Red Rants Archives for January 2014

The Man Is Not For Breaking

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The jury may be out on whether David Moyes has what it takes to lead Manchester United into a glorious future. However, after Saturday, we certainly cannot question the man's mental strength. In the face of his first real public adversity from a section of the club's fans, he came out fighting and, you know what, he won.

Anti-Moyes protest fails to take off

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In a season of lows and questionable decisions, flying a plane over Old Trafford demanding for David Moyes to be sacked undoubtedly takes the biscuit.

The halfwits who organised that puerile initiative and the morons who forked out money to pay for it should be ashamed of themselves, there's no two ways about it.

Moyes’ future up in the air?

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"These are wonderful times to be a Manchester United fan, particularly as the Reds look to clinch their 20th title when Aston Villa visit Old Trafford tomorrow." No, I haven't lost my marbles not all of them anyway I simply thought that nothing would illustrate how far we've fallen this season as the different circumstances surrounding this fixture eight months ago, hence the choice to recycle a line from last season.

Rio: “United have been embarrassing”

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Rio Ferdinand has admitted that he's scared of leaving the house and running the risk of having to confront disgruntled United fans and the 35-year-old centre-back has described the club's current season as "embarrassing".

A protest, planned by a group of fans ahead of tomorrow's game against Aston Villa, will see a small aircraft carrying a banner reading "Wrong One Moyes Out" flying above Old Trafford before kick-off tomorrow, while Ferdinand is the first senior figure to speak out about United's dismal campaign.

Everything Wrong With the ‘Moyes Out’ Plane Banner

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Over the past few days news has been circulating that some 'supporters' have planned to fly a plane with a 'Moyes Out' banner. Previously just a mere rumour the idea of doing such a thing has gained a lot of steam particularly after the 0-3 derby drubbing to Manchester City. Today pictures have been released of the very plane and the very banner that is meant to fly over Old Trafford at the the beginning of the game vs Aston Villa.

Moyes faces players’ revolt

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David Moyes might still have the backing of the Manchester United board, with neither the Glazers, nor Ed Woodward or Fergie and Sir Bobby seemingly ready to pull the plug on Moyes' dismal tenure at Old Trafford, but the United manager is losing support among two other crucial parties.

The first, as was widely reported after Tuesday's shambolic defeat, are the fans.

The Chosen One

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First off, let me start by introducing myself as Greg, a United fan who never believed David Moyes was the right man for the job when the news broke almost 12 months ago. Despite having ten solid years at Everton, one thing was missing. A trophy.

Now, it'd be easy to raise the argument that he was dealing with peanuts for a budget at Everton, but on more than one occasion during his tenure, he could (and probably should) have lifted a trophy only to choke on the big stage.

Tide turning against Moyes

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As if being humiliated at home by one of our bitter rivals for the second time in two weeks wasn't enough, David Moyes has managed to heap even more misery on United, by claiming that the club should "aspire to be like City".Nevermind that United are still the Champions of England, nevermind that United's history and support dwarf City's and that players outside England even ignored City's existence until a couple of years ago, Moyes wants us to look up at them.

Bayern vs United: The Impossible Dream?

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Following the derby drubbing to Manchester City the mood at Old Trafford is unsurprisingly glum. The stage is all set for Guardiola's men to truly showcase to the whole world the difference of class between Europe's best and England's current champions.

As is so often with European nights at Old Trafford, the footballing universe will look on as Pep's men lock horns with Moyes's men.

This is how it felt to be City

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Ahead of tonight, many Reds some privately, some less so had begun trying to find some positives to draw from a possible derby defeat.

The biggest silver lining of all, according to the general consensus, was that a City win would complicate Liverpool's title bid. But, went the counter argument, surely United will finally turn up for a game where, as far as they were concerned,only pride was at stake?

United aiming to avoid derby day setback

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It had to happen eventually and it has. The roles have swapped and for the first time in almost three decades City arrive at Old Trafford as firm favourites. It's them chasing the title (after dreams of a Quad...ops Treb...have been stupendously dashed) and it's United who have got nothing else to play for if not local pride and, small time though it might sound, the chance of scuppering City's title bid.

United agree £37m deal for midfielder

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Reports in today's newspapers suggest that Manchester United have agreed a deal worth £37m for Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho, which will bring the defensive midfielder to Old Trafford after the World Cup, as David Moyes looks to bolster his options in the middle of the park.

