Red Rants Archives for January 2014

Roy Keane tears into another former team mate

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Roy Keane was, without doubt, one of the most influential footballers Manchester United have ever employed not to mention one of the very best central midfielders in the history of football.

Since his acrimonious departure from Old Trafford however, Keane has found it startlingly easy to make comments about the club, Sir Alex Ferguson or his previous team mates.

“United have been inferior to City for years”

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There is no rest for the wicked. There is even less rest for the cardiovascular systems of those who support Manchester United, it seems. Having negotiated a deserved draw against Chelsea on Sunday, irking many an ABUs in the process after United fans took the liberty of celebrating a last minute equaliser, Louis Van Gaal's troops make the short journey across town to face the defending champions.

Improving United will be “scary” to face

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Luke Shaw believes Manchester United are slowly rediscovering their mojo and are on their way to become a "scary" team to face. even though the England international there's still plenty of room for improvement.

The 19-year-old defender insisted that with Radamel Falcao, Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick on their way back to full fitness and Wayne Rooney set to return from his three-match ban, United will be a team no-one will relish facing.

Last minute goals and Fellaini: 5 things we’ve learnt from United vs Chelsea

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It is now almost a year since Manchester United won a game against a top four side, but there were positives to be drawn from the 1-1 draw against Chelsea on Sunday, even though United remain a work in progress.

1) United show the steel of old

Raise your hand if you remembered the last time United had scored a late equaliser before Monday night.

United determined to avoid the Sunday blues

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Clash of the Titans

It could get messy on Sunday. Eamonn Holmes at an all you can eat buffet messy. Everyone is aware of a possible humiliation, but there is reason to be positive. A talented and ambitious group of players, a big game manager at the helm and an electric Old Trafford atmosphere.

Time for the real United to step up

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When Manchester United hosted Chelsea last season, on a balmy Monday night in August, David Moyes' men arrived into the fixture on the back of an impressive 4-1 win away at Swansea and while the turgid stalemate that followed against the Blues was hardly exciting, it definitely did not provide any indications about the shamble that would unfold in the following months.

Fergie: “Moyes’ wasn’t my fault”

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Sir Alex Ferguson has dismissedsuggestions that he is partly responsiblefor Manchester United's decline, claimingit is absurd to think he left behind an ageing team and an "antiquated" club and insisting that he wasn't the only person responsible for theappointment of David Moyes.

Ferguson described as "nonsense" the suggestion that Moyes had inherited a team in decline, saying the problem for his successor was that he had found it "a massive jump" to move to Old Trafford and "hadn't realised just how big United is as a club.

Unbalanced United have a real problem

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Marouane Fellaini has admitted that Manchester United are struggling to find the right balance between attacking flair and protectingtheir incredibly shaky defence.

The Belgian international finally his United account in after coming off the bench against West Brom on Monday night,some 14 months after joining United and admitted he "had to wait a long time for this moment".

Five things we have learnt from United vs WBA

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Manchester United extended their unbeaten run to three games last night, snatching a late draw away at West Brom. It was neither what United wanted nor what they deserved, as West Brom's second goal came totally against the run of play, but United's shaky back four conspired against them yet again.

A tale of two strikers

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Since the dawn of time Manchester United and Liverpool fans have argued. Ancient cave paintings illustrate the fierce debates over which club is in decline and who is launching a resurgence. Even as man evolved to use tools and Liverpool fans continued to worship the sun the debates continued to rage.

United consider £12m move for centre-back

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Manchester United might have to pay as much as £12m to sign Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar in January.

According to ESPN, Villa will accept the probability of losing their centre-half but Paul Lambert will only allow his club captain to leave if Villa's financial demands are met.

Vlaar's contract is set to expire at the end of the season, though United could be forced into action as early as January, given their lack options at centre-back.

United must lay down a marker against rivals

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Ryan Giggs has urged Manchester United to show they can go head-to-head with title favourites Chelsea and Manchester City and show more consistency than they've done so far.

