age, they will want Spain and so will De Gea. He is presently blocked from an instant move to Barca or Madrid by Casillas or Valdez or trust me, we wouldn’t have had a chance in Hell of signing him. We need to know our place in the football marketplace and then corner that market with aggressive recruiting and scouting. We also need to stop searching in areas where the culture of players radically differs from the culture of Man Utd. Winning can be had in other places too, not just OT.

  11. despicable

    July 11, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Off topic.. FIFA 12 is available for pre-order.. is it worth buying.. i was thinking about pc version costs apprx 20$.. or should i wait and get ps3 first?

    • AndyCR7

      July 11, 2011 at 9:38 pm

      Link please πŸ™‚

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      July 11, 2011 at 10:00 pm

      I buy every other year… it’s more of a fine tune year-to-year… and not worth a full $60 (US)

      • Grognard

        July 12, 2011 at 6:00 pm

        For me it’s worth a hundred as is Football Manager. Staple products for Grognard to help him get through the year due to all the things Fergie will do to piss him off over the real game. At least with these two games i am in charge and that alone is fun enough. In FIFA or FM, Manuel Neuer and Sneijder are United fans whether Fergie wants them or not. If only reality were so. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      • [OPTI]Madschester United

        July 12, 2011 at 6:39 pm

        Groggy, I don’t get how FIFA is worth buying EVERY year…
        1. Graphics — barely change anymore (I wish they would switch to 1080p!)
        2. Gameplay — slight tactical changes and slightly improved physics.
        3. Players — of course, transfers and player improvements are updated, but the improvements are often questionable and transfers be downloaded online for free or self-edited (the major teams). Also, no big names arise over one season…

        Maybe if you play online exclusively or play with multiple teams across multiple leagues, I can see the reasons for buying every year…

        With FM, it just gets more complicated every year but the same more or less applies… and it’s WAY MORE addictive…

      • Grognard

        July 12, 2011 at 9:46 pm

        New updated player stats and levels are worth it but I also see other improvements in their game engine every year although I admit quite often they are subtle improvements.

      • johnsom33

        July 12, 2011 at 9:55 pm

        I couldnt disagree more, $60 is a bargain, and is what SAF was talking about when he says “value” πŸ˜†

        Fifa is the only game that I never stop playing until the new one comes out. I easily play each Fifa game for over 500 hours. Imagine that $60 for over 500 hours of enjoyment. Hell I just spent $15 to watch a movie that was a little under 2 hours.

        I look at it like this, either you like Fifa or you dont. The people who really are into it, notice the big improvements the game has made over the last few editions. EA has been criticized heavily for years because they were dragging their feet on improving the actually game play. I challenge you to pick up Fifa 11 play it for a week or two and then revert back to Fifa 10. I bet you it will be borderline unplayable.

  12. RedDevilEddy

    July 11, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Anybody here who knows Hayley McQueen? πŸ˜† I’d like to get to know her, so introduce me will ya! πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

    • RedTan

      July 11, 2011 at 10:03 pm

      Yes Hayley McQueen the only reason to watch united in pre season

    • Grognard

      July 12, 2011 at 6:02 pm

      She is hot mate. She is the reason Gordon McQueen is one of my all time favorite United players. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  13. sneerpeer

    July 11, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    nickcoppackon twitter: Sir Alex on Samir Nasri rumours: “No, I don’t think he’s coming to United. I think he’s agreed to go elsewhere.” More on blog.

    That leaves Nasri out! probably to MCFC

    • RedTan

      July 11, 2011 at 9:59 pm

      From what has been said this evening on a half decent radio show, Nasri will stay at Arsenal and run down his contract. United and city have inquired about Modirc having heard Nasri will run down his contract at Arsenal and Inter will decide if Sneijder is going to be sold for 35 million at a board meeting tomorrow.

      Silly season is in full effect. So the odds on united getting none of the above and signing erm Scott Parker, get bigger by the day. Seriously I think it will take one big deal to get the transfer market to spring in to life and in the current climate I am guessing it will be later rather than sooner.

    • Grognard

      July 12, 2011 at 6:04 pm

      This is no revelation for me. And soon the names of Sneijder, Modric and anybody else who is expensive and linked to us will be a distant memory. Any day now Fergie will come out and say his shopping is done and he likes the cut of his team. We just buy players we don’t need and ignore our weaknesses. It’s Fergie’s new mantra.

  14. Arvin

    July 11, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    I tend to watch quite a lot of Spanish football and can genuinely say that I have watched David quite a bit over the last 2 seasons plus I watched every match Spain played in the under-21’s.

    Personally I am willing to acknowledge there are parts of his game that he is far from complete, parts that no matter how talented will only come to a Gk with time and experience.

    But the most glaring issue I have with him is the fact that he rarely comes out for crosses, while something you can get away with in La Liga, it is more or less suicidal in the BPL. But then again, this was something Reina suffered from as well in the beginning, and he got over it well enough.

    But his positive attributes more or less lessen my fear of his signing. His shot stopping is excellent, has solid concentration (the U-21’s showed this, where he came up aces whenever called upon, despite having nothing to do for the majority of any match), kicking is decent while I think his throwing is excellent, supremely confident when coming out for one to one’s(presence and bravery) and I think he directed his defense quite decently at Atletico (of course, he has no English skills from what I understand, which will be a crutch) and lastly, and I know there will be varied opinions on this, I genuinely believe he is the most talented young GK in world football.

    So yeah, his dead ball and air game(positioning and coming out for the ball) needs improvement, and thus hopefully he adapts as quickly as Reina did.

    He isn’t the most perfect or safest signing, but surprisingly I find myself tentatively optimistic.


    • Grognard

      July 12, 2011 at 6:12 pm

      Interesting post. I agree with much of what you say but I would say that one area that De Gea is not as strong as you claim is in the area of concentration or focus. Quite often I see him missing shots or free kicks because he is out to lunch. I remember two free kicks going in that were only inches above his head but his reactions were slow and his setup for those shots was lacking. And you are right regarding his aerial ability or should I say lack of. Unlike German keepers who all seem to be great at coming out charging leaping and either catching or punching the ball, De Gea seems indecisive and often timid. Not a good sign for somebody playing in England. And finally, if he is the best young goalkeeper in the world, then the position is in turmoil. How young tdo you have to be to fall in that category? Because for me I would pick Neuer, Adler, and even Joe Hart ahead of him. Don’t get me wrong, I think the kid is good, I just don’t think he is excellent, and United deserves an excellent keeper. For me Adler and Stekelenberg would have been the wiser choices after Neuer made it known he wasn’t interested.

