manchester united | Anorak - Part 20

manchester united Category

Manchester United football club news, Manchester United transfers, Premier League

Transfer Balls: Manchester United have £50m for Spurs’ Harry Kane

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:

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Such are the facts…

Posted: 24th, October 2015 | In: manchester united, Reviews, Sports, Spurs, Tabloids | Comment

Transfer Balls: Nicolas Gaitan move to Manchester United is done and off

Transfer Balls: The Daily Express says Benfica’s Nicolas Gaitan is NOT heading to Manchester United.


gaitan 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:


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Gaitan’s transfer to Man United was confirmed in the Express‘ sister title, the Daily Star:

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Such are the facts…


Posted: 23rd, October 2015 | In: manchester united, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Manchester United want Lionel Messi and Ronaldo

Messi to Liverpool


The Sun leads its sports coverage with the rugby World Cup  news that Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City hope they each have enough money to “persuade Lionel Messi to swap Barcelona for the Prem.”

Would Messi come to Manchester or London? The Sun says the Argentine superstar has “given the trio the clearest hint yet that he is ready to listen”.


All three clubs are convinced that Messi is genuinely considering a move to a different environment and that he could become the Prem’s stellar asset for his last few top seasons.

If he signs we get to see the fading great. He’s 28 now. And he’s only coming for the money – “the Argentine growing increasingly angry at ongoing issues with the Spanish tax authorities. Messi and his father Jorge face trial over an alleged £3.1million tax fraud relating to image rights deals despite prosecutors recommending the charges should be dropped.”

Can you leave Spain be a tax exile in England?


Messi’s current deal has a prohibitive buy-out clause of 250million EUROS, making a move this summer infeasible.

Unfeasible for Manchester City’s trillions?

But by June 2017, when he turns 30 and with one year left in his contract, Barca may be more keen to sell, although the English trio would still have to smash their wage structure to accommodate Messi’s demand for a deal matching his current one.

Who wants to pay a fortune to eke a couple of years value from a 30-year-old Messi? Maybe Manchester United want him to team him up with an ageing Ronaldo?

ronaldo manchester united the sun newspapers


Such are the facts…

Posted: 23rd, October 2015 | In: Arsenal, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Manchester United wants to get Everton’s Galloway on the cheap

Transfer Balls: Everton fans will be delighted to leans via the Mirror that “Manchester United are keeping tabs on Brendan Galloway”, looking to sign the player in January.

Everton’s 19-year-old left back is a good player who will only get better. Everton are a top Premier League side. But that Mirror headline infers that one day, if the lad plays well enough, United’s scouts will advise their bosses that the time is ripe to give Galloway his chance.


Galloway joined Everton from MK Dons in the summer of 2014, signing a five-year deal. Injury to Leighton Baines gave Galloway a chance to break into the first team; talent has kept him there.

Better news for Everton fans is that Galloway has been offered a contract upgrade.

Posted: 23rd, October 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment

Manchester United: Chinese turn Bastian Schweinsteiger into a Nazi doll


                              Schweinhund                                                                   Schweinsteiger 

In China you can buy a Nazi figuring that looks like Manchester United’s German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger. Yeah, that’s what we thought: who in China buys Nazi figurines? This one costs HK$958 (£80).

Schweinsteiger is upset enough to set his lawyers on the Hong Kong-based company, makers of ‘Bastian’, the one-sixth lifesize doll. They say it’s pure coincidence the doll looks like him. all Germans look the same, see.

“We have no figure which is based on a football player,” Patrick Chan tells Bild (not to be confused with the Vőlkischer Beobachter). “It was pure coincidence that the ‘Bastian’ figure looks like Schweinsteiger. The figure is based on the typical German. We believe that all Germans look like this.”

They do. Stick this one in a dress and it’s Heidi Klum.

Posted: 22nd, October 2015 | In: manchester united, Reviews, Sports, The Consumer | Comment

Manchester United balls: rip-off ‘revealed ‘

The BBC’s annual Price of Football study is a pretty useless exercise, unless, that is, you work in the media in which case it’s a rich source of bilge about how terrible football is. Media likes nothing better than writing about media, and the BBC bigs up its survey. Take this example on the BBC’s website:

Parenting web site Mumsnet has accused clubs of exploiting young fans after the BBC study revealed a full Manchester United junior strip, with name and number printed on the back, cost more than £100.