United have scouted Carvalho intensely this season and the 21-year-old was also on the radar of a host of other top European clubs including Chelsea and Real Madrid but the Mirror suggests that Ed Woodward has managed to get his man this time around, after failing spectacularly with bids for Ander Herrera and Cesc Fabregas last season.

The new captain fantastic?

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Eight months ago Wayne Rooney looked set to leave Old Trafford behind and join Chelsea. On Saturday he captained the team not for the first time this season scored one the best goals the club has ever seen and moved up to third in United's all-time goalscoring list.

In what has been a dismal inaugural campaign, David Moyes' handling of Rooney has been one of the few positives of United's season and Saturday confirmed how pivotal the striker is to United's future, particularly when he enjoys this sort of form, something that had somewhat gone missing over the last 18 months.

Rooney’s magic lifts United

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What a strange season this has been for United. On Sunday they were humiliated on their own turf by Liverpool, on Wednesday they produced an utterly improbable and unexpected comeback in the Champions League,thanks to hat-trick from Robin Van Persie, who managed to dissipate reports describing him as unhappy, before picking up an injury that could sideline him for the rest of the season

Today they traveled to a traditionally tricky ground for them with a central midfielder filling in at centre-back and were gifted three points thanks to two goals from a player who was on the verge of leaving the club seven months ago, while he now ranks third among the club's all-time goalscorers.

Time to burst a few bubbles, United

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There's no rest for the wicked and so, just three days after producing the sort of performance we had been demanding since August, United turn their attention back to the Premier League, desperately hoping to build on Wednesday's positives to arrive to Tuesday's night derby in slightly more buoyant mood than they've been all season.

Attack, the best form of defence

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Wayne Rooney has urged Manchester United to keep on attacking in each of their remaining games in a bid to salvage something out of a dismal season, while also insisting that an attacking, high-tempo brand of football is part of United's DNA and the only way forward for the club.

Having been ponderous and sluggish when going forward throughout the campaign, for the first time this season United reverted to their normal selves on Tuesday night, as they put Olympiakos under pressure with a first half performance that might not have been vintage, but was a huge improvement on this season's standards.

United handed hardest of tests

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Manchester United will face Bayern Munich in the quarter finals of the Champions League, after the Reds were handed arguably the hardest possible draw in today's draw, with the first leg to be played at Old Trafford on April 1st, while the return leg at the Allianz Arena eight days later.

Bayernqualified for the quarter finals by knocking Arsenal out 3-1 on aggregate, winning 2-0 at the Emirates, before drawing 1-1 at home at the Allianz Arena and will enter the clash against United as overwhelming favourites, as they bid to become the first side ever to retain the Champions League.

“United can win the Champions League”

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David Moyes has urged his team not get carried away after last night's memorable comeback against Olympiakos that has earned them a place in the quarter finals of the Champions League, but he also believes United are now the dark horses ahead of Friday's draw and could cause a major shock by winning the competition.

Moyes, fans and RVP: Five talking points from United vs Olympiakos

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Manchester United produced a stunning comeback last night, overturning the 2-0 they had carried into the game last night to win 3-0 on the night and book themselves a place in the last eight of the Champions League for the first time since the 2010-11 season, meaning there's still something left to play for this season.

Not quite 84′ but United’s Champions League Dream remains alive

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It might not be the turning point David Moyes needed to save his United career, it'll probably not change the way this season will be considered, but tonight's performance showed that United can still turn up and give their fans something to shout about.

Evoking the spirit of '84 might be a step too far, but United proved that they still have enough quality to perform on the big stage and the fans responded admirably, dragging their side through 90 emotional minutes.

More Greek tragedy could be a turning point

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The final nail in the coffin? Some desperately needed positives or just another routine disappointment followed by the usual post-match interview filled with regrets and coated in mild disappointment? Nobody quite knows what we can expect from tonight, although the chances of United bidding farewell to the Champions League are far greater than to see progress to the quarter finals.

Moyes has created anger and frustration

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If the drubbing against City was a warning sign that was completely ignored and the capitulations against Sunderland and Olympiacos resembled a new low, then Sunday's humiliation was as much an end as it was a beginning.

A beginning of the end, hopefully, of David Moyes' era in charge of Manchester United Football Club.

Is it all over for Moyes?

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David Moyes has insisted that he doesn't fear for his job, despite yet another horrendous defeat on Sunday and the prospect of bidding farewell to the Champions League tonight, if United fail to overturn the 2-0 deficit they carry into tonight's game against Olympiakos.

In yesterday's press conference Moyes reiterated that he doesn't consider himself or his job at risk and that the club's hierarchy shares his view for the club's long-term future.