  15. Jay wire

    July 11, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Having followed La Liga, which I still rate the most advanced in the world, for a million years, I’ll also give my two cents. Before I do that, I have to acknowledge the ink talent known as Eddie Griffin. Fantastic pieces as always and very well thought out. I like that you’re giving more of your own opinion.

    As for 2DG I’ve seen him play and my summarised opinion is we made the right choice. Definitely, without a shadow of doubt, one of the most highly technical goalkeepers in Europe. Technical ability has always and will always be high on my list and he is the best of all injury free goalkeepers right now. I’d have placed Gigi Buffon ahead, but he’s never available. De Gea’s footwork is top class and similarities with VDS are plenty. His positioning is excellent and he’s rarely if ever, caught out in the wrong place. Near perfect movement and support and he’s good with his feet in ball control and passing. Excellent at cutting out crosses and using his height to deal with aerial balls.

    As Barca will let you know, this kid has got very fast feet and hands. His reflexes are top notch and his Van Der Sar stretch saves are impressive. I’d say he is not as lightning fast as Neuer, but is less error-prone, which is the same problem the less technical Casillas has. I don’t worry myself much with issues of experience and age, if the talent is clear, but I’m more worried about his communication hurdles due to limited English. Mainly because communication, with defenders in particular, is a critical issue for goalkeepers. Also,you can never know how confidence plays a role, though he seems very confident in himself.

    But overall, I think he’s a better option, technically than Neuer,and is definitely top 5 in the world, so no harm in getting such quality.

    • Arvin

      July 11, 2011 at 11:02 pm

      Good day.

      While in agreement with a majority of your post, I am not sure I can agree with your assessment on his dealing with crosses and high balls.

      While he has done well whenever called upon to do so, he does tend to stay close to his line when balls come in high. And as I said, while forgivable in the La Liga, don’t you think it might(even slightly) be an issue in the BPL, more so when considering that he won’t get the level of protection GK’s get in other leagues?

      I am on board with you when it comes to his technical skill, but i do believe he will have to quickly adapt to an entirely different footballing climate when he starts in the BPL.


    • RedTan

      July 12, 2011 at 10:18 am

      Positive post, thank you. I was just thinking about the language thing and if the staff at Carington can not get the goalkeepers basic commands in to his head in a few weeks, every one has problems and need to take a good hard look at them selves. As for his place in the squad little pea speaks Spanish and most Portuguese speakers I know can communicate in Spanish to some degree. So the kid should be fine. I think a true test of his commitment will be how quickly he picks up English. Not necessarily for interviews, but for communicating around his team mates and feeling part of the squad.

      Again I do not think this is going to be an easy move for him and I wish him all the luck and give him all the support in the world.

  16. Jay wire

    July 11, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    @ despicable- Neuer is top class in my opinion, but is very young-Casillas like. Excellent shot stopper and reflexes but mediocre technical ability. His positioning always leaves him having to do the miraculous and prone to serious game changing mistakes. The Dutch goalkeeper with the name not to spell, I’ve watched mainly for the Netherlands and he looked top class technically. Haven’t watched Adler much so dunno. My fantasy choice would have been an injury free Buffon,definitely the best goalkeeper I’ve seen since watching football.

    • Grognard

      July 12, 2011 at 6:20 pm

      Neuer’s technical ability is far superior to your opinion of him. He does everything well but yes he is prone to the occasional brain drain or mistake but then again every keeper alive is prone to that. Neuer and all German keepers for that matter are superior due to their technical acumen and their abilities to manage the box better than other keepers. Where they may lack in some cases is in aerial ability due to the fact they play in a league and a continent that doesn’t cross the ball much. But in all other areas he is exceptional. I know you watch a fair amount of La Liga action and so I will give you your reviews of De Gea despite having seen him a fair amount of times. But I have seen well over a hundred performances of Neuer in the past three years alone being a Bundesliga fanboy as well as following Germany and without a doubt in my mind, the only keeper in world football today who is slightly better than Neuer is Casillas. Buffon’s best days are well past him and nobody else is even close to these too. Perhaps De Gea will become the bees knees but right now there is more hype than actual proof on his side. I wish the lad well though simply because he plays for United.

      • Jonny

        July 12, 2011 at 7:18 pm

        I wish the lad well though simply because he plays for United.

        here here!

  17. Robbie

    July 11, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Its very strange for fergie to come out and make comments as he has done regarding Nasri, I smell a ploy to entice Nasri int pressuring Wenger and Arsenal to sell him. Chelsea have upped their offer for Luka Modric to 27 million…are they joking? Levy would never ever sell for that amount, Why the fuck are we waiting we need to jump in with a 35 million pound bid and turn Modrics head further, he would suit us more than Schneider or Nasri because hes proven he can play in a two man midfield and is top 5 in the world-midfielders who excell at keeping possession.

    • RedTan

      July 12, 2011 at 10:19 am

      Agree 100% on sticking a big bid in for Modric. I think he is just what we need.

      • Grognard

        July 12, 2011 at 6:24 pm

        Apparently he has his heart set on Chelsea. Again I ask the question, why desire a player who doesn’t desire you? I think there are many midfielders out there that would give their left nut to play for us but Fergie always wants what he can’t have. Why? Because at the end of the day he cannot afford any of the players he can’t have and not getting them makes them look the bad guy, not him. It’s a Glazer designed smokescreen designed to point the inability to sing a player on the player, not the club. Baldrick would call it a “cunning plan”.

      • RedTan

        July 13, 2011 at 2:55 pm

        Apparently Chelsea are the only club to make a bid and it is clear he wants big wages and champions league football. By all accounts he only earns about 50 – 60k a week (it is sick the word only was used before such numbers) I dont see him going for a penny under 40 million some how as we all now Levy drives a hard bargain.
        Apparently a gentlemans agreement was made between Modric and Levy when he signed a double your money contract last close season. The agreement being that if a big club came in and spurs were not in the champions league he could go.

        Make of it what you will.