Mumsnet had no idea how much a football kit cost until the BBC’s investigative team of crack journalists went online and added up the bits.


Posted: 20th, October 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment

Manchester United: new adidas retro kit comes with free Chelsea bottoms

Man United chesesa kit


Adidas know their market when it comes to flogging footy gear to the new fans. The firm’s new line of retro Manchester United kit includes the  ‘1985 track jacket’.  For a mere £65 the jacket goes well with the Chelsea sweatpants.




Spotter: Pies

Posted: 13th, October 2015 | In: Chelsea, Fashion, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Transfer balls: Muller invites Manchester United to show him the money

daily mirror backpageTransfer Balls: Can it be that Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller is on his way to Manchester United?

The Manchester Evening News reports:

Manchester United transfer news: Muller hints at ‘tempting’ MUFC move

What was his hint? He said:


“In the end, we should not forget that playing football is our job. People should accept that wages will always play a role in a player’s decision-making. Of course, the wages that are being paid in the Premier League are very tempting. It would be hypocrisy to deny that.”


“You have to look at the complete package to determine whether something is right for you. What’s good for you one day will not necessarily still be good for you the day after. I know that a lot of German clubs are unhappy with the Premier League clubs’ spending, but I think it is something good for all clubs in the end. It can only be a good thing for football when clubs invest so much money…”

…in Premier League footballers’ wages. Because that’s where the money goes.

In 2014, Muller said:

“[On Manchester United’s multi million euros offer], of course, I was aware that I could theoretically earn more with a transfer. The sums that were standing by foreign clubs in the room were already astronomical. I can only say: For me, a change was never really an issue anyway. FC Bayern is my club.”

Bayern reportedly rejected a £60m bid from Manchester United for Müller last summer.



Posted: 12th, October 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment

Manchester United: Van Gaal blames team for Arsenal defeat; team blames him

In an “Exclusive”, the Times says Manchester United players were “baffled” by Louis van Gaal’s tactics against Arsenal. United were lucky to lose 3-0 at the Emirates.

Manchester United’s players were left dismayed by Louis van Gaal’s unwillingness to adopt the counterattacking tactics at the Emirates Stadium that have served them well against Arsenal in the past. Van Gaal had been encouraged in the build-up to the game to play a system that would involve sitting deeper and hitting on the break but the United manager rebuffed that request in favour of playing a pressing game that failed miserably en route to a dismal 3-0 defeat.

Arsenal ripped them to shreds.

The Dutchman questioned his players’ desire and failure to follow his game plan after United fluffed the first serious test of their Barclays Premier League title credentials on Sunday… Arsenal had won just one of their previous 13 league meetings against United, who have often successfully utilised a counterattacking strategy against Arsène Wenger’s side. Several members of United’s squad believed this was a proven formula that had worked well in the past and would be worth persisting with.

To the Daily  Express, this news translates into:

Louis van Gaal faces potential crisis with Man Utd players dismayed over Arsenal tactics

The Indy quotes Van Gaal:

“I was surprised, amazed. I didn’t expect that: not performing to our game plan, not the will to win. I have not seen that. When you give a team like Arsenal so much space to play football then you know you will lose. We have prepared ourselves to play more compact and not losing our aggression. I am very disappointed.

“I don’t know why it happened. I put the question at half-time and after the match because normally I say the things how I see them in the game. We have lost, and lost in a way that you cannot lose when you are top of the league. You cannot start like we started. The worst thing is that now everybody is going away now (on international duty). I can’t build up a new situation so they have the confidence to play football to win your next battle.”

He says it was them. They say it was him.


Posted: 6th, October 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Arsenal: Wenger wanted Martial but Monaco owed Manchester United over Falcao

radamel falcaoArsenal manger Arsène Wenger says he thought about signing Anthony Martial, the French footballer now with Manchester United. Wenger thought about buying Martial when he was at Lyons. But the French club told him Martial wasn’t for sale.

