Red Rants Archives for January 2009

Ferguson on mid-season trips: last season & this season

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Just two clips for today. Some curious bit of stuff from Ferguson.

This year on the FA's proposed England friendly in Qatar:

'All the international managers have their jobs to do and we support that, particularly when it comes to the issue of competitive games like the European Championships or the World Cup.

Barnsley vs Manchester United: Preview

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You're only as good as your last game and following eleven without defeat, Sunday proved something of a wake-up call. United certainly need to up the ante and fortunately they won't have to wait very long to attempt to put things right. A little over 50 hours to be precise as a trip to Barnsley in the Carling Cup will hopefully lift spirits, if ever so slightly, following the depressing result at Anfield.

Obertan to make United debut

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Defeats to Liverpool makes me sick. But looking forward to exciting young talents making their first team debuts helps lift the gloom. The official site reports Gabriel Obertan is expected to start on the left wing against Barnsley tomorrow.

Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed to ManUtd.com on Monday, "He'll play tomorrow against Barnsley, it's a good start for him.

Interview with Phillippe Auclair

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RoM has an exclusive interview with Phillippe Auclair, the author of Cantona: the rebel who would be king. Worth a read.

"Interview with Phillippe Auclair" was originally published at Red Rants - Manchester United Blog.

Liverpool outplay poor United

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Let's make no pretence about this: we were beaten fair and square by Liverpool. We can talk all we want about refereeing incompetence; true there were a few errors but the crucial ones were offset on the other side too. Nothing however disguises the fact that yesterday was a defeat that was fully deserved.

Liverpool vs Manchester United: Preview

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Could there really be a better time to beat Liverpool? If there is, I'd like to know the scenario. The struggles of our bitter rivals have certainly been well documented over the past few days as they endure their worst sequence of results for some 22 years.

Victory for United at Anfield on Sunday would signify Liverpool's fifth straight defeat and would open up the gap between the two sides to 10 points in the Premier League.

CSKA Moscow vs Manchester United: Preview

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It's been quite a week! From beach balls to touchline brawls and slack marking to summit embarking. Now Moscow and the artificial pitch awaits for Ferguson and his charges where three more points would go even further to sealing United's progression into the next phase of the Champions League.

It's worth noting that trips to the Luzhniki Stadium haven't been too unkind in recent years either, although CSKA certainly won't be a proverbial walk in the park synthetic grass.

The United footballers who stood up to the FA

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The Guardian has an interesting piece on a forgotten tale involving United players, 100 years ago. Here's an extract:

The first meeting of the Association Football Players Union in 1907 was chaired by United player Billy Meredith – the "Welsh Wizard", who was one of the first footballing superstars.

FA charge Ferguson over conduct

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It's been what, two weeks now since the Sunderland game? In the intervening period we had an international break, during which tortoises completed two marathons. The normally proud Ferguson tended two apologies and, as the anticipation over the FA's inevitable punishment grew, the officials came crawling out of their secret chamber and announced that Ferguson will be charged of 'improper conduct'.

Ronaldo’s career to end by February

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I don't normally obsess over ex-players but every now and then, one encounters opportunities that are just too good to pass up. Today there was one, courtesy the Daily Mail. The story runs thus: a witch doctor who was hired to put a hex on Ronaldo has said that Ronaldo's career is going to end in about four months.

United survive post international break jitters; go top.

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I expected the Bolton match to be hard-fought, gritty, and all you could associate with a fixture played on the back of an international break. As the match started playing out, a little bit of revisionism struck and I actually felt we would walk it. But somehow, we contrived to make it harder for ourselves towards the end, and it ended as nervously as I first thought it would.

Manchester United vs Bolton: Preview

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International week is finally over and at last we can look forward to the return of the Premier League. The international break probably couldn't have come at a better time in fairness as most of the lads were afforded the opportunity to escape from the club environment following the pedestrian performance against Sunderland.

We’re on the Telegraph’s Top 10 Man Utd Websites

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"A site with real potential that landed a Nemanja Vidic exclusive earlier this season. The news services is often off the pace, though, so that needs sharpening up."

Well, we just sneaked in at number 10. Potential? For a blog that's been around for a while, I thought we were through with the potential part, going on to a plateau of mediocrity.

Ferguson joins fight against cancer

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I was contacted by the folks at Killing Cancer. A charity to help promote the use and development of a little known cancer treatment PDT.

The club has also been involved in this and will send out brochures to season ticket holders. But either case, it's always better to reach out to a wider, more global audience as well.

Gabriel Obertan – Shades of Henry?

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Of course, I'm being a bit premature here. But, anyway, highlights from yesterday's reserves outing against Oldham, here.

And a compilation of Obertan's skills, here. Boy is he ugly although, with the ball at his feet, the Henry resemblance is uncanny.

"Gabriel Obertan Shades of Henry?

On Ferguson and ref rage

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This is going to be a delayed reaction to the Ferguson-Alan Wiley incident, but it's international week, we have little else to talk about, so... sit tight, and read.

Ferguson's rant, comparing fitness of European refs to butchers' dogs, was, to put it mildly, genius. You don't get people with the ability to draw such comparisons every day.

Part-time gardener to make United debut soon

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Young, French footballer, recent signing and part-time gardener at OT, Gabriel Obertan is expected to make his debut later this month if reports on News of the World are to be believed.

The former Bordeaux winger stepped up his training last week and Sir Alex Ferguson is paving the way for his inclusion in the squad in the next few weeks.

United related links

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Some links to get you through the day:

1. Ferguson is in a row with Foster, apparently. No quotes to back it up, but it's quite possible Ferguson might have been annoyed with the way Kenwyne Jones' goal was conceded. He was angry at many things following the Sunderland game, he would have picked a fight with a priest.

Manchester United vs Sunderland: Preview

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A former United stalwart returns to Old Trafford this weekend (along with a few other familiar faces), bringing along with him a Sunderland team that have endured something of a yoyo start to the season. Yes Steve Bruce skippered the Reds to three Premier League titles once upon a time but he will be desperately hoping to outwit his former mentor in the opposing dugout come Saturday.