        I am not usually a fan of transfer season but this one is a bit interesting

  18. Robbie

    July 12, 2011 at 12:08 am

    De Gea looks an excellent keeper, from a proper goalkeeping school, I think he will be great from day one

    • RedTan

      July 13, 2011 at 2:56 pm

      Nice one Robbie I like your positive view on life

  19. Jay wire

    July 12, 2011 at 12:29 am

    Finally, concerning the midfield problem area, I’m going to go against the grain here and say I really hope we DON’T sign Sneijder. I definitely want to see two central midfielders signed, but Sneijder is not a CMF. There’s a whole lot that warns against signing him.

    1. Technical inadequacies

    Perhaps predictable that I should bring this up, but the reality is we’re not equipped technically to accommodate a player like Sneijder. Players like him have been designed deliberately into the new, modern form of football. We don’t play modern football, at least since Mike Phelan was appointed coach of the first team. Sneijder,because of his non-traditional midfield-attack design, is a completely alien concept to the limited minds of our coaches, much like Berbatov was. There’ll not know how to play him because they don’t understand his role or the roles of others relative to him. He’ll seem to them, as complex as a 21-st century quantum physicist lecturing Stone Age caveman. A technical disaster waiting to happen. Particularly with Rooney’s inclination to drop deep and if Berbatov is still around, the magnitude of confusion and chaos, can only be surpassed by potently wild imaginations. Factor in the positionally flexible Ashley Young and it’s clear that world class technical strategists would be necessary for Sneijder to work.

    2. Two holders

    It can be universally agreed that we now seriously and utterly stink at using narrow systems. Just look at the magnificent disasters we called performances in the first 3 quarters of the season. We started actually looking like a properly arranged and organised team when we switched to standard 4-4-2 in February. Unfortunately, Sneijder can only play consistently well, with not one, but two deep lying midfielders and one of them has to be a dedicated DMF. This automatically necessitates the use of narrow systems like 4-3-3 and 4-2-1-3, of which we’ve failed at dismally and have shown total lack of comprehension of these modern systems. That’s why,VDV,can’t play in a two man central mid. They’re not pure CMFs,but more of attacking midfielders. Same reason Anderson has struggled. He’s not a CMF.

    3. Consistency

    Of all the top players around, I’ll have Sneijder as one of the least consistent. On his day he can be unplayable, but he can completey go missing for many games. That’s been his story for Inter and Real Madrid. Just like his compatriot VDV. Big game player no doubt but he can frustrate so much with his mediocre patches. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great player that can change games for his team, but he’s overrated by those who don’t watch him regularly. This last season particularly, he’s been average tbh.

    All these factors coupled with the fact that he’s closing in on 28 and other options being better for Manchester United in midfield, make Sneijder,imo,a wrong move.

    • johnsom33

      July 12, 2011 at 1:40 am

      “All these factors coupled with the fact that he’s closing in on 28 and other options being better for Manchester United in midfield, make Sneijder,imo,a wrong move.”

      what options are better than him that we could realistically get?

      • Grognard

        July 12, 2011 at 6:30 pm

        I love Sneijder but I have to agree. I would actually still love him to show up at OT but deep inside me I realize he does not suit our system. Modric, Schweinsteiger, Rodwell, Defour do and we should be looking for two deep lying midfielders but more box to box as opposed to DMF’s. A healthy Hargreaves was just what we needed and it irks me now that he is showing himself fully healed in YouTube videos and it is now we sent him packing. All those years he couldn’t play we stuck with him and were patient and now we let him go. I would have given him a preseason trial before I cut him loose.

        United do not play with a classic AMF or do they play a 4-4-2 diamond or a 4-2-3-1 which would suit Sneijder perfectly. So unless Fergie was willing to change things tactically to accommodate Sneijder, I do not see how he could benefit us.

      • RedTan

        July 13, 2011 at 2:22 pm

        Well said. I have been saying the same for months.

        Internazionale’s technical director, Marco Branca, has insisted that Wesley Sneijder, the Β£35m-rated Manchester United target is not for sale. “There is nothing to update,” said Branca of the midfielder yesterday. “We have received no formal offer, nor do we intend to wait for one. There are no meetings planned with his agent. He is not for sale.”

        The word on the street as I said a few days back is that Nasri is more likely to stay at Arsenal. If Modric goes it will be for mega money. So either City or Chelsea will get him for about 35 – 40 million. Unless Fergie kidnaps him in a Berba style.

        So what do you think?

        Fergie needs to give Berba more playing time. He has promised Owen more playing time. Has the little Pea and Welbeck to come back. Do we think Fergie would or it would work if he brought Rooney in to the midfield?

    • Tevez

      July 12, 2011 at 2:16 am

      How are 4-3-3 or 4-2-1-3 narrow systems? Width is important in these formations for balance. In fact, width is important when attacking regardless of formation. The only teams who consistently play narrow systems are in Italy and they constantly struggle because of it. No clue on how to break teams down because with no-one out wide, the defending team can play narrow themselves and completely negate all the players trying to get into space between the lines. General rule; narrow when defending, wide when attacking. The only chance of a narrow attacking system working is for teams who consistently play on the counter. Any dominant team would fail. Of course United are horrible in a narrow system (or would be if we used one). We are a proactive team so the idea of using a narrow system just does not work.

      • Grognard

        July 12, 2011 at 6:33 pm

        They are narrow systems because that is the present nature of the continental game. You are too stuck into watching English teams and do not watch enough footy in Europe to see how most teams who use these formations have wingers or wide players who are not known for their sideline runs or for crossing but who play close to the 18 yard box and who cut in. That’s not to say they never see the sidelines but the basic facts are the game has become more narrow over the past five to six years.

      • Tevez

        July 13, 2011 at 12:36 am

        Grognard – The continental game is not like that at all, barring a few special cases. I watch plenty of European football mate, especially La Liga. On the whole, players operating out wide maintain width during build-up play. Especially in a 4-2-3-1, it is important the wide men stretch the play so as not to crowd the space occupied by the between-the-lines player. It is more feasible in a 4-3-3 as the midfield triangle is inverted (one holding behind two others), and the space in the hole in still free for them to drift into. This is how Messi lined up for Barcelona before his switch infield, and Ronaldinho did the same from the opposite flank before that. Generally though, wide players look to receive the ball out wide. It’s also beneficial if they look to run in behind the full back. There is already three players in the centre of the pitch looking to get the ball into feet (at least that is the typical attitude of a central midfield player) so the wingers need to balance that by stretching the play, both wide and high. This is their default role all across Europe.

