Red Rants Archives for January 2014

United back in action abroad!

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After their spending spree this summer, Manchester United have assembled so much attacking talent that the comparison with the Harlem Globetrotters has been almost impossible to escape.

United, however, could move a step closer to the famous American basketball outfit if plans to play lucrative overseas friendlies during the course of the season is to go ahead.

United heading in the right direction

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Robin Van Persie believes Manchester United are on the right track under Louis Van Gaal and they will soon step up a couple notches, once the injured players return and the squad is completely familiar with the new manager's methods.

Despite having nine players sidelined, with Ander Herrera a doubt ahead of Sunday after having been withdrawn on Saturday, United bounced back from a shambolic 5-3 defeat at Leicester to win 2-1against West Ham over the weekend, their second consecutive win at home and one Van Persie believes is a sign of more things to come.

Rooney’s apology

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Wayne Rooney has apologised for getting sent off against West Ham on Saturday, a red card which means he will now miss games against Everton, West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea, though he'll be back in time for United's first derby of the season, away to City on November 2.

Showing a remarkable lack of leadership, the United captain lashed out petulantly at Stewart Downing and was rightly sent off, though he has since admitted his was an error of judgment and accepted Lee Mason made the right choice by sending him off.

Premier League trio target United misfit

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Ashley Young is a target for Aston Villa, Sunderland and Southampton, according to the Daily Express. Young has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford for some time and the report suggests the three Premier League clubs are all interested in the services of the 29-year-old.

Young, who played the first three games of the season but has since failed to make an appearance, is under contract with United until 2016 but the club looks unlikely to offer Young an extension, given he's consistently failed to deliver since arriving at Old Trafford in the summer of 2011.

Rooney: “Van Gaal is incredible”

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Wayne Rooney has described Louis Van Gaal as "incredible" and has insisted Manchester United will get it right soon as they aim to bounce back from a shaky start to the season.

United have won only twice of their opening six Premier League games, losing at home against Swansea on the opening weekend of the season and relinquishing a 3-1 lead at Leicester last week, but Rooney, who was sent off against West Ham on Saturday, said that Van Gaal has generated a feel good factor in the dressing room and the players are right behind him.

Five things we’ve learnt from United vs West Ham

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Having conjured to spectacularly self-implode against Leicester a week ago, United were back to winning ways against West Ham on Saturday, registering their second consecutive home win and, crucially, conceding just once.

What looked to be a fairly routine win after 20 minutes, however, turned out be anything but as United made things complicated for themselves yet again.

No Rooney apology from LVG

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Louis Van Gaal said Wayne Rooney had been too "unfriendly" and refused to let his captain off the hook, after Rooney was sent off for petulantly kicking out at Stewart Downing during United's 2-1 win against West Ham on Saturday.

Rooney's red card left United nervously hanging on for the final half an hour, as they sought to avoid another collapse following a 5-3 defeat at Leicester and has casted doubt of the United captain's leadership.

Win 2 VIP tickets to Old Trafford PLUS $3,000

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United face injury crisis

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Manchester United face a defensive crisis as Louis Van Gaal's already thin defensive options have been further stretched by Chris Smalling's umpteenth injury.

Smalling suffered a thigh strain in training on Wednesday and is unlikely he'll be fit to face West Ham on Saturday, leaving Van Gaal without a recognised centre-back, given Jonny Evans and Phil Jones are also sidelined, while Michael Carrick, who had been touted as a possible short-term solution in the role, is still two weeks away from return.

United’s £27m man keen to impress

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Marouane Fellaini remains determined to prove what he's capable of at Manchester United and the Belgian has insisted Louis Van Gaal never asked him to leave, despite the reports that circulated in the summer, according to which the former Everton man was on the verge of leaving the club.

The man who perhaps more than any other epitomises David Moyes' beleaguered spell at United has vowed to win the critics over, as he returned to training following a month on the sideline because of an ankle injury.

