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manchester united | Anorak - Part 39

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

Manchester United laugh in: Alex Ferguson advise ‘never hold a grudge’

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WHAT was the secret of Manchester United’s success under Sir Alex Ferguson? Well, Fergie has told the Charlie Rose Show on PBS:

“…never hold a grudge – it’s very important”

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Posted: 2nd, October 2013 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment


Manchester United watch: Moyes is King of the Nowhere Men, Ander Herrera is exposed and the Glazers’ pain

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MANCHESTER United watch: an at-a-glance look at United in today’s news:

The Times: “American owners ready to fund manager’s call for world-class players”

Why didn’t they buy Gareth Bale?

David Moyes will be given substantial funds to reshape his Manchester United squad with the Glazer family recognising that the manager requires world-class reinforcements to help to maintain Sir Alex Ferguson’s legacy of success.

The United manager is expected to make a foray into the transfer market in January providing leading targets become available as the Barclays Premier League champions look to put the frustrations of a miserable summer behind them…

The Glazers are thought to share Moyes’s view that the squad needs strengthening in key areas and will not balk at spending well in excess of £100 million to ensure they remain successful in the coming years.

Who do they buy?

United continue to keep tabs on Ander Herrera, whom they have been monitoring for 2½ years, but the £25.6 million bid they had rejected for the Spain Under-23 midfielder last month was at the upper limit of their valuation. As such, it seems unlikely at this stage that the club would be prepared to meet the €36 million (£30.2 million) release clause in his contract with Athletic Bilbao.

Andrés Iniesta’s situation at Barcelona is being watched from a distance but there is little expectation of the Spain midfielder leaving the Nou Camp. Ilkay Gundogan, the Borussia Dortmund midfielder, also has his admirers among United’s coaching staff.

It remains to be seen whether United make a renewed effort to buy Leighton Baines or Fabio Coentrão, the Everton and Real Madrid left backs for whom they had bids rejected in the summer, or pursue a younger target, such as Luke Shaw, of Southampton.

Eliaquim Mangala, the highly regarded Porto centre half, is regarded as a potential successor to Ferdinand, although Moyes faces competition from Chelsea, City and several leading European clubs for the 22-year-old, who has a reported €45 million release clause in his contract.

Matt Dickinson says it’s more complicated than that. He looks at how Moyes traded players at Everton:

 …chronicled in detail by Michael Calvin in The Nowhere Men, his original book about the scouting business. It is a fascinating glimpse into Moyes’s methods and how Everton used scouting to punch above their weight.

The book takes us behind the locked doors of Everton’s recruitment room under Moyes… Every manager collects scouting data, but none with the zeal of Moyes, whose head of technical scouting, James Smith… kept a database of thousands of reports on the abilities of more than 1,000 players. The long wall in this office was covered in an array of whiteboards, detailing targets, positions, ages, contracts and ratings; hundreds of players listed in various different inks from foreigners under review to “live” targets under constant monitoring. Another board showed the ideal Premier League choices, all aged under 26, with votes from scouts to establish which was top choice; another had a list of players under 23 in English lower leagues.

There was a board of those players Moyes was actively seeking to sign next to another showing how the manager envisaged the development of the first team, with players phased out and how new recruits would come in (which is why the room was strictly off limits to his squad).

This dazzling detail was merely an easy checklist. The real data was kept on computer in the vast bank of reports and profiles. Moyes would demand an “MOT test” for serious targets, with up to 50 reports compiled by as many scouts and coaches on a single player — on top of his own trips.

How does that prudence and intelligent buying fit with spending massive sums at United?

At United there is regret, for example, that they did not bid £50 million for Cesc Fàbregas to see if Barcelona could have been persuaded to negotiate. Moyes, understandably in his first window, was cautious. They wonder now whether they should have closed the deal for Thiago Alcantara instead of allowing the Barcelona schemer to slip away to Bayern Munich. Moyes, though, wanted to stay true to his habits of amassing multiple reports. Without those, he was not sure.

Now they agonise over Ander Herrera, the target at Athletic Bilbao, but must do so without enjoying the secrecy of the recruitment room.

It’s not Everton:

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Tony Evans in the Times:

Moyes was bequeathed the worst United squad since his predecessor broke the club’s 26-year title drought in 1993… United should have the fiscal firepower to compete with the biggest clubs in Europe. Yet since the Glazer takeover, too much of the prodigious income that flows into Old Trafford has been diverted to pay interest fees, debt repayments and bank charges. In the accounts released this month, there were £71 million outgoing in financial costs. That knocks a severe hole even in a business that generated an income of £363 million.

Ferguson’s management masked the poisonous impact of the leveraged takeover. The Americans borrowed £525 million to buy United. They have spent £680 million servicing the debt. The former manager’s brilliance meant the impact of this drain on club cash was barely noticed. Until now.

Ferguson’s departure may have been the eye of a perfect storm that began forming in 2005 . Moyes may not be the man to ride it out.

Mark Ogden in the Telegraph looks at the weakened Moyes:

The narrative of the season so far from Moyes has been one of lowering expectations. The squad, he insists, is not strong enough in key areas and the Scot even suggested in the wake of the 4-1 defeat at Manchester City last week, which he described as “embarrassing”, that he required two new players to go straight into his starting 11.

Moyes is undoubtedly correct in his assessment, United do lack quality, particularly in midfield, but there is a danger that he is giving his players an excuse for failure by repeatedly highlighting their frailties.
Ferguson, in contrast, would never talk his team down. He would often exaggerate the potential of his players simply to instil the belief that they could achieve great things.

Phil McNulty tells BBC readers:

It is unlikely Ferguson would have talked down Champions League expectations but this is the different world Moyes now occupies and even his fiercest critics must accept he will take time to fully acclimatise.