News of internal rift sparks doubts over Moyes’ future

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News has leaked from within Manchester United today sparking rumours David Moyes' future is perhaps not as cut and dry as his 6yr contract suggests.

Recent results and, more worryingly, performances have been unacceptable but many onlookers still believe Moyes maintains the clubs backing. However, the latest news would, in most cases, make Moyes position untenable.

Stealth over strategy in rivals showdown

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The importance of the match for both David Moyes and Brendan Rodgers – albeit for very different reasons – and the nature of the rivalry between their respective clubs may mean that Sunday's encounter between Manchester United and Liverpool is more of a battle of stealth than strategy. However, here's a quick look at how the sides, if they continue with the game-plans that have brought them success in recent weeks, may approach the game.

Moyes cannot afford to lose this one

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Forget about finishing seventh and having to make do with the Europa League next season, forget about relinquishing any chances of defending the title as early as in December, forget even about the utterly dire football we have witnessed over the last eight months: Sunday's is the game David Moyes simply can't afford to lose.

RVP wants Old Trafford stay

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Robin Van Persie has dismissed speculations that he's unhappy at Manchester United and that will leave the club in the summer, insisting instead that he'd be "delighted" to sign a new contract, to extend his stay at Old Trafford beyond the two years remaining on his current deal.

Like for everybody else connected with United, this season has been a troublesome one for RVP.

United “are doing a Liverpool”

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Following the well-established tradition that has characterised Liverpool managers for a couple of decades, Brendan Rodgers has chosen to prepare for tomorrow's game by, unsurprisingly, talking about United and explain in detail the "dangers" the club are facing by missing out on a Champions League spot.

Agent plays down Chicharito’s exit rumours

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Javier Hernandez's agent has dismissed rumours that wanted the Mexican striker linked with a move to Inter Milan in the summer, claiming that he has not been approached by any club and that Chicharito is likely to remain at Old Trafford for the foreseeable future.

Hernandez has been on the fringe of David Moyes' squad this season, yet he's still managed to find the net 10 times in 17 appearances in all competitions even thoughhe's only started only four Premier League games during Moyes' inaugural campaign at Old Trafford.

Fellaini: “Give Moyes time”

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Marouane Fellaini has asked Manchester United to give David Moyes time, insisting that the United manager will turn things around despite a horrible first season at Old Trafford.

Fellaini himself has endured a troubled first campaign at United, after arriving from Everton on deadline day last summer for £27m, but the Belgian midfielder has stated he's determined to repay the faith Moyes has shown in him and is desperate to help his manager and the club out of the difficult situation they've found themselves in throughout the season.

New role tempts Rooney

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Wayne Rooney has admitted he'd love to captain Manchester United and England and has revealed he's been helping United youngsters this season as they work on their game, with Adnan Januzaj being one of the players who have put in extra work with Rooney.

While he might be as far from the stereotype of ideal role model as his agent is from acting in a transparent manner, Rooney is the overwhelming favourite to replace Nemanja Vidic as club captain at the end of the season, once the Serbian defender leaves for Inter Milan, while captaining England remains firmly in Rooney's sight.

US firm’s actions “not the start of a takeover”

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The American firm Baron Capital has bought 24% of all the shares Manchester United have made available on the New York Stock Exchange and now own almost a quarter of the shares the Glazers released on the NYSE in 2012 which, unfortunately, only represents 2.5% of the club, meaning Malc and his cronies remain in full control of the club.

United strike record deal

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Manchester United are set to confirm Nike as their kit sponsor in a deal that will dwarf the current one and pour over £60m-a-year in the club's coffers over the next decade, by when United will have had Nike as kit manufacturer for 23 seasons.

United's current deal with the American sports apparel giant is set to expire at the end of the season and Nike's rivals such as Adidas, Puma and Warrior were reportedly keen to win the battle to see their logo on United's shirts from next season, but Nike have offered United the chance to sign a world-record deal worth over £600m over the next 10 years.

We Lack A ‘Manchester United’ Captain

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Bryan Robson, Steve Bruce, Roy Keane and Gary Neville. They are all former Manchester United captains. Any one of them would take a rocketing ball to the head if it resulted in a United win, any one of them would play in any position required if it helped the team and any one of them would gladly take a pay cut if it lengthened their stay at their club Manchester United.

Step in the right direction shows the way forward

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In a season of lows and false dawns, today's game runs the risk of being both without hopefully being neither, for it is complicated to fully analyse United's 3-0 win at West Bromwich.

