manchester united Category
Ahead of Manchester United’s Champion’s League tie with PSV, the Independent has news:
Champions League: Manchester United’s injury woes continue to mount for PSV visit
United fans will see that headline. Worry. And click.
They will arrive at the Indy’s website, and we told:
Champions League: Manchester United’s injury woes continue to mount for PSV visit
Yes, yes. And in small print:
There is some hope that Rooney, Martial and Mata will be fit to face PSV
A headline on mounting injury woes turns out to be news that three top players are in line for a return to the fist XI.
The Independent is so independent of thought its writers contradict each other freely. Sometimes they ever contradict themselves in the space of a few minutes. Today the paper has NINE stories on Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.
David Ward writes:
Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United: Alex Ferguson ‘99% sure’ forward will return to Old Trafford, says Patrice Evra
Writes David Ward:
Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United: Real Madrid star will not leave Bernabeu, claims agent Jorge Mendes
Those November 24 scoops in full: 100% says Ronaldo stays; 99% says Ronaldo leaves.
Such are the facts in the trusty Independent.
As it is the Sun says “Utd fear a takeaway”.
Cue jokes about walls.
As for the story, well, it’s balls. China has lot of TV cash to invest in the sport. Rooney, being a top players, is one name the money men want to attract.
So is he going? No. The Sun adds:
There is no suggestion of an agreement being in place with Rooney but his advisors are considering all options ahead of his next move.
No news, then.
Trouble at Real Madrid. One bruising defeat to Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo, 30, says of manager Rafael Benitez: “Either he goes, or I go.” And that means Ronaldo is off to play for Manchester United.
Well, so reports the Daily Telegraph, in an article headlined: “Rafa Benitez heads for Bernabau exit.”
Writer Oliver Brown links to the source of his scoop that Ronaldo picks Real’s manager.
We follow the link, which turns out to be a second Telegraph story.
…given the snake-eye Ronaldo was casting in Rafael Benítez’s direction, one would be foolish to rule out a parting of the ways, even if Real Madrid were far more likely to bin Rafa than sell Ronaldo. Though ‘it is understood’ Florentino Péérez would be prepared to let him leave if United paid them the £80m fee back.
This story makes not a single mention of Ronaldo’s ultimatum.
To recap: Ronaldo never said it’s either him of Benitez; Benitez is not leaving; and the Telegraph is bullshit.com.
In “GALACTIGO”, the Daily Express says Manchester United are poised to sign Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. If Real Madrid sell their players, if Manchester United have the money to sign then, if the players want to leave and play at Old Trafford, and if the planets are in alignment, United will get their men.
Bale, says the Express, is not a fans’ favourite at Real. A poll by Marca found “more than 48,000 people thought him the worst player on the pitch” when Real were tonked 4-0 by Barcelona., “closely followed by Ronaldo”.
Over at Marca, we read “Could Real Madrid have won the game?”
Answer: “Absolutely no chance.”
The paper adds:
Raphaël Varane looked like a nervous schoolboy. Toni Kroos returned to his deeper role, but nobody seemed to notice. He was rendered invisible. And Luka Modric was swept away by Iniesta, whose imposing performance was a finger in the eye for all those who assured that his best days were over early on last season.
No word on Bale and Ronaldo. But a few words on the manager are forthcoming:
Rafa Benítez’s dismissal is not a matter of if, but when. The debacle against Barcelona would seem to have made the decision a foregone conclusion.
And now for the poll facts.
Following Saturday’s disastrous result at the Bernabéu, more than 120,000 MARCA.com readers voted and assigned blame for what happened. Although everyone involved shared in the overall blame, Florentino Pérez was singled out as the person most at fault.
The Real Madrid president picked up over 42% of the votes as the person most to blame for the crisis at the club following its embarrassing home defeat to Barça.
Pérez came in a long way ahead of Benítez (31.9%) and the players themselves (26%) when assigning blame for the team’s current situation.
And the players?
One of the most interesting things is that the Bernabéu faithful are most disappointed with the club’s big-name stars. Bale, Ronaldo and Benzema are amongst the players that fans blame most for the historic defeat. Them, and Danilo.
The players that fans are least disappointed with are Carvajal, Marcelo, Navas, Modric and James, in that order.