        Look at Barcelona. Villa plays high and wide on the left. He is always looking for passes between the full back and centre back but his starting position is almost indefinitely outside the full back. He maintains this width when the ball is deep in midfield, on the other flank and when the full back on his side has it. Pedro is also very direct with a style that revolves around running off the ball. His starting position is wide on the right but he makes runs from deep rather than starting high. When the ball is down the left, he stretches the play by maintaining a position near the touchline, but when the ball comes from that side into the centre and the play is opened up, Pedro can also then come towards the ball when the situation dictates so and allow Dani Alves to make his favourite run on the blind side of the defence. They lose no width or penetration when Pedro moves inside because of Alves’ run. If Alves doesn’t make the run, Pedro won’t come inside as it narrows the game and benefits the defending team. These players are very important to the way Barcelona play and their contributions to the team are often undervalued. Messi, Iniesta and Xavi all come towards the ball and so they require players like Villa, Pedro and Alves to be as effective as they are. When these players are missing, the balance of the side is affected and the team as a whole just don’t click as they should. Losing the width and penetration of these players is just as detrimental to the team’s performance as missing Xavi or Iniesta. This is best demonstrated when Iniesta plays on the left. He does not naturally maintain width nor is he a direct off-the-ball runner. He drifts infield and in doing so hampers his teammates. This is compounded by a lack of adventure from left back. Too many players converging into the middle of the pitch, too many coming towards the ball.

      • Grognard

        July 13, 2011 at 7:13 am

        Mate, I have watched and studied the game extensively for 40 years. Pleas do not tell me I am wrong and give me Barcelona examples thanks to the fact they have fullbacks that can overlap. The fact is that since the days of “Total Football” as well as Italy’s “Catanaccio” the continental game has slowed down, adapted and become a very central mechanism that is rarely prone to spreading it wings. The continental game is about moving parts and interchangeability, not pace and width so please get your facts right and please read some books like “Inverting the Pyramid” and “The Simplest Game” before you feel you have the facts to correct me. Sorry if I sound arrogant and snobby but I know what I am talking about and no number of games watched by you is going to ever be enough to correct me unless you are older and have watched as many or more of the total games I have watched which is in the tens of thousands. I literally could write a book on tactics and how they have evolved over the past 40 years. The reason I do has more to do with laziness, not lack of knowledge.

      • Tevez

        July 13, 2011 at 12:08 pm

        You have ignored the genuine width in Barcelona’s team from an advanced position. Teams do have attacking full backs but Dani Alves is a special case and was germane to the discussion because of his tendency to make runs behind a defense when the ball is not on his wing. Full backs typically hold their position deep and wide and receive the ball into their feet before then looking to pass and overlap. Alves makes the kind of run often seen by advanced wingers. Generally, width from full back is not enough.
        I would rather you gave me examples of teams using narrow systems than talking about your experience. Which teams do you feel play a narrow 4-2-3-1? With the exception of Dortmund, I see none.
        Also, interchangeability and moving parts does not equate to no width. Clever players like Ozil and Suarez provide width frequently during games when other players drift inside from wide positions.

      • Grognard

        July 13, 2011 at 8:19 pm

        I feel nearly every team on the continent other than Bayern, Dortmund, Barca and Ajax and a few others play a very narrow game. However when I say that I mean the way they use wingers or the use of RAM’s and LAM’s or RF’s and LF’s not fullbacks. Fullbacks naturally play a wider game and so do wingers but these days out and out wingers are being replaced by players who are capable of playing wide but who have the ability to cut in and play in crowds and score as well. David Villa playing the LF position in Barca is a great example of a player who can and does play wide but for the most part cheats a bit inside and play on the edge of the box as opposed to the touch line.

        It is also important to understand that formations mean nothing today. A coach may give his starting lineup in a 4-5-1 but in actuality it resembles more of a 4-3-3 because of how deep the wide midfielders are allowed to go. And a lot has to do with the kind of talent you have. If you play a 4-3-3 with a player like Ronaldo at RF, and Nani on LF. Nani will stay wider and Ronaldo will always look for goals so the formation starts to look very much like a 4-4-2. Player’ skill sets and tendencies have so much to do with the flexibility of formations and less to do with managers, don’t you think?

      • Tevez

        July 14, 2011 at 1:24 am

        Yes, player’s skills and natural inclinations play a huge part in how a team takes shape on the park. Gareth Bale and Luka Modric have both played on the left for Tottenham in a 4-4-2 but there are vast differences in how they perform the role. Coaches do have a big say as well though and can bring the best out of a player through tactical instruction. Watching a player play in a position you can never truly know to what extent he is following management advice/orders or interpreting the role himself. For example, look at Ronaldo for us. Always considered lazy and unwilling defensively. I remember Fergie in an interview talking about Ronaldo being their best chance of a counter attack and how he set the team up to keep Ronaldo as an outlet down the right for when the team won the ball. Fans often complained about his attitude and work rate defensively when things weren’t going well – and Ronaldo certainly took his freedom to the extreme – but ultimately he was playing as his manager required. Fergie would never have allowed Ronaldo to simply be lazy on his own accord. His freedom also certainly escalated, as he began to regularly drift from his wide position. It is hard to know how much of this is his doing and how much is Fergie’s. Really, given that a manager’s job is to bring the best out of his players, what he instructs a player to do in a given role and what the player looks to do naturally should be one and the same. Players such as Park and Hargreaves were often played down the opposite wing as an equaliser, leading to a great deal of asymmetry in the set-up. From a tactical point of view, it is difficult to categorise this system into a discernible shape.

        Also just to clarify, I do not count full backs when I describe a system as using genuine width either, with the exception of Dani Alves who plays the game like no other full back across Europe.

    • RedDevilEddy

      July 12, 2011 at 2:55 am

      I’ve been saying this for months, thank God you came with this! πŸ™„ Hope neither Sneijder or Nasri comes, but wouldn’t say no to Schweinsteiger…

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      July 12, 2011 at 3:42 am

      I’ll buy our lack of technical capability, but I respectfully, I disagree with consistency and I think he can adopt (i.e. he is a versatile player) to our style, unlike Berba (which you used in your example). He performed superbly in 2009-10 and in the World Cup (Inter and Holland, two different teams) and then he got injured.