Martial then joined Monaco for 3 million.

Monaco told Wenger Martial was “not sellable”. So off he went to Manchester United for £36 million.

The simple story, of course, is that Arsenal quite liked Martial but were never going to pay a fortune to sign him. Chances are other clubs also like other top players but just can’t find the odd £36m to actually sign them.

The media continue to press Wenger on Martial. He replies to their probing:

“I was surprised they sold him. The amount of money was massive. I believe that you could think that, if you are Monaco, you could have sold him as well next season. So I thought they would not sell him this year because they sold many other players.  I thought they would maintain their word. He was not sellable. He was not on the list. He was one of the players Monaco did not want to sell, so we never made an approach for him. Only an acceptable amount of money after could do it. We always liked him, even when he was in Lyons. That was a surprise too, that Lyons sold him on the last day of the transfer market for €5 million [£3 million].”

Should Arsenal have bought the player? Wenger adds:

“The future will tell us if he is overpriced. Manchester United spend the money they have. It is not artificial. They are entitled to do it.”

Monaco’s  executive vice-president, Vadim Vasilyev, tells Marca that one club outbid United:

“There was another club that offered even more than United. I will not say how much, but the fixed price, without variables, was even better, and they also offered us [the chance] to have him for a further year in Monaco. But the boy wanted to go to Manchester. It was his dream and we let him go with the bonus of [£36 million]. Had it not been for so much money, he would have stayed.”

A year earlier, United took Monaco’s Radamel Falcao on loan. The Colombian, now with Chelsea, joined for a £6m fee plus wages of  – get this- £265,000-a-week. United also took the option to sign Falcao on a longer contract for £43.5m at the end of the loan spell. He proved to be not all that good. United had been sold a dud.

You have to wonder how much that deal impacted on Monaco and United’s decision to do business over Martial? Monaco might have beee able to get more for Martial from another club, but having seen United take the overpriced Falcao off their books, maybe they thought it right to return the favour?

Posted: 3rd, October 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Ronaldo To Manchester United Watch: the happy ‘big hint’

Ronaldo Watch:a  look at reporting that Cristiano Ronaldo is leaving Real Madrid to rejoin Manchester United.

Today the Manchester Evening News thunders:

Manchester United transfer news: Ronaldo hints he could leave Real Madrid next summer


Cristiano Ronaldo has put Manchester United on red alert after hinting his future at Real Madrid is not certain.


“My future is at Madrid. I am good here. I want to win things here and I feel good, but I have said millions of times that nobody can tell what will happen in the future. We will see what happens. I have a good relationship with everyone, the president, coaches, workers. The relationships are good because I am a professional. Nobody knows what will happen next year. I want to win things at Madrid as I think that this club has the potential to win things, but I do not know the future.”

So he’s happy at Real. Or as the M.E.N pouts it:

Former Man Utd forward Cristiano Ronaldo has again raised doubts about his future at Real Madrid amid reports he’s unhappy at the Bernanbeu.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 2nd, October 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment

Arsenal: Manchester United can bank on success, says Wenger

The football media love to make sensation for nothing. So it is for Arsenal’s press conference ahead of their match with Manchester United. According to the Star, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger  has “revealed the real reasons” Man United are top of the Premier League.

Cocking an ear for the ‘real reasons’ – the position of the stars alignment, bribery or a psychic octopus – we hear Wenger say:

“I defended Van Gaal last year and I think the experience he has in his career it is not surprising that they are doing well. Manchester United has the money that they spend. It is not artificial. It comes from their own resources. You have to accept that they’re huge but they can do it and they are entitled to do it.”

United are top because they are a huge team that spends vast amount of money. Who knew?

Well, we all did. Because back in July, Wenger said much the same thing. Although today the Metro still teases:

Arsenal boss Wenger gives surprising opinion on Man United’s transfer business

What he said back then was:

“You can take Barcelona or Man United, who had a generation and built their success on players who came from within. These are our values and it is our DNA and it’s important we keep that. With United’s success they have created huge financial resources and today there is no patience for them to continue to do what they did — and they have the financial resources to go with a different policy.”