Team loses to arch rivals. Monocular fans turn on big name players, manager and president they hope will make them win, letting off steam in an online poll.
Ronaldo and Bale lead Real to champions’ League glory. All is right with the world. And in the UK, the Express says the biggest culprit are of to Old Trafford. Rafa for United it is, then…
The Mail, Express and Star all lead with Manchester United’s pursuit of Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Mail says the door is open to a £60m bid for the Real Madrid star. The impetus for a Ronaldo bid is being powered by Louis Van Gaal and media spin. What the United manager said was:
“We are looking at all players, not just Ronaldo. But these players are mostly ungettable. With Ronaldo, let’s wait and hope. There is no trainer in the world that doesn’t like him.”
The figure of £60m is pure speculation by the Mail, which says Ronaldo could only “probably” be transferred to one of three clubs: Chelsea, PSG and Man United.
Manchester United beat Watford 1-2 in today;’s Premier League match. The winning goal was scored by… well, who”:
The Manchester Evening News says Man United’s German midfielder scored the winner.
Bastian Schweinsteiger scores last-minute winner in 2-1 success after Memphis and Deeney goals
The Independent’s live blog agrees:
That’s what you get when football writers watch matches via twitter.
The winning goal was an own-goal scored by Watford’s Troy Deeney.
Transfer balls: Is Arjen Robben heading back to the Premier League to play for Manchester United?
Yes, says the Daily Express. He is. The paper’s headline is definitive:
Former Chelsea winger agrees January move to Manchester United
Why wold Robben agree to join Man United now?
Adam Skinner writes:
United manager Louis van Gaal is keen to add some pace to his forward line and Robben is understood to be keen to leave Bayern Munich.
Well, d’uh. He’s agreed to join Manchester United. You told us that, Adam. Not sure how well that will go down with Bayern Munich fans when they watch him play for the German giants before the transfer window opens in January.
What the Mirror claims is an actual done deal in the Express.
Van Gaal has already expressed his desire to make a marquee signing in the January transfer window and might continue his spending spree after completing a deal for the 31-year-old.
Might? And, Skinner, a marquee is a big tent not a human being.
Having made a statement and then denied it, Skinner adds:
Robben could form one half of a sensational double deal, with Gareth Bale also thought to be at the top of a list of targets.
Could. Thought. Might.
Such are the facts.
Manchester United have agreed terms with 17-year-old Darren Raekwon McIntosh-Buffonge. A mere five years ago, Darren was let go by Arsenal. He then tried his luck at Fulham. And now he’s signed a scholarship contract at Old Trafford.
Bit deal for him. But not a big deal for Arsenal nor Man United – unless you read your news in the Metro, where the move is:
Done deal: Man United confirm signing of brilliant ex Arsenal midfielder
Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal has been talking with the Telegraph:
On his vocation:
Already, when I was a boy, I knew I wanted to be a trainer-coach. I lived near the Ajax training ground and I watched the training sessions. All my friends were looking to the players and I was looking to the coach. It was a big difference.
I have played at the highest level in the Netherlands, until I was 32. But I was not a top player.
I know that when you analyse yourself, that you cannot be a top player. So, I knew in advance that I shall be maybe a very good trainer-coach.
On making Ajax
We didn’t have any money and we were bankrupt, so I had to look to youth. We scouted [Jari] Litmanen, a Finnish player, who we bought for £10,000. We also bought Finidi George. He was a Nigerian international. He was £3,000. I paid it by myself! And then, we bought Marc Overmars.
On his philosophy
When you see my press conferences, I’m discussing a lot my philosophy. Sometimes, the media is not very proud of it. But, sometimes, they are firmly crazy for it because I explain a lot. It takes always a little bit of time to transfer the message. I’m training in the brain – a lot of things in the brain – because football is not a sport of legs, it is a sport of brain, and tactics. So, that takes a lot of time.
On his job
I’m from a time where you [the manager] did everything. Now I’m the manager and I have a sports science department, I have a scouting department, I have a medical department, I have assistant managers, I have assistant coaches. I don’t do anything – nothing! I delegate. I delegate, and I earn a lot of money.
Read it all.
In “Women peep in Utd loos”, the Sun reports on Marcus King, a man who claims that whilst working at Manchester United’s training ground he was spied on by three women. “He told a a tribunal he heard sniggering outside the disabled toilet when he sat on the loo.