      If we spend 35 million, I would be happy with Sneijder or Modric…. or both. πŸ˜€

      I have more faith in Sneijder and Modric than Nasri… should be fun to see what happens… if anything happens :/

      Carrick-Flether-Cleverly-Anderson midfield πŸ˜€

      • Grognard

        July 12, 2011 at 6:36 pm

        Some people mistake inconsistency with injuries. Sneijder was inconsistent last year because he was fighting multiple injuries. Two years ago Inter won the treble with him being outstanding the whole year. So, one must take thing s for the way they are and not how they seem to some who know nothing but act like they do.

      • RedTan

        July 13, 2011 at 2:30 pm

        Not to mention the Rafa factor. The man turns milk sour and good players bad

  20. Rimmerstweets

    July 12, 2011 at 1:50 am


    Find my email and contact me, thanks.

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      July 12, 2011 at 3:31 am

      OOOOOOOOOOOooooooooohhhh… someone is in T-ROUBLE!!! 8) 8)

      • johnsom33

        July 12, 2011 at 4:29 am

        hahaha Thats funny, but I doubt he is in trouble.

      • Rimmerstweets

        July 12, 2011 at 4:34 am

        Haha no one’s in trouble….


  21. godzilla

    July 12, 2011 at 3:26 am

    @TRaverse – Whats the latest mate after Fergie’s surprising statement on Nasri! Are the fucking blues getting him !!??

    • Traverse

      July 12, 2011 at 8:17 pm

      Fergie rarely mentions players by name unless he’s up to something. Like Modric being player of the season… Interestingly the question he was asked was about Nasri and Sneijder, and he ignored the Sneijder stuff. Nasri’s agent has since said that Nasri will not sign a new contract, and has interest from United and City. Doesn’t sound decided to me.

      If I had to work out what Fergie is up to….. I’d say he’s making it look like Nasri has already agreed a deal with City so that Wenger is pissed off and refuses to sell to them. That’s how I’d play it.

      Someone from the Italian press said on talksport that United have made a Β£32mil + Β£7mil in add ons and bits bid that hasn’t been turned down. Their president has said something like ‘We lost Ibrahimovich and we improved, so why not again’

  22. godzilla

    July 12, 2011 at 3:28 am

    If Carlos Tevez actually leaves City for family reasons and goes back to Argy, he will definitely recover some respect in my eyes. He is a in a position this year to lead a club which is getting stronger every day and a year where they would be contenders for a couple of trophies at least. To walk away from that and the spotlight for your family is a bold move.

  23. johnsom33

    July 12, 2011 at 4:31 am

    Just saw a rumour saying Inter want Nani as part of the deal for Sneidjer. F that, I would be irate if that happened.

  24. Vignesh

    July 12, 2011 at 6:57 am

    what about lasanna diara ..from what it seems sneijder is happy at inter, nasri is not coming neither modric …so diara and might be another mf can be bought for 35M ❓ ❓

  25. AndyCR7

    July 12, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Apparently Diarra has not traveled with Madrid’s squad for pre-season.

  26. despicable

    July 12, 2011 at 8:21 am

    I want to see Pranjic given a chance, he is good. also not so costly and young.. Seems AV’s signing..

    • RMJ

      July 12, 2011 at 2:33 pm

      aah pranjic…i would give an arm and a leg to get this guy..oozes quality…

  27. colver

    July 12, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Jay Wire has some valid concerns. But Sneijder is Dutch and as footballers go they are quite adaptable. Paul Scholes used to play almost as a striker and easily slotted into a deeper central midfield role. Giggs played most his career as a winger and turned into an central midfielder.

    I see no reason why Sneijder cannot also slot into a 4-4-2 alongside Carrick or Fletcher.

    And in the big games we can use a 4-4-1-1 with Sneijder in the hole behind Rooney the way we used to deploy Giggs sometimes.

    • despicable

      July 12, 2011 at 9:47 am

      Not sure how that logic works, VDV struggled in Madrid side, anyways most of the people do.. Yes others did well. But its too general an argument. How can all footballers of a country are adaptable.

      Yes sneider has done well in inter, but not sure how good he is against physical sides.. πŸ™

      Anyways no point arguing.. we will see if he comes.. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

      • [OPTI]Madschester United

        July 12, 2011 at 4:59 pm

        Wouldn’t you say Bayern Munich is a pretty physical side and Inter (aka Sneijder) swept them aside in the final…

    • Grognard

      July 12, 2011 at 6:39 pm

      Dutch players are also highly technical and creative in nature. Certainly nothing to avoid. My take on Sneijder is if he can excel for somebody like Mourinho, he can play for Fergie too.

  28. RedTan

    July 12, 2011 at 10:28 am


  29. RedTan

    July 12, 2011 at 10:28 am


  30. despicable

    July 12, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    Bad News Valencia hasn’t recovered yet.
    Hopefully he get well soon.

    • RedTan

      July 12, 2011 at 2:49 pm

      I like Tony V but nani on the right and young on the left is all so very very good for me.

      I think it was a shame Nani got moved to the left last season as i thought he was our best attacking player last season until he got moved to the left

  31. godzilla

    July 12, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    News is a Diarra-Nani swap is on the cards.

    • despicable

      July 12, 2011 at 1:34 pm

      I havent seen it, No way thats gonna happen unless its Diara+Ozil

      • godzilla

        July 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm

        Haha. am just kidding. all this transfer talk and the targets discussed seems completely meaningless if you really look at – sneijder, nasri, s’steiger, ozil, diarra….all conversations are pretty futile but we still indulge in them every season then feel disappointed πŸ˜‰ lets leave it to fergie to figure out and go for someone or promote someone from youth like cleverly or pogba.

      • RedTan

        July 12, 2011 at 2:47 pm

        band wind up by the way, i know sites that would ban you in an instant for such a thing

        • Rimmerstweets

          July 12, 2011 at 4:46 pm

          For reasons I doubt you know about RedTan……I love this comment!

          πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      • RedTan

        July 12, 2011 at 5:32 pm

        @Rimmerstweets i am guessing the typo as it just made me laugh as well. Either my thumbs grew in the night or my key board has shrunk. I seem to be doing a lot of it today πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  32. johnsom33

    July 12, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    You guys do realise Grognard is going to be awake any moment now and he is going to go ballistic when he reads some of the comments today about GK’s?