And how did the media bill that entirely sensible observation:

Sky: “Arsene Wenger questions Manchester United transfer policy”

M.E.N: “Manchester United are trying to spend their way to success, claims Wenger”

Such are the facts…


Posted: 2nd, October 2015 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Wayne Rooney: the Daily Mirror didn’t hack the ‘thick’ Manchester United star’s phone out of respect

rooneyBrian Reade has penned a defence of Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney.

Class snobs who try to keep council-estate-kid sports stars down and revel in their failings at it again before a new documentary on the striker, says Brian Reade

Class snobs? Would this be the same Brian Reade who said of the white-working class:

Welcome to the Brook Estate in Eltham, south east London. The breeding ground of four of the five men accused of stabbing Stephen Lawrence to death as he waited for a bus a short walk away on the eve of St George’s Day six years ago.

Five products of a twisted philosophy drummed into them from birth. “If they’re black, stab ’em in the back.”…

A way of life passed down from father to son. You see the link emerge in the fading white graffiti sprayed 30 years ago on the walls of the old railway bridges around the estate, written by the last generation of Eltham Boyz. In three feet high letters: “SKINHEADS.”…

Give me the father and I’ll give you the son who will give you the son who will abuse, persecute and even kill another human being for committing the heinous crime of not being born white.

Racism was inherited. Get the killers and purge the land.

This is White Man’s Gulch… This is E-reg Escort-land.

So much for the snobbery. What else does Reade know about Rooney?

Gary Lineker is letting it be known that next Monday’s documentary on Wayne Rooney is so touching it will radically change the nation’s perception of him. That’s why the BBC released previews about how Rooney is a sensitive soul who writes poetry for his wife.

Cue would-be satirists’ rhyming couplets running over as they imagine the literary outpourings of someone it has been assumed can barely write a cheque.

Would-be satirists like the, er, Daily Mirror’s Polly Hudson, who opines:

Depriving the public of enjoying these Rooney masterpieces is ­basically a crime… so it’s lucky that I’ve managed to get my hands on Wayne’s notebook…

Have snarked at Rooney, Hudson offers:

By Wayne Rooney, age 29 and 7/8

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

You are well hot.

So you’re probably more like a summer’s day  abroad then,

Cos the weather here is usually rubbish.

So much for the satire.

Reade adds:

It’s not that he’s a multi-title winner with a century of caps who has broken England’s all-time goalscoring record and become an extremely wealthy man. It’s that he has survived, and flourished, against all the odds in a class-obsessed country which loves nothing better than seeing council-estate kids who make good, very publicly self-destruct.

We get examples:

Think of George Best, Paul Gascoigne and Alex Higgins and how certain sections of our society have taken pleasure in pointing at them in the gutter and warning other working-class talents that serious life-enhancement should be left to their betters.

Would that be the same Paul Gascoigne whose phone the Daily Mirror hacked? Gazza told the High Court:

“I knew I was getting hacked by the Mirror. This continued for ages. Phone calls to my father and family were getting blocked so I changed my mobile. It happened again so I kept on changing mobiles, five or six times a month… I couldn’t speak to anybody, I was scared to speak to anybody… my parents, my family and kids, it was just horrendous. And people can’t understand why I became an alcoholic…. At the time I was going through a bad time because I knew I was getting hacked, 110 per cent. Of course (people) wouldn’t believe it – my family and Mr McKeown (therapist Johnny McKeown). As I was speaking to him on the phone, it clicked again. He told me I was paranoid, I was going through a mental disorder. I said ‘No, there’s fuck-all wrong with me’. I knew, I knew. I put the phone down… I’ve never told a lie, nothing to lie about, nothing. Disgusting. Crap… I have waited 15 years to be sat here so I am disgusted, really. I would like to trade my mobile phone in for a coffin because these guys have ruined my life. I have no life.”

In May the ex-England footballer was awarded £188,250 in damages.

Back to Reade:

Rooney came up across horrendous snobbery right from the off.

And back to Polly Hudson in the Mirror:

As celebrity adulteries go, this one is particularly bad, even by footballers’ standards. Coleen was pregnant at the time. But the only reason Wayne and his hooker didn’t get it on at the Rooney marital home was because SHE thought it out of order. When a prostitute has better morals than you, it’s probably time to worry.