United need to spend another £100m

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Manchester United might have spent £150m this summer, but Phil Neville believes they'll need to spend almost as many if they're to win the Premier League anytime soon.

Amid the cash they splashed on Angel Di Maria, Ander Herrera, Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao, United also secured two defenders, Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw.

Goals but no leaders: 5 things we’ve learnt from United vs Leicester

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It was fun while it lasted, then it unravelled in catastrophic fashion but, bad as it was, there were some positives to be taken from United's defeat on Sunday. Here's five things we've learnt from Leicester away

1) Leaky at the back

They say in football there's no other place to start than the defence and as far United are concerned that's undeniably true.

LVG blames United’s attitude

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Louis Van Gaal has criticised his Manchester United squad forcommitting "big errors as a team" and allowing Leicester City to turn a 3-1 defeat into a 5-3 success, United's second defeat in their opening five league games of the season.

Having been 2-0 ahead with less than 20 minutes played, United allowed Leicester back in the game almost immediately, before then stretching their lead to 3-1 with just over 30 minutes left, only to then collapse and concede four goals in less than 25 minutes, as Leicester ran riot.

“United didn’t believe in me”

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Javier Hernandez has said that he left Manchester United because the club didn't believe in him and he has embraced the opportunity of making the most of his season-long loan at Real Madrid.

Having played a pivotal role in United's title-winning campaigns in 2011 and 2013, Hernandez fell out of favour under David Moyes last season, making only six starts before being shipped out on loan on transfer deadline day this summer.

Van Gaal admits Ronaldo interest

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Ronnie return?

In today's press conference Louis Van Gaal confirmed that United would be happy to haveCristiano Ronaldo back at the club.

Though he remained coy on whether there would be an attempt to bring the Real Madrid forward to Old Trafford. The manager conceded that Ronaldo is the type of player he would want in his team.

“Everything in place” for Ronaldo’s return

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The rumours linking Cristiano Ronaldo with a return to Manchester United simply refuse to go away, as the Portuguese has apparently grown increasingly frustrated with life in Madrid and could leave the Bernabeu next summer.

Since leaving the club in the summer of 2009, Ronaldo has become an even better player than he was at United, scoring 256 goals in 251 appearances in all competitions for Real Madrid, but various reports have suggested that the 29-year-old is looking to engineer a move away from Madrid and back to United at the end of the season.

The new era has begun

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Louis van Gaal can breathe a sigh of relief as his new signings propelled his squad towards a much needed first win of his Manchester United managerial career.

With players returning from injury, Marcos Rojo finally acquiring a work permit, Rademel Falcao and Daley Blind available for selection, questions arose regarding whether Van Gaal would stick with the 5-3-2 formation or adopt a new tactic to cater to the new signings.

Moyes was “amateurish” and “embarassing”

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Rio Ferdinand has hit out at David Moyes for trying to impose a vision on United, despite the Scotsman, who was also lambasted for adopting "embarrassing" tactics, himself not being too clear about the plan.

Ferdinand returned to Old Trafford on Sunday after leaving the club on a free transfer in the summer, having brought a 10-year career at United to an end in disappointing fashion as the club endured an absolute nightmare of a season under the former Everton manager, who was criticised by Ferdinand for creating a "bad vibe".

Back In Business

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There's an old saying in football that you can only beat what is put in front of you. Yesterday afternoon, Manchester United did exactly that, by dismantling a QPR side that will already be early favourites to go down at the culmination of the Premier League season.

The result was met with the standard, unbalanced, views of fans from clubs across the league, positively seething at the fact that United had sparkled so brightly once again and sent out a warning shot to our closest rivals.

Diamonds are forever: five things we’ve learnt from United vs QPR

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After three subdued performances, the visit of QPR at Old Trafford was supposed to be the start of a new era, the real beginning after the Louis Van Gaal revolution and United didn't disappoint.

The West Londoners might not be a force to be reckoned with in fact they were abysmal for large spells of the game but it was a refreshing change to see United finally take control of a game and play with confidence and intent.