    I cant wait, Let the debates begin! πŸ˜† 😈 πŸ˜†

    • Jonny

      July 12, 2011 at 5:35 pm

      eh, it’s not like he ever has anything important to say 😈 πŸ˜†

      i kid, i kid

    • Grognard

      July 12, 2011 at 6:41 pm

      There is no point in going ballistic with any of these people. Fact is they are wrong and I am right and the sooner they can come to terms with that the better we all will be. πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€

      • Grognard

        July 12, 2011 at 9:51 pm

        Red Tan: What the fuck is your problem? And above all, what part of don’t get personal with members on this blog did you not get?

      • johnsom33

        July 12, 2011 at 9:59 pm

        Red Tan give it a break, why are you hellbent on trying to wind up Grognard? Are you Dan in disguise?

      • RedTan

        July 13, 2011 at 10:51 am

        @GongNards “What the fuck is your problem? And above all, what part of don’t get personal with members on this blog did you not get?”

        The bit you clearly did not get in the united tour squad thread. At least I do not use verbally abusive language at people

        If i think a post is hypocritical I should be able to state as much. I think you should look at the foul mouthed insults dished out by you on the previous page as that is getting personal with members. So what part do you not get about getting person with members, after all that is what you have been doing. Is it not?

      • RedTan

        July 13, 2011 at 10:59 am

        @johnsom33. Not intentionally winding him up just asking questions and making observations. How ever this does seem to wind him up judging by the insults he dishes out.

      • Grognard

        July 13, 2011 at 8:31 pm

        Listen mate, my language is nothing more than a retaliation. I don’t like using it but when somebody singles me out for their warped pleasure and enjoys baiting me in an argument, they will feel my wrath. And you starte4d it 100%. I never attacked you, questioned you, called you any names before you lambasted me with your insults. And after I told you to stop with the personal attacks, you continued. So look at yourself in the mirror if you are looking to point fingers ant the lone guilty party in this war. I never asked for it. You disagree with my opinions, that’s fine state so, offer your own and move on. You do not need to insult me and belittle my offerings on this blog just because it is your god given right to tell all others how they should think. You are a little to high on yourself I think and you need to temper it quite a bit and learn to be more polite.

        As for me being a hypocrite, if I get into it with somebody else here it’s usually because I have along and friendly history with that individual and some times we will jokingly throw a barb at each other now and then. You are nothing but a newbie and a troll because you offer nothing to the blog other than insulting individuals like me Moscow, Eddy others for their views, their sense of humor. The crack pipe reference towards Eddy was one that pissed me off greatly. Eddy writes what’s in his heart and has a good sense of humor. It’s not always about football with him but then again you haven’t been around here long enough to get to know any of us and what makes us tick. Instead you show up and act like police dog and an asshole from the get go. I would suggest strongly to you that you either change the way you act and show people like myself a little more respect or basically you will be toast. The blog doesn’t tolerate bullies or assholes, and WOW, look at you, you fill both categories quite well. What a star. πŸ™„ πŸ™„ 😑 😑

  33. RedDevilEddy

    July 12, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    I like rollerblading! It’s just so fucking awesome :mrgreen:

    • RedDevilEddy

      July 12, 2011 at 5:37 pm

      And the award for the most random comment of the day goes to RedDevilEddy!

      • RedDevilEddy

        July 12, 2011 at 5:39 pm

        It’s not fucking random, I just skated from Oslo Central to my home, that’s like 40 minutes skating next to big ass trailers and buses with people who look at me like “Yeah, he’s so fucking awesome. Look at him skating. I wish I could do that. I wish I was him. Because he’s just awesome”. Fuck you for being random calling me random!

      • RedDevilEddy

        July 12, 2011 at 5:40 pm

        Who the fuck are you to tell me to fuck me?! Fuck off bitch!

      • RedDevilEddy

        July 12, 2011 at 5:40 pm

        I’m you, you fucking fucker. I fuck you in the nose!

      • RedDevilEddy

        July 12, 2011 at 5:42 pm

        Oh yeah?! Well fuck me in the nose and I’m gonna nosebleed. Because your dick is so big!

      • RedDevilEddy

        July 12, 2011 at 5:42 pm

        True story 8)

    • RedTan

      July 12, 2011 at 6:39 pm

      Put the crack pipe down and step away from the computer. Any self respecting red knows that smack is the drug for posting on blogs

      • RedDevilEddy

        July 12, 2011 at 10:41 pm

        You haven’t been on this site for very long have you?

      • RedTan

        July 13, 2011 at 10:47 am

        Not long enough to realise your crack addiction, no. Are you going to try and mug me so you can score a few stones

      • RedDevilEddy

        July 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm

        What the fuck are you on about? πŸ™„

      • Grognard

        July 13, 2011 at 8:32 pm

        Trust me dude, your days are numbered.

  34. Jonny

    July 12, 2011 at 5:38 pm (Guardian)

    1M Euro to play Napoli? is that on top of a share in the gate? or i wonder how friendlies are normally done from a finances point of view

    p.s. I recommend using tiny url for long links, it messes up the formatting otherwise

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      July 12, 2011 at 6:19 pm

      how do you make tiny-urls

      • Jonny

        July 12, 2011 at 7:01 pm

        just go to and post the link in the field and it will generate one for you

      • Rimmerstweets

        July 12, 2011 at 9:20 pm

        insert link you want to squeeze and press ‘Make TinyURL!’

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      July 12, 2011 at 6:22 pm

      There is also the “Ext. Link” option to embed links in text.

      Personally, I prefer if links are followed with a little description; rather than just posted. [Jonny, thanks for the description]

      • Grognard

        July 12, 2011 at 6:44 pm

        I’ll second that motion. I hate links with no information about what they are about. It’s Like I going surfing without trunks. Info about the links please or don’t bother because I won’t.

    • gator

      July 13, 2011 at 4:48 pm

      how about we give them 15m and play them at their grounds and we take hamsik back to ot 😈

  35. Jonny

    July 12, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    here’s my stab at my prefered formation for the current team.

    it’s my feeling that Modric (or a player similar to his skill set) would be perfect for the ??? player’s role.

    I’m going to bed now, so i don’t have time to elaborate on it, but please feel free to discuss its merits or lack thereof.