Wayne may be known for being completely thick but his recent actions still beggar belief.

And Fiona Phillips in the Mirror:

Almost overnight, Coleen the innocent A-level student disappeared and Coleen the Queen of Chav arrived. It was disappointing

Chav? Yeah, that’s what the Mirror has called Coleen over and over

THE style bible of the fashionistas, Vogue, has asked Coleen McLoughlin to be a cover girl.

I don’t know what thrills me more. The idea of the curvy, chav girlfriend of Wayne Rooney on the cover of the world’s poshest magazine. Or the thought of Victoria Beckham’s face when she heard the news.

The Mirror told readers what a chav is:

YOU may know them as Kevs, Slappers, Neds, Townies or Scallies – but a new Internet website has branded them Chavs, from an old gypsy word for child…

Female Chav: When not wearing her baseball cap, you will notice her DIY facelift: badly-dyed hair scraped back into the tightest bun possible. She loves denim and shops at New Look, Pilot or her local market stall. Top Shop is too sophisticated. The classy female Chav wears t-shirts with slogans she finds witty – “Friendly when drunk”, French Connection’s FCUK or the “F*** You” one Britney Spears made famous. Her skirt is more like a belt, barely covering her mottled blue thighs and flabby midriff.

And they are thick:

For most of us cinema is an art form which enriches our lives. For Chavs it’s the place to text your mate and snog your bint. They love sequels because an original idea is something to be feared. Any flicks with an R&B star such as 50 cent, Aaliyah or Ice T is almost enough to make a Chav wet their pants in excitement. A good example is Romeo Must Die featuring Aaliyah and DMX. Don’t try telling them the plot is influenced by Romeo and Juliet. You’ll get a blank look.

Oh, and Wayne is also a chav:

For girls it’s Chelsea, Chardonnay, Kayleigh, Crystal or Britney. Boys are Jay, Wayne, Jake, Romeo or Dean.

But Reade makes no mention of his own paper in any of this snobbery. He just points the finger at a rival:

In a Daily Mail article which suggested he could be Gazza Mark II, a leading commentator asked: “Is there some hidden vice, some secret in Rooney’s psyche, which is yet to emerge? Drink, drugs, wife-beating?” It was a perfect summation of a country which judges people on their accent and background without getting to know their character.”

Meanwhile….in white man’s gulch…


Posted: 1st, October 2015 | In: Key Posts, manchester united, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Transfer balls: Mata to Liverpool, Ronaldo to Manchester United and Guillem Balague on The Metro’s speed dial

Transfer balls: The Metro’s Will Giles says Manchester United will sign Cristiano Ronaldo and pay him £1.2m a month.

WOW! Manchester United will pay Ronaldo less than Wayne Rooney, who earns up to £300,000 a week?! Ronaldo must be chomping at the bit to rejoin United.

Of course, Ronaldo can get a gigantic signing-on fee, too. Giles adds:

Manchester United will bid £92.5million next summer in an attempt to prise Cristiano Ronaldo away from Real Madrid…

Ronaldo leaving Madrid this summer is a more realistic proposition than ever before, with Spanish expert Guillem Balague claiming that the 30-year-old will have to seriously consider his future at the end of the season.

Guillem Balague… who he? Well, he’s on the Metro’s internet speed dial:

September 2014: Balague is quoted:

‘I have a pretty good idea of when he wants to go. It won’t be this month or next month, but he wants to go back to Manchester United and everything is in place for him to return to Old Trafford.’

February 2015: “Arsenal transfer target Sami Khedira ‘will sign for Bayern Munich’”

…respected journalist Guillem Balague was asked where he thinks the in-demand midfielder will be playing his football next season…. Balague suggested his team-mates at the Bernabeu are of the opinion Khadira will return to his native Germany and join Bayern Munich.

Khedira signed for Juventus.

February 2015: “Atletico Madrid ‘confident’ of sealing transfer deal for Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla as talks begin”

Atletico Madrid ARE in talks to sign Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla and are confident of signing the player, La Liga expert Guillem Balague has confirmed.