Did United simply make the most of West Brom's deficiencies or has the penny finally dropped and has David Moyes realised that he has to build a system around his players to maximise their strengths, rather than shuffle his personnel around desperately trying to come up with the magic equation that will fit his archaic tactics?

United target French striker?

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Reports today suggest that David Moyes has shown an interest in Real Sociedad striker Antoine Griezmann, after watching the 20-year-old make his debut for France on Wednesday night against Holland.

United have already faced Griezmann twice this season and while the Frenchman hadn't been linked with a move to Old Trafford after both Champions League clashes between United and Real Sociedad, Moyes now seems to have stepped up his interest ahead of what promises to be a huge summer for the club.

A letter from David

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David Moyes has written to all season ticket-holders to thank for their support throughout his dismal inaugural campaign, while admitting that the job of managing Manchester United has been a lot more complicated than he could ever imagine and the season has exceed even his worst expectations.

With United seventh in the table and almost out of the Champions League, many feel that the United manager should be relieved of his duties at the end of the season, or else the club could run the risk of wasting a lot of money in the summer to sign players that Moyes has identified as prime targets, but who might not deliver if forced to play within United's archaic system.

Forget letters, United need results

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How things change. The last time United traveled to this part of the country, they conceded five goals and scored just as many during 90 incredible minutes and yet the game itself was nothing more than a mere backdrop to what was the day's main event Sir Alex Ferguson's last ever game in charge of Manchester United.

“Moyes doesn’t believe in me”

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Federico Macheda, Manchester United's forgotten man, has claimed that David Moyes has shown nothing of the belief Sir Alex Ferguson had for the 22-year-old striker who is now resigned to leave Old Trafford in the summer, six years on from THAT goal against Aston Villa in April 2009.

Macheda's turn and strike deep into stoppage time sunk Villa and put United on course for a record-equalling 18th title, as they managed to keep a resurgent Liverpool at arm's length thanks, in no small part, to the then teenager late goal against Aston Villa in a 3-2 win and against Sunderland the following week.

Vidic’s exit confirmed

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Nemanja Vidic's departure from Manchester United was today made official as Inter Milan confirmed on their own website that they've agreed a deal to bring the Serbian defender to the San Siro from next season, ending speculations over which club Vidic will join this summer.

Vidic, whose contract with United runs out at the end of the season, had last month spoke of his desire to face a new challenge after eight seasons at Old Trafford and the 32-year-old has got his wish, as David Moyes and the club decided not to offer their captain a new deal.

United scrape Europa League plans

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Manchester United might reconsider their plans of charging Champions League prices for Europa League tickets next season, after almost three quarters of the fans surveyed by the Manchester United Supporters Trust insisted they were ready to discontinue their season tickets, if the club didn't change its ticketing policy.

United don’t need a sheikh

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MUST chief executive, Duncan Drasdo, has dismissed the notion that Manchester United need a sugardaddy to follow in the footpath of Roman Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour to rescue the club and he maintains that the Glazers might have to accept the idea of having to sell the club for less than they would like.

United star is NOT indispensable

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The recent announcement that Wayne Rooney had signed a lucrative five-year contract with Manchester United, rumoured to be worth around £300,000 per week for the Liverpudlian, indicated the club's determination, or maybe desperation, to prove that Old Trafford remains an attractive home for the most stellar names in football.

Did United sell Ronaldo for nothing?

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Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed that Manchester United could have made £150m by selling Cristiano Ronaldo, rather than pocketing a mere £80m when the Portuguese star was allowed to swap Old Trafford for the Bernabeu in the summer of 2009 for a then world record transfer fee.

Fergie revealed that he had instructed former chief executive David Gill to demand a fee in the region of £150m, confident that Real Madrid president would have paid any amount of money to secure Ronaldo, but Gill was determined that not even the Spanish giants with their almost unlimited transfer funds would have been prepared to spend so much on a single player.

Is this United youngster the next Adnan Januzaj?

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"If you're good enough, you're old enough" These are the words of Manchester United and England legend Sir Bobby Charlton. A man who is a supporter of the youth system at Manchester. A system that has produced world class talents such as Paul Scholes and George Best.

The system some believe, reached its peak when it produced some of the finest players of their generation in an exceptionally small space of time.

United line up Moyes replacement?

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Reports on a Sunday newspaper suggest that Manchester United could be looking at appointing a Dutch duo at Old Trafford, were David Moyes to be relieved of his duties at the end of the season, which, on current form, would be a rather sensible choice, given how dismally poor United have been under the former Everton manager.