    I’ll try to contribute to the discussion tomorrow

    gnight all

  36. Traverse

    July 12, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Federico Macheda is on twitter. Just tweeted ‘Time to sleep before training…hope to see Sneider here soon!’ followed by ‘Can’t I say that?’ and they’ve both been deleted.

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      July 12, 2011 at 9:06 pm

      Only Barca players act like they own other players… not United way and that Twitter statement is more of a personal hope than official news…. since when does someone as insignificant as Macheda know about the transfer dealings of the club…

      Only Fergie+Gill and Sneijder+Inter Board know what is really going on…

    • RedDevilEddy

      July 12, 2011 at 10:44 pm

      Doubt it’s the real Kiko Macheda, I’ve seen no evidence of it being him so far.

      • johnsom33

        July 12, 2011 at 10:50 pm

        Rio is following him, I doubt he would follow a fake account, but who knows.

      • Traverse

        July 13, 2011 at 2:54 am

        Rio tweeted that it was his account yesterday morning. I didn’t say it means it’s a done deal. I said he said it, which he did. And I said he deleted it, which he did.

  37. RedDevilEddy

    July 12, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Bebe scored for Besiktas on his debut today, a day which also remarks him becoming 21 years of age.

    Happy birthday Bebe! πŸ˜€

  38. Jay wire

    July 12, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    @Rimmerstweets,where do I find ur email?

  39. RedDevilEddy

    July 12, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Fergie to Norwegian United magazine today:

    – “No, these reports are not true” when asked whether United are in talks with Sneijder over a contract.

    – “Internazionale refuse to sell him, so it’s a difficult situation. We’ll see what happens” hereby confirming that the interest in Sneijder is at least real.

  40. Jay wire

    July 13, 2011 at 12:48 am

    @ Johnsom33, the better options than Sneijder are not necessarily ito talent but relevance and potential for success. We need someone that can easily play in a two man central midfield and he’s not that person. They tried it with Madrid and it turned out to be a disaster. He needs a strong base behind him to allow him the freedom to do his thing. That means we’ll need to play narrow and with the quality of our coaches, confusion is bound to prevail. My choices would be Modric,Schweinsteger and Juan Mata.

    @Colver and Tevez
    If we can come up with the logic that Fletcher with Scholes should be paired with the former as an attacking mid and the latter as as holding midfielder, then the potential for confusion with a 3 man midfield including Sneijder,should be infinite. I’m not interested. I mean, imagine the level of sophistication required in blending Rooney,Berbatov and Sneijder. Both strikers drop deep whilst Sneijder prefers to play very advanced. The result is, you’ll have 3 players congregating the same area. It’s all very well to theorize about how they could play eg Rooney dropping deep behind an advanced Berbatov, with Sneijder in a free role in the final third, but implementation requires some high level of technical sophistication.

    You’ll need highly innovative coaches, who can turn that theory into practice. It’s very easy to take for granted that the Barca trio of Lionel Xaviesta constitutes the best in the world hence they’re easily compatible. However, careful analysis will show that all 3 generally congregate in the same central region and there’s a clear formula by which they work together, to produce that rhythmic, flowing passing and movement. It’s not the players who came up with that formula, it’s their coach. And it had to be perfect otherwise the potential for massive confusion would be realised

    • Tevez

      July 13, 2011 at 1:33 am

      The idea of playing Scholes as a holding player and Fletcher box to box is a logical one. Scholes could no longer run, but his skill and intelligence on the ball were still there. So playing him deeper was great when in possession as he could still dictate a game better than just about anyone. Fletcher has an abundance of energy and could run all day. So that is a great foil for an ageing Scholes and vice versa. With Scholes sitting, Fletcher was freed up to use his strengths. Far from an ideal partnership with Scholes in poor physical condition and with rather abysmal core defensive skills anyway, leaving us vulnerable defensively especially on counter attacks, and Fletcher with an inadequate technique and football brain. Nevertheless as a partnership that is the right way to play them.

    • johnsom33

      July 13, 2011 at 2:30 am

      Jaywire, I thought Sneijder was played out on the wing at Madrid? Yes I am a big fan of modric and I wish we could get him much more than Sneijder. Schweinsteiger isnt an option because Bayern arent gonna let him go. As for Mata, I thought he was wide player as well.

      Have you given up on a CM partnership of Carrick and Anderson?

      • Grognard

        July 13, 2011 at 8:36 pm

        Sneijder started out as a winger in Ajax and when Madrid bought him it was as a winger slash RAM or LAM. It was Mourinho who converted him to AMF or even a very deep playing CF behind the ST.
        Bottom line is Sneijder is very versatile and would especially show his value during patches when the club had injuries. What he is not good at is defending or tackling, but then again, neither was Scholes.

  41. Jay wire

    July 13, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Sometimes the problem we have as fans, is thinking, formation and tactics are the same. That’s why you’ll find a lot of our comments will have line ups and formations, with relative disregard to the nitty gritty of how to “systemize” the body structure. That’s where world class coaches come in. They see each individual player and study their strengths and style, and formulate roles according to these and perfectly assign each player. All these perfect individual roles will all have been grouped within an aggregate body system like a jigsaw puzzle. Perfect fit. But it’s still all theory at this stage. The real work comes in the form of turning it into practice. Teaching the players, ie training.

    This is not the point at which our coaches fail. They fail already at the first hurdle of theory and by the time they try teaching the players how to work within that flawed system, confusion would have already multiplied exponentially to it’s chaotic worst. But to their credit, our coaching staff seem to have grasped one system relatively well. Standard 4-4-2. It’s relatively simple and traditional in england. A central defender is a central defender. No libero nonsense. A central midfielder is simply a CM,no trequartista or regista rubbish. Wide men are wide men, whether they tend to cut in or not and hugging the touchline and whipping in crosses is what they’re paid to do. So it’s clearly to our advantage, fans, the manager, the players and the coaches themselves, if we find players that can work within a standard wide, old fashioned, British 4-4-2 and with Sneijder,no existing evidence indicates he can

    • Rimmerstweets

      July 13, 2011 at 1:43 am

      But doesn’t all that just explain the basic problem we have and highlight the need for a player who actually knows a better way.

      It seems to me that no one at mufc has the ability to teach the nuances of central midfield to a central midfielder.

      Scholes knew but his talent is/was natural.