Despite a slow start, United entered the international the break in fourth spot, eight points behind league leaders Chelsea but only three points adrift of City, with the former due at Old Trafford on October 26, while the latter will host United the following week.

United enraging hordes of football moralists

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October is a weird month. Summer is nothing but a distant memory, Christmas is still only a blip on the horizon, days get shorter and rain falls with the same impeccable regularity with which Oliver Holt writes a patronising column in the Daily Mirror.

Leaves turn yellow and fall, England stumble from one unconvincing performance against a pub team to a mediocre showing against a Sunday league outfit, as Fleet Street's finest desperately try to convince that we should all care ever so dearly about a group of players that means nothing to most of the country and even less so to United fans.

Money talks for Di Maria

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Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has insisted that Angel Di Maria left the Bernabeu for Old Trafford purely because the European champions could not afford to meet his wage demands.

United broke the British transfer record in the summer when they shelled out £59.7m for the Argentine, whose £200,000-a-week deal makes him the third-highest paid player at the club behind Wayne Rooney and Radamel Falcao, but the Real Madrid manager said his club did not want to sell but had to cave in eventually.

5 Reasons Why Manchester United Will Finish in the Top Four

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Manchester United fans took a lot of stick last season after they dropped from being the Premier League champions to finishing seventh in the space of 12 months.

The Red Devils are bouncing back in 2014-15 however, and despite a slow start that saw them pick up only two points from their first three games, Louis van Gaal's side head into this weekend's round of games in the UEFA Champions League places.

5 Reasons Why Manchester United Will Finish in the Top 4

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Manchester United fans took a lot of stick last season after they dropped from being the Premier League champions to finishing seventh in the space of 12 months.

The Red Devils are bouncing back in 2014-15 however, and despite a slow start that saw them pick up only two points from their first three games, Louis van Gaal's side head into this weekend's round of games in the UEFA Champions League places.

Fergie: “I still hate when United lose to Liverpool”

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Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he still hates to see United losing to Liverpool and Manchester City, an event which, courtesy of David Moyes, Fergie got to experience more often that he'd have bargained for last season.

In an exclusive interview with MUTVin an interview broadcast on Monday evening entitled Sir Alex: Life After Management, the former United manager admitted emotions still run high in him when United face their two main rivals.

United star set for new five-year deal

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David De Gea is set to have his wages doubled as Manchester United are reportedly ready to offer the Spanish keeper a new five-year deal worth £120,000-a-week.

News of the new deal, which according to the Daily Mirror will be offered to the Spaniard before Christmas, comes as speculation linking Real Madrid with a move for the 23-year-old intensified over the last couple of days.

United missed out on Real Madrid defender because of Phil Jones

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Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane said he turned down a move to Manchester United because the club had just signed Phil Jones and the Frenchman feared that might limit his first team opportunities.

The French defender was one of European football's most promising prospect when he left Lens in the summer of 2011, with Real Madrid beating PSG and United in the race to the then 18-year-old.

Manchester United favourites ahead of Liverpool to finish in top four

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Despite a slow start to the season under Louis van Gaal, Manchester United appear to have turned the corner under their Dutch manager.

United went into the international break in the fourth and final UEFA Champions League place following successive victories for the first time this season.

Van Gaal will be keen to get three points in their next fixture, on Monday night at West Bromwich Albion, as only three points separate them and the team down in 16th position, Stoke City.

Goodbye Mata, hello Vidal?

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Manchester United have again been linked with a move for Arturo Vidal, with Juan Mata considered to be the man holding the key to a possible deal for the Chilean midfielder.

According to Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport, Juventus will allow the 27-year-old in January and United look to be in pole position to land the Chilean as they could offer Mata to the Serie A champions.

“I might never forgive Fergie”

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Roy Keane has admitted he might never forgive Sir Alex Ferguson for the way he was forced to departManchester United, in the wake of an interview the Irishman gave to MUTV.