The three women he alleges bullied him at work are all called…Sue.
The case of reverse nominative determinism continues.
The Premier League is rubbish, isn’t it. Leicester City are third in the table, one point off top spot. They have in Vardy a striker who cannot stop scoring. And yet the story is that Manchester United – one place behind Leicester – are wondering if Vardy is good enough to play for THEM.
The England striker has been in sensational form this season and has already netted 12 Premier League goals. His performances have not gone unnoticed at Old Trafford, with United boss Louis van Gaal reportedly weighing up a £15million swoop.
The Sun then tells Leicester City fans that waving goodbye to their fizzing player is a good deal.
Any deal would see the Foxes make a huge profit on a player they signed from Fleetwood Town for just £1m.
For £14m Leicester can make their rivals better and reduce themselves. Why do that? And why would Vardy want to leave a side he’s thriving at to be a bit-part player at a desperate Old Trafford?
Transfer balls: The Sunday Mirror says Manchester United are looking to make a move for Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben.
Apparently, Robben is “at war” with team-mate Robert Lewandowski.
Robben will be 32 in January.
Why would he leave winning Bayern, where he’s contracted to until 2017, to play for Louis Van’ Gaal’s also-rans?
The British papers are full of Manchester United shopping at Bayern, but as yet all they’ve secured is early middle-aged Hitler doll model Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Just take this scoop in the Daily Mail:
And in the Express.
Kroos signed for Real Madrid. Robben signed a new deal with Bayern. And Muller “is set to sign a new contract with Bayern Munich”, according to this week’s Daily Express.
Transfer balls: the Sun leads its sports section with news that Manchester United are sure – dead sure – of signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid. In an “exclusive”, Neil Curtis says United will see off any offers from Chelsea, whose owner Roman Abramovich has made Ronaldo his ‘No.1 target”.
It’s a little odd that two top side would appear so desperate to sign what would be a 31-year-old player with his best years behind him. Odder still that Madrid would sanction the sale of their greatest star with a few miles left on the clock.
Inside the paper, Curtis says Ronaldo signed for Real in 2009 “making clear he was going to finish his carer with the Spanish giants”.
Curtis then delivers a line so woolly, vagrants keeping warm with newspapers should line their anoraks with his column and snuggle down. Says Curtis:
“If there is any change of heart or Real decide, then United believe they will be in pole position ahead of any interest from Stamford Bridge.”
What about any interest from Sporting Lisbon, where Ronaldo started his professional career? For the hype about the Premier League being Ronaldo’s true home, where his heart lies, there is the fact that United bought and then sold him because Porto needed the money and he proved to be rather good and very keen to play for Real Madrid, his dream team.
Transfer Balls: Ronaldo ‘dreams’ of Manchester United, cashes in at PSG and wears rejuvenating bronzer
Transfer Balls: The Sun says PSG are “confident” they’ll beat Manchester United to sign Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo for £100m.
We learn that “Ronaldo has emphasised his close relationship with PSG chairman Nasser Al Khelaifi”.
We then get to look at body language:
But ahead of kick-off, Real president Florentino Perez was captured by TV cameras quizzing Ronaldo about an interview in which he claimed his future could lie elsewhere. The player looked bemused and sources said his touch-feely gestures towards PSG, with the world watching, after Real’s 1-0 Champions League victory were designed to rile Perez.
So Ronaldo is off to PSG. Or as the Manchester Evening News puts it:
Woodward made another attempt to sign Ronaldo this summer and Spanish journalist Guillem Balague claims Ronaldo envisages himself playing for United next season.
“Cristiano Ronaldo still dreams of returning to Manchester United,” Balague writes in Cristiano Ronaldo: The Biography. “The English club informed his agent in 2013 that they have enough financial power to secure his return.
And who spends £100m for a 30 year-old? What he got in that Touche Eclat – rejuvenating powder?
Manchester United beat CSKA 1-0 in the Champions’ League. In the Mail, Martin Samuel says the game’s goalscorer, Wayne Rooney, was “class”.
But below that praise the Mail also says Rooney, er, wasn’t all that good.
According to those scores, Rooney was below average.