In July, Cazorla signed a new deal, extending his terms for another two years.

May 2011: “Liverpool make Juan Mata a ‘£20m priority’ for summer”

Says you know who…


Posted: 30th, September 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment

Chelsea: Garth Crooks, Juan Mata’s Manchester United magic, Mourinho’s shame

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In the haste to pile in on Chelsea, BBC pundit Garth Crooks salutes Manchester United’s Juan Mata. He’s the Spaniard United bought from Chelsea for a then club record fee of £37.1 million in January 2014. For that much cash, it should not come as too much of a shock to realise that Mata is pretty good at football. And he’s been pretty good for some time – Chelsea signed him from Valencia for £23.5 million in August 2011.

Here’s Crooks:

It is with some irony that I find Chelsea struggling at one end of the table and Manchester United on top.


It would be remiss of me not to mention Juan Mata at this point; the man who Mourinho couldn’t wait to get out of the revolving door at Stamford Bridge.

The man they sold for a record fee.

It has been Mata’s consistent performances for the Red Devils under Louis van Gaal that have helped transform their season. Mata was instrumental in United’s victory over Sunderland and should they win the title, his departure could prove to be Mourinho’s final embarrassment.

Er, Garth, mate, Chelsea won the Premier League title last year. Mata’s United finished fourth. the year before, United finished in seventh with Chelsea in third.



Posted: 28th, September 2015 | In: Chelsea, manchester united | Comment

Manchester United balls: a critis at Old Trafford Sunderland can only dream of



Manchester United are in “crisis“. Well, that’s what the Daily Mirror says in its report on United’s build up to a home match against Sunderland. Man United are second in the Premier League. Sunderland are bottom.


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The “crisis” at Old Trafford is that Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo are both injured, leaving United with “one fit left-footed defender” in the shape of Danny Blind.


If that’s a crisis, what are Sunderland suffering?

Sunderland head coach Dick Advocaat sets the tone:

“If you have a draw there [Old Trafford], you have a great result… Normally United would beat us but we can give them a really tough time. That will happen, you will see.”

Crisis? No. This is normal service.

Posted: 26th, September 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Manchester United make inflated Muller bid on Metro’s template

Will Giles Metro news


Transfer Balls: Anorak’s search for the most clickbait football news story takes us, as ever, to the Metro, where Will Giles has news for Manchester United fans:

Manchester United made £120million worth of transfer bids to sign Thomas Muller – report

What Giles does it tot up the bids United apparently made for Bayern Munich’s German star Muller – £55m and £65m, according to Bild – and came up with a new story.

It’s a marvellously contrived story that SEOs must admire.

And, accordingly, we can expect more of the same vein. Look out for:

* Chelsea made £76million worth of transfer bids to sign John Stones – report
* Spurs made £62million worth of transfer bids to sign Saido Berahino – report
* *** made *** worth of transfer bids to sign **** **** – report


Posted: 24th, September 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment

Manchester United: Alex Ferguson ‘reveals the real reason’ he quit Old Trafford (again)

Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 11.22.48Sir Alex Ferguson today “reveals the real reason for his retirement as Manchester United manager” to the Daily Telegraph. It’s an “exclusive“. But really it’s just part of Fergie’s marketing for his new book, Leading. And is the news a revelation? Not really, no.

Sir Alex Ferguson would have stayed on as the most successful manager in English football history, but for the death of his wife Cathy’s twin sister, Bridget Robertson, which persuaded him to retire to be by her side.

Says the great manager:

“I definitely would have carried on. I saw she [Lady Cathy Ferguson] was watching television one night, and she looked up at the ceiling. I knew she was isolated. “Her and Bridget were twins, you know?… When I told her this time I was going to retire she had no objection whatsoever. I knew she wanted me to do it.”

And that’s it.

In his last autobiography, Sir Alex told readers why he left Manchester United:

The seeds of my decision to step down had been planted in the winter of 2012. Around Christmas- time the thought became sharp and clear in my head: ‘I’m going to retire.’ ‘Why are you going to do that?’ Cathy said. ‘Last season, losing the title in the last game, I can’t take another one like that,’ I told her. ‘I just hope we can win the League this time and reach the Champions League or FA Cup final. It would be a great ending.’ Cathy, who had lost her sister Bridget in October, and was struggling to come to terms with that bereavement, soon agreed it was the right course. Her take was that if I wanted to do other things with my life I would still be young enough.