One thing is certain: Moyes has the most exciting and toughest job in club football. How does he follow Ferguson?

Photo: English Premier League soccer team Everton’s new signings, John Heitinga, left, Sylvain Distin, second left, and Dinijar Bilyaletdinov, right, pose for photos with team manager David Moyes, second right, at the Everton training ground, Liverpool, England, Friday Sept. 11, 2009. 

Posted: 1st, October 2013 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment (1)


Manchester United used to practice kicking lumps out of the opposition’s best player

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POPE wears funny hat! Katie Price sleeps on back! And now in other news to shock and amaze: Phil Neville says Manchester United players Roy Keane, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes used to kick lumps out of the best players. The actual shocker is that they used to practice ‘Plan B’ by hacking away at Cristiano Ronaldo.

Speaking to ITV reporter Gabriel Clarke as part of an imminent Ronaldo documentary,  Neville Bites Yer Legs says:

“[Ronaldo] dived a lot. He tried to buy fouls and he came in for a lot of criticism. The boys [at Man Utd] were hard on him for his diving and it was putting us under pressure. I’d say the first 12 months there was a massive toughening up process. In training at the time you had Keane, Butt, Scholes, and every time he got the ball they kicked him and they kicked him – not just once, they kicked him every day, every week, all season.”

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Posted: 1st, October 2013 | In: Arsenal, manchester united, Sports | Comment


Manchester United watch: Moyes’ paranoia, Liverpool relived and rejecting Ferguson’s winners

MANCHESTER United lose at home to West Bromwich Albion. Some shock. But what did David Moyes say at the start of the season:

“I think it’s the hardest start for 20 years that Manchester United have had. I hope it’s not because Manchester United won the league quite comfortably last year the fixtures have been made much more difficult. I find it hard to believe that’s the way the balls came out of the bag, that’s for sure. But if it is a hard start for Manchester United, it is a hard start for everyone else because they have to play us.”

Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea in the first five matches is tough. But United earned one point from those three matches. They’re not that hard to beat.

He then added:

“To win the Champions League, you need five or six world-class players. Look at Bayern Munich, they have it. Look at Barcelona, who had it in the past and Real Madrid, who have maybe got it now. That’s the level you have to be at to win it. We’ve not got that yet.”

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Posted: 30th, September 2013 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment (1)


Manchester United: Everton’s agent Moyes evokes memories of 1987

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HOW bad are things for Manchester United?

Well, under Moyes, they’ve have dropped 11 points in the Premier League. Last season they didn’t drop that many points until mid-January.

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Posted: 30th, September 2013 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment


Manchester United: Moyes sent to Gibraltar, West Bromwich Albion are shameful and Man City pounce on Januzaj

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MANCHESTER United Watch: a round-up of the day’s United news in the media. United have made their worst start to a Premier League season in 24 years.

David Moyes wants more is United are to win the Champions’ League:

“To win the Champions League you have to have five or six world class players. If you look at Bayern Munich, they have five or six, nearly, world class players. To be considered to win it, you might have to have that in your squad. Look at Barcelona, who had it in the past, and Real Madrid have maybe got it now. That’s the level you have to get at to win it.

“We’ve not got that yet but what we have got is experience and several players who are in that category or close to it.”

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Posted: 29th, September 2013 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment


Manchester United Watch: Januzaj stays, Lingard shines, Vidic stars and Moyes picks his team on Fifa 2014

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MANCHESTER United Watch: a look at the Red Devils in the news: the pressure is on David Moyes. Well, of course it is.

Peter Schmeichel tells Sky Sports News.

“We always knew that whatever happened after Sir Alex, it would be a bumpy road. Someone had to be really brave and take that job. We knew every little thing that he does would be scrutinised and reported on in the media. It would be a debate – is he good enough? Has he got a few games left before he loses his game? He signed a six-year contract, there’s a reason behind the six years. People in football have short memories. The start of last season is the same as this season, you know.

“We played a relatively few number of games and had two defeats, one at Everton then Spurs at home, and we still managed to win by 13 points. I listened to the radio on the way here and they’re saying it’s not even a top four squad, and I’m thinking ‘guys where do you get this from?”

One thing on Moyes’ agenda is to tie down the talent he has. He wants to keep Nemanja Vidic at Old Trafford. Says Moyes:

“Vidic is probably the best centre half I have ever worked with. He is that good, he really is.”

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Posted: 28th, September 2013 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment


Rooney Wears Bobby Charlton’s Old Wig

ANOTHER day and with another chance for the Sun to turn Wayne Rooney into a laughing stock.

Thee La Roon sat in a chair while behind him stands Rio Ferdinand, in whose hands idle a pair of clippers.

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Posted: 3rd, November 2008 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comments (8)


Wayne Rooney Polishes Head For England

ANOTHER day, and yet another attempt to squeeze a cheap laugh out of the mighty Wayne Rooney.

Today Wayne is wearing a curly wig, an Amy Winehouse beehive and a Bobby Charlton comb over, the hairstyle Sir Bobby famously wore over his luxurious crop of auburn locks.

The reason for this?

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Posted: 22nd, October 2008 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment


The Smell Of Victory: The Scent Of Football

SMELL that? That is the smell of Liverpool FC.

L4Men leads with the intense freshness of Robbie Keane and the garlic-infused sparkle of Fernando Torres.

Note the virile blend of frustration and star anise which finishes down with undertones of second-hand tyre and gold top.

This is Liverpool’s attempt to dethrone Beckham as the official smell of football. Right now L4Men is the official scent of the Premier League, but we can expect Liverpool’s rivals to up the stakes and take more vigorous approaches to the challenge of advancing the brand.

Here are some of the other odours that should be wafting through the grounds next season:

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Posted: 10th, October 2008 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports, Spurs | Comments (3)