Manchester United centre-back Chris Smalling has a new nickname: Michael. Following Manchester United’s 1-0 win over CSKA Moscow, Louis Van Gaal hailed the performance of “Michael Smalling”.
“David De Gea has saved us, then after that, Michael Smalling has saved us,” Van Gaal said.
The United boss made the exact same gaffe back in July while proudly naming Mike Smalling as his new vice-captain as Chris Smalling sat right beside him…
What is it to be loved.
Transfer Balls: Youri Tielemans wanted by Arsenal, Liverpool, Man United, Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea in full-house of tabloid TB
Transfer Balls: Manchester United and Manchester City want to sign 18-year-old Anderlecht midfielder Youri Tielemans says the Daily Star. In the paper’s “exclusive” we learn that United and City will have to pay £30m, for the “star”.
Paul Hetherington writes:
City’s strong Belgium contingent is headed by skipper Vincent Kompany and Kevin De Bruyne, an instant hit since his record £56m move from Wolfsburg in the summer.
Kompany and De Bruyne are the only Belgians in City’s first team squad.
For good measure this scoop also name-checks a load of other clubs:
Tielemans is also being linked with possible moves to Chelsea, Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund.
But Spanish organ AS told us Tielemans had signed for Atletico Madrid:
The Express, sister paper to the Star, said the young blade was worth £14m and was heading to Arsenal or Chelsea:
The Star’s “exclusive” was the Mail’s story a week ago:
And that price is falling on the Express:
And in March the Star said he was on his way to Chelsea, snubbing Liverpool:
In May Youri Tielemans – a player linked by the tabloids bullshit.com to the six biggest clubs in English football – signed a new five-year contract with Anderlecht.
Such are the facts.
Leicester City are the Premier League’s most efficient side; Arsenal shoot on sight; Manchester United are shot shy
If football is all about taking your chances, then Leicester City epitomise the mantra. The Premier League club have scored 23 goals from an average of 14.8 shots per match in the Premier League.
The Foxes are third place in the Premier League, one above huge-spending Manchester United, with 15 goals scored at a rate of just 10 shots a match.
Top of the table Manchester City have 26 goals at 18.7 shots per match.
Arsenal are the league’s most shot happy team, firing on goal 19.2 times a match with 21 hitting the target. The Gunners work to a different golden rule: if you don’t shoot, you can’t score.
Paul Scholes, the former Manchester United player, has been working a pundit. He tell the BBC what he think of Louis Van Gaal’s Man United team:
“There’s a lack of creativity and risk. It’s a team now you wouldn’t want to play against because they’re tightly organised. But it seems he [Van Gaal] doesn’t want players to beat men and it’s probably not a team I’d have enjoyed playing in. The style is not something that Sir Alex Ferguson would have adhered to….
“The hardest thing to coach is scoring goals and creativity. I was at the derby on Sunday and Rooney’s movement was brilliant but when he’s playing in that team there’s no one prepared to pass to him. I think after 20 minutes you’d be tearing your hair out. I played with some brilliant centre forwards and I don’t think they could play in this team — the likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Teddy Sheringham. You don’t get crosses into the box or midfielders looking for runs.”
Louis Van Gaal responds in his intriguing way of being one of the few Dutchman who can’t speak English better than the English. Van Gaal heralded on United match by telling the TV pundits: “I shall be very disappointed when we don’t win.” Van Gaal is like listening to a man speaking through Google Translate. he says:
“I think you have a fantastic expression here: sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me. I think Manchester United is always entertaining and I read also in the papers and I see it is boring but I don’t think there are more spectators in other stadiums than this ground… You ask me if I take risks? I take always risks! I am not agreed with his opinion but I don’t want to defend myself because I cannot defend, because he is a legend and has a lot of resonance I hear. So I think when you are a legend you have to speak with the manager, or with his friend Ryan Giggs, or has to speak with Ed Woodward. But not with because he shall be paid by the media or something like that, and then you have to say something.
“I shall do everything for this club because I think with these fans, I have said many times, these fans are unbelievable. We are improving at lot but when you think it can be done within one year I have said it is process and it takes three years. That’s why I signed here three years. But when Mr Scholes thinks I can better go, then I go. But he is not the man responsible for that. That is the Glazers and Mr Woodward.”
A media row ensues.