Contractually I was obliged to notify the club by 31 March if I was going to stand down that summer. By coincidence David Gill had called me one Sunday in February and asked if he could come to see me at home. A Sunday afternoon? ‘I bet he’s resigning as chief executive,’ I said. ‘Either that or you’re getting sacked,’ Cathy said. David’s news was that he would be standing down as chief executive at the end of the season. ‘Bloody hell, David,’ I said. And I told him that I had reached the same decision. In the days that followed, David rang to tell me to expect a call from the Glazers. When it came I assured Joel Glazer that my decision had nothing to do with David relinquishing day-to-day control. My mind had been made up over Christmas, I told him. I explained the reasons. Cathy’s sister dying in October had changed our lives. Cathy felt isolated. Joel understood. We agreed to meet in New York, where he tried to talk me out of retiring. I told him I appreciated the effort he was making and thanked him for his support. He expressed his gratitude for all my work. With no prospect of a change in my thinking, the discussion turned to who might replace me.

One great difficulty, in the days around the announcement, was telling the staff at Carrington, our training ground. I particularly remember mentioning the changes in my life and Cathy’s sister dying, and hearing a sympathetic, ‘Aaah.’

Not quite the revelation it’s billed as, then.


Posted: 19th, September 2015 | In: Books, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Manchester United: Luke Shaw wants us to see this gruesome photo of his broken leg (probably NSFW)

Manchester United’s Luke Shaw will have a second operation on his broken leg. Shaw, currently being treated at Holland’s St Anna Ziekenhuis, broke his right leg in two places during United’s 2-1 Champions’ League defeat away to PSV Eindhoven.

Shaw’s tibia and fibula were fractured in a tackle from Héctor Moreno (who was later named man of the match. Roy Keane, the former United captain, called it a “brilliant challenge”. Moreno has expressed his regret at the injury and visited Shaw in hospital.)

Shaw has posted this photo of his hideous wound for us to see:




Next time a rugby fans tells you footballers are soft, laugh at him.

Posted: 18th, September 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment

Manchester United: Luke Shaw cries in the changing room

 Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 09.14.33


Thoughts are with Manchester United’s Luke Shaw, who suffered a double fracture to his right leg in last night Champions’ League match in Eindhoven. (The match finished 2-1 to the Dutch.)

The Sun says Shaw was injured by a “reckless tackle” by PSV’s Mexican defender Hector Moreno. The referee deemed the tackle fair.

Manchester United manger Louis Van Gaal disagrees with the official:

 “You can judge for yourself, but when I say it’s a penalty and a red card, I am a bad loser. Every word is interpreted in the wrong way, but it was a very bad tackle with two legs.”

Van Gaal is then invited to assess the extent of the damage:

“I am not a doctor but when you have a double fracture it is six months and he will not play in the group phase. I hope he can play again this season.”

The Independent (also not a doctor) says Shaw will be out for up to nine months. 
On twitter, Shaw says he is “gutted“.  Van Gaal adds that the player was in tears. “When he was in the dressing room he had an oxygen mask on,” said the Dutchman. “He was crying. It is awful that a boy who comes at 18 to Manchester and has a very difficult season and then plays fantastically, that it happens like this.”
It is awful.

Posted: 16th, September 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment

Manchester United: Watch Memphis Depay’s goal against PSV



Memphis Depay said he’d celebrate should he score against his former club, PSV, in the Champions’ League. Well, he scored for Manchester United. And he celebrated. No po-faced look for inner turmoil for Depay. Good.

Score a goal and go nuts. The fans can take it:


Posted: 15th, September 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment

Manchester United: Depay will celebrate with joy against PSV

depay psv van gaal


Louis Van Gaal has been talking ahead of Manchester United’s return to the Champions’ League:

“I think the fans shall see a Manchester United who fight for their chances but we have to show on the pitch if we are able to win matches at the highest level and that’s also a challenge for us now. “Last year we were fourth in the Premier League and now we have to show if we are able to play at this level. I don’t know either, we just have to wait and see, because I think the Champions League is a higher podium than the Premier League, but maybe it is not like that.”