      Therefore, Carrick, Anderson, Fletcher, Pogba, Norwood, Tunnicliffe etc etc can only improve if there’s someone to teach them, surely that’s what we’re buying when/if we buy WS.

      What I’m saying is, paying someone the absolute nuts to teach the rest of the CMs seems like great business to me, and a great long term plan.

      Personally I’d break the bank to get WS and also Xabi Alonso for 3 yrs, let them pass the knowledge on through the ranks. Once they leave, the ranks are suitably armed with the knowledge and the experience to pass it on to the next man……and so on and so on.

      Right now we don’t have the know-how anywhere within the club…….WS = SOS.

      • Rimmerstweets

        July 13, 2011 at 1:46 am

        Oh, and hopefully the coaches will learn something from it too, and dare I say it …….. SAF.

  42. Grognard

    July 13, 2011 at 7:22 am

    With all the signings and speculation of more signings, the one thing still missing which is more important than any player to this team is finding a competent tactically savvy replacement to Mike Phelan. All this talk about central midfield and finding somebody who can teach it to our players only leads to the obvious observation that Phelan is a muppet. We need to bring in a strong coach from the continent who knows his strategy and tactics and hope he can make the difference and even teach Fergie a few things.

    • RedTan

      July 13, 2011 at 10:40 am

      What evidence do you have that he is a mupet? Are you one of those “he has a foreign name he must be good?” Are you capable of posting with out being derogatory? Perhaps you could say “I do not think he is that tactically great, what do other posters think”

      Do you now Phealens exact contribution to the tactics of the team?

      And by the way as you clearly think Fergie is shit Phealen is a muppet and a big chunk of the squad is useless. Can you explain our standing as being one of the top 2 teams in Europe consistently over the last 5 years?

      • Grognard

        July 13, 2011 at 8:36 pm

        I know you are a muppet.

  43. Jay wire

    July 13, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Johnsom, WS was used wide as Pienaar, briefly and it failed. His role 90% of the times was trequartista though they tried to play him in a two man CM as well, which ultimately failed. As for Mata,just like Nasri,he’s an attacker, general not a wide man. But he has been played central before and did well. The reason I mentioned him is because in terms of quality central midfielders, of an attacking capacity, there are very few available right now. So it’s a great compromise but I’d still have him before WS on the basis of adaptability. As for the Carrick, Anderson combination, I still believe it can be a solution but replacing both Scholes and Hargreaves is critical imo. We’re seriously thin in central midfield, and Carrick needs cover in the holding role. I’d also break the bank for Alonso but it’s a dream and my choice to cover for Carrick is Cheik Tiote of Newcastle. I’d love to see Pogba come in but for some reasons he still seems far from the 1st team. If we don’t buy any midfielders I won’t panic, as long as the ones we have are used logically. And that’s really my WS fear

  44. Jay wire

    July 13, 2011 at 10:14 am

    Tevez, I’m not sure what practical evidence you’ve seen that suggests Paul Scholes in a holding role makes sense, but I haven’t seen it. First off, it’s not like I’m mentioning the partnership with Fletcher theoretically. It was actually used at the beginning of the season and it failed dismally. One, a holding midfielder should have excellent defensive capabilities. Scholes is nowhere near such an attribute. His tackling is poor and if he was a great interceptor like Busquets or Carrick then at least he’d have something, but he isn’t. As for Fletcher as an AM,that makes even less sense. He is totally clueless about this role and his passing is poor and unimaginative. His movement is random and he plays what we in Africa call “number ball”. A player who totally lacks any technical appreciation and just follows where the ball goes.

    The result. Total confusion in midfield and we conceded goals like crazy because you had a holding midfielder who ticked all the boxes for why he should not be a holding midfielder and attacking midfielder with absolutely no clue about what he ought to do. Up to now I still scratch my head trying to figure out if the coaches actually thought about it for longer than 5 seconds or it was an experiment to see how much mashing up can be done before the team starts losing. You can see exactly why I totally despise our technical capacity. Teams like Barca, Arsenal, Milan have dedicated years of technical advancement and we have Mike Phelan to show for it. You won’t necessarily lose games and we can thank the management of Alex Ferguson for it(winning mentality) and the players(ability and ruthlessness), but you’ll definitely not play pretty if your trainer is confused and quite frankly clueless.

    • RMJ

      July 13, 2011 at 2:21 pm

      @Jaywire:- actually jay the scholes fletcher partnership existed early last season. it made us a greater attacking team but also we threw away leads due to late goals(check our early games gainst everton & bolton etc) and such and marked the beginning of the end of Evans who was continuously left exposed due to scholes lack of pace and defensive attributes and well fletcher’s indiscipline while playing..

      you would think a fletcher carrick paternership would work well too and it is a very effective formation….to completely destroy an attacking team to shreds..our victims of this partnership were spuds and the gooners who were in their prime attacking wise and they never truly recovered :)…i remember a lot of folks throwing a fit cos while we won these games it was dreadful to watch…we utterly dominated but our play style looked downright clearly wasn’t the united way

      at the rate we are going i seriously fear we will not be getting a fergie planning to start jones and carrick in the middle? a long 2 months ahead….. πŸ˜₯

  45. Vignesh

    July 13, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    what about getting scottie parker of west ham πŸ™„ ❓

  46. RedTan

    July 13, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Is this very good goalkeeping or very bad goalkeeping

  47. [OPTI]Madschester United

    July 13, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Check out Barca’s Xavi claiming that Cesc is “suffering [because he] wants to come [to Barca]” πŸ™„

    This is another reason why I HATE barca… running their mouth worse than a sewer…

  48. Traverse

    July 13, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Manchester Evening News has said on twitter that it’s been confirmed to them that David Gill is in Milan. Brilliant news. We’re at least actually trying to sign Sneijder. Yes he’s 27. Yes he’ll be on Β£200k a week. Yes these break all of Fergies rules, but Scholes is gone and Fergie will feel that loss more than any other player.

  49. Traverse

    July 13, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Go to google, and type wesley sneijder nike football and press enter. The plot thickens!

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      July 13, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      Why not just tell us the beans…

    • AndyCR7

      July 13, 2011 at 5:42 pm

      what’s there?

      EDIT: got it. Nike teasing us πŸ˜›

  50. BabyFace

    July 13, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    If Red Tan keeps going like this, someone’s gonna lose their hair..

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