Transfer balls: the Daily Express says Arsenal and Manchester United are after Bayer Leverkusen’s 21-year-old Turkish attacking midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu.
Hakan’s also wanted by Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. And he’ll cost £29m.
Is he any good? Well the Express says he’s has been “hailed as the ‘next Mesut Ozil'”. By whom we’re not told. And why would Arsenal need two Ozils?
The Independent says United are “readying a €40m bid” for the player. Its sources is German newspaper Bild.
But over there we find not a single mention of either Arsenal nor Manchester United. Bayer Leverkusenboss Michael Schade tells Bild: “We want to keep Hakan, but with us there is a pain threshold.”
The paper adds: “From a release of EUR 40 million Bayer should be ready to talk. At Bayer we know about the interest of the English.”
The English Press really is full of utter balls. After all, according to the Express, Hakim signed for Manchester United in the summer:
Such are the facts.
Transfer balls: Are Manchester United buying Neymar?
The Sun says Barcelona will offer the Brazilian £500,000-a-week.
Can United top that?
In another article the Sun says Man United will “play the long game”. Neymar is 23, Will United wait until he’s, say, 43, before swooping?
In a remarkable spout of balls, Neil Curtis writes:
IT WAS thought the pull of Manchester United in world football had diminished since Sir Alex Ferguson bowed out at Old Trafford. The very fact that Neymar is about to have his wages doubled at The Nou Camp to £500,000 a week shows it hasn’t.
Eh? Is the thinking that because United want Neymar, Barcelona have been panicked into making him the third best played player in the world, after Messi and Ronaldo?
Such is the concern surrounding United’s interest in the Brazilian star, 23, that he will be propelled into the same wage brackets as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Two other players who United would not hesitate in trying to get to Old Trafford.
This isn’t news. It’s PR. We’re told United would love to buy the world’s top players. Well, so would every other club. Would the players want to join United?
Any indication from the Messi camp that he is after pastures new and they would be straight in there.
Looking desperate and assuring the Argentinean that his national team-mate Angel Di Maria loved living in Manchester and playing under Louis Van Gaal.
Twice they have attempted to get Ronaldo back to Old Trafford and there is still a romantic view that he will play out his final couple of years as a professional back at the club where he made his name.
And twice they have failed. As for romance, surely Ronaldo returning to Sporting Lisbon, from where United bought him, would be a sweeter story.
There was much scoffing on social media when SunSport broke the story that United had tried to get Neymar.
Tried. And failed. Such is that “pull” of Manchester United.
It remains tempting for someone who would be happy to be THE star at another club on the same level as Barca. United are a club under the executive vice chairman Ed Woodward who are not afraid to ruffle the feathers of the likes of Real and Barca.
Real and Barca then puff our their plumage and strut off with the world’s best players. After such puffery, Curtis then reads Neymar’s mind:
Whether United get Neymar any time soon or not, they have put down a marker for the future. By making that shock move, they have made the player think about options that were not previously there. They have made him think about a future elsewhere.
Yeah, because one of the world’s best players had no idea other clubs would like him to play for them.
Manchester United and Manchester City played out a match so dull it must make all those Americans, Chinese and oil-rich sheikhs tuning in wonder if the Premier League is just hype and more hype, less a sport than a televised festival of consumerism. Let’s compare the marketing with the fact:s
Before the match the talk was of passion, history and cash.
It’s all about the money.
The dullest most lifeless Manchester derby ever. A shameful passion-free example of the snuffing out of tradition by
Can we have your game back, please?
Transfer Balls: Manchester Untied will offer Spurs £50m for their striker Harry Kane, says the Daily Star. The paper says United manager Louis Van Gaal is “demanding the Old Trafford top brass” sign the 22-year-old England striker.
The paper says United launched a failed £25m bid for Kane over the summer.
Will Kane and Spurs take the money?
Who know? After all, this is the Daily Star, which told Google News that Kane already plays at Old Trafford:
Such are the facts…
Transfer Balls: The Daily Express says Benfica’s Nicolas Gaitan is NOT heading to Manchester United.
Uche Amako finds no room in this tale of the “saga” to mention that Gaitan already agreed to join Manchester United. We read it in the Daily Express:
Gaitan’s transfer to Man United was confirmed in the Express‘ sister title, the Daily Star:
Such are the facts…