On Memphis Depay:

 “I have to be patient with Memphis and so do the fans. You can’t demand at 19, 20 or 21 that players are consistent. You have to accept that. The Premier League is very different to play [in than the Eredivisie] and Memphis is seeing that and feeling that.”

One good thing about Depay is that the should the former PSV player score against his old club, he won’t go all po-faced, bow his head and out of respect turn the delight at scoring a goal into a monkish test of spirit and control:

“Of course I have respect for PSV but I play for Manchester United now so if I score I will celebrate.”

Please do. One of the worst thing about modern football is the returning player’s refusal to celebrate the joy of scoring a goal. Fans aren’t all idiots. We get it. Score and go bonkers. We would.

Posted: 15th, September 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment

Manchester United: the Daily Mail’s obsession with Wing’s restaurant


wings manchester united

Does the Daily Mail have a deal with Manchester eatery Wing’s? Today the paper says:

“Manchester United star Anthony Martial trades pub for restaurant as he samples popular footballers’ haunt Wing’s with wife Samantha and baby daughter.”

Footballer eats! It’s news in the Mail.

August 30:

Kevin De Bruyne celebrates all but confirmed £52m move to Manchester City with meal at Chinese restaurant Wing’s

August 10:

Manchester United’s Memphis Depay arrives at Wing’s Chinese restaurant following the game against Spurs

August 8:

Van Gaal was spotted heading to popular Chinese restaurant Wing’s with his wife Truus in Manchester city centre.

July 30:

Everton new boy Tom Cleverley back at Manchester United favourite Wing’s for night out with wife Georgina

July 6:

Coleen and Wayne Rooney continued to spend time with the ones they love in Manchester on Sunday. With their young sons, Kai, five, and Klay, two, in tow, the couple were in good spirits as they headed home after a meal at Wing’s Restaurant.

April 13:

Toni Duggan apologises for photo with Louis van Gaal at Wing’s restaurant after Manchester United’s derby win over City

April 13:

Wing’s Chinese restaurant is the go-to place for Manchester’s footballers and celebrities… so, what is it about the venue that attracts so many stars?

April 12:

Louis van Gaal thanks fans for patience and says ‘It’s great to be a supporter of Manchester United right now!’ as he prepares for celebration Chinese meal

Feb 27:

Wayne Rooney and wife Coleen dine out at Manchester restaurant Wing’s Chinese

Feb 18:

Wayne Rooney celebrates the Chinese New Year at Wing’s

Feb 10:

England captain Wayne Rooney could not stop smiling after a traffic warden left a ticket on his £100,000 silver Range Rover outside his favourite Chinese restaurant in Manchester.

Feb 10:

Wayne Rooney poses with dragon as Manchester United and England captain learns about Chinese New Year during Wing’s Restaurant promotional campaign

Wing’s prmotional campaign seems to be a regular feature in the Mail.



Posted: 14th, September 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Manchester United will sell De Gea for a guranteed £30m

You or Real Madrid can buy Manchester Untied goalkeeper David De Gea for £30m. that, says the Sun, is the amount stipulated in the player’s new contract.

The new deal was pretty much a win for everyone:

Manchester United get a great goalkeeper for the currentseason

Dea Gea gets his pay hiked from £35,000 a week to £200,000 a week

De Gea gets to keep in shape for next summer’s European Championships

Man United get a big fee for their player when Real Madrid come calling again

Real Madrid will pay £30m cash rather than cash plus a player

De Gea gets a signing-on fee to replace any gap in salary

His agent buys a mid-sized Caribbean island


Posted: 13th, September 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment (1)

Watch: Anthony Martial scores brilliant debut goal for Manchester United against Liverpool

Is Anthony Martial any good? Manchester United made the 19-year-old Frenchman the world’s most expensive teenager. Much to prove, then, on his Old Trafford debut. And he only went and scored a belter against Liverpool. There will be films made about this goal:

Posted: 12th, September 2015 | In: manchester united | Comment