Speaking at the launch of his new book The Second Half at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Keane said he doubted his relationship with Fergie could ever recover,as neither of them looks willing to take a step back and bury the hatchet once and for all.

Fergie backs LVG’s revolution

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Sir Alex Ferguson has said that Louis Van Gaal was right to "clear the decks" in the summer, as the Dutchman embarked on a much-needed revolutionthat saw the squad left behind by Fergie being almost completely overhauled.

Fergie had not spoken publicly about Van Gaal until now butspeaking to MUTV in a programme entitled Sir Alex: Life After Management which is due to air on Monday, he revealed that he's been favourably impressed by Van Gaal's determination to reshape the squad according to his vision.

Ronaldo’s return is “impossible”

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Cristiano Ronaldo will not return to Manchester United, according to his agent. Jorge Mendes, the same agent who looks after the interest of Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria, has insisted that there's absolutely no chance of the Portuguese returning to United and that Ronaldo will finish his career with Real Madrid.

United’s target “not for sale”

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Roma owner James Pallotta has told Manchester United that Kevin Strootman is not for sale at any price and that Louis Van Gaal will have to look elsewhere to strengthen his midfield options in January.

United have been linked with a move for the Dutchman in the winter transfer window, with many suggesting that Van Gaal sees Strootman as the missing piece of his midfield jigsaw, but Pallotta said that once Strootman returns to full fitness following his cruciate ligament injury, he will do so in the Eternal City.

Monaco want Roo?

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Wayne Rooney is a target for Monaco, according toVadim Vasilyev, the club's vice-president and the closest adviser to the Russian billionaire owner Dmitry Rybolovlev.

Monaco have monitored Rooney for over 18 months and, according to the Daily Telegraph, they were close to sign the United captain in the 2013 summer's transfer window, with the prospect of offering him a tax-free deal, before Rooney eventually decided to commit his future to United by signing a new five-year deal worth £300,000-a-week in February.

Keane: “Fergie stitched me up”

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Roy Keane has reopened his war of words with Sir Alex Ferguson by giving a typically forthright version of the events that led to the Irishman leaving the club in 2005.

In his new biography, The Second Half, Keane claims that he felt stitched up by Fergie and Gill, who simply wanted to force him out of the club in the wake of an interviewed he had given to MUTV, in which he had criticised some younger players.

Keane reveals Schmeichel fight

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In one of the many revelations to come out of his new book, Roy Keane revealed details of a bust-up he and Peter Schmeichel during a pre-season tour in Asia in 1998.

Keane said that he head-butted the Danish after a fight broke out between the two in the hotel, leaving the former United keeper with a black eye.

Di Maria: United a step up from Real Madrid

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Angel Di Maria has described leaving Real Madrid to join Manchester United as growing process for his career, claiming that swapping the Santiago Bernabeu for Old Trafford has made him a better player.

Selling Di Maria was a surprise move by Real Madrid, given the Argentina international was a pivotal figure as Carlo Ancelotti's men clinched their 10th European Cup last week, but Madrid's loss has definitely been United's gain, with the 26-year-old making waves in his first two months in the Premier League.

Falcao keen to extend United stay

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Radamel Falcao opened his tally for Manchester United as he netted the winner against Everton on Sunday and the Colombian said he's eager to extend his stay at Old Trafford beyond his loan spell.

United's number nine has been linked with a permanent move to the club next summer ever since he joined on loan from Monaco on transfer deadline day, as reports suggesting United had signed on loan purely to circumnavigate a potential issue related to Financial Fair Play began to emerge.

United handed boost in midfielder’s pursuit

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Manchester United's pursuit of Kevin Strootman has received an unexpected boost, after Roma manager Rudi Garcia admitted he wouldn't have the final say on the Dutchman's future in the event of an offer.

Garcia has repeatedly ruled the possibility of selling the Dutchman, who impressed in his first campaign in Serie A before suffering an anterior cruciate ligament which forced him to miss the World Cup, stating that the Giallorossi had no intention of parting way with the former PSV midfielder.