Where do United’s two super signings fit into the Van Gaal jigsaw?

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It is an often repeated mantra that Manchester United don't buy super stars, they make them.

Ronaldo, Vidic, Scholes, Giggs, Beckham, Solskjaer... the list goes on and on. But desperate times call for desperate measures and after a fragile start to the season and a second consecutive finish outside the top 4 a very real possibility, Ed Woodward ripped up the traditional United strategy and went big.

Panic at the disco – a timeline of United’s summer transfer window

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So, for the first time in what seems like decades, United fans were left breathless by a summer transfer window. Either the Glazer family had just discovered the addictive drug of Football Manager, or they finally realised that Van Gaal's squad needed a major injection of cash. Yet, for all the exhilarating action of the final weeks of the window, the previous months had offered little to suggest any excitement.

Jones adds to injury woes

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Phil Jones out for a month

In today's press conference Louis Van Gaal revealed that Phil Jones is the latest to hand in his sick note, taking United's total number of injuries to nine.

"Fellaini is more than a month away, Jones maybe three weeks or a month," said Van Gaal.

"Carrick isn't ready but has run for the first time on grass.

An ode to Danny Welbeck

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Manchester Prince

It was almost the perfect story. Little lad growing up in Longsight, joins the the club he supports at eight years old, progresses through the academy and finally bursts into the first team at only 17. Everything followed the script wonderfully. All that was left was for Danny to cement his place in the first team and eventually retire at the club he had supported at eight years old.

United midfielder happy to leave

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Tom Cleverley admitted he was relieved to leave Manchester United after he was targeted by section of the supporters and said in football it's impossible to please everyone.

Cleverley joined Aston Villa a day after deadline day after a proposed move to Everton fell through and he insisted he was happy to leave Old Trafford behind, after some of the fans made him a scapegoat for the team's failures last season.

Falcao: “I want to make history at United”

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Radamel Falcao has said he wants to remain at Manchester United after his loan deal expires at the end of the season and that he wants to "make history" at the club.

The Colombian was a surprising signing on deadline day, as he arrived from Monaco in a season-long loan for £6m, a move which some said was a desperate one.

United legend attacks club

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Gary Neville has launched an attack on Manchester United's transfer policy this summer, claiming the club lacks control and that they've overpaid for some of their summer signings.

Neville also criticised the club's decision of parting way with Danny Welbeck, a choice that Neville said he was struggling to understand, while the former United right-back insisted the £150m United have splurged this summer were the result of poor strategy and overpaying players.

Giggs: “United will never change”

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Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt have said that Manchester United will continued to develop young players as they've always done and that the club isn't moving away from its traditions, despite this summer's £150m spending spree.

Thesale of Danny Welbeck to Arsenal had prompted many to claim that United were abandoning long-term prospects for immediate gain and Eric Harrison, coach of the Class of 92, to claimUnited were losing "their soul" as a consequence.

RVP excited by United’s revolution

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Robin Van Persie believes Manchester United will return to success after this summer spending spree and the Dutchman has revealed he's raring to go, as United look to finally kickstart their season against QPR on Sunday.

A defeat and two draws in their opening three league games represented a poor start for Louis Van Gaal, but Van Persie insisted United's £150m spending spree will pay its dividendsand that he's excited about playing with some world class players, such as Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao.

RVP to learn from former United goalscoring hero

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Former Manchester United striker Ruud Van Nistelrooy has been working closely with Robin Van Persie to help his compatriot to remain deadly in front of goal, as he once was.

Van Nistelrooy wasnamed in Guus Hiddink's staff for the Holland squad as the former Chelsea manager replaced Louis Van Gaal in charge of the Oranje and the former United striker has been working as a coach to the strikers.

United target “open to move”

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Manchester United might have spent £150m this summer but Louis Van Gaal is far from done as far as bolstering his squad is concerned and one of his main targets has given United reasons to be encouraged.

Kevin Strootman has ditched his agentChiel Dekker and has joined SEG the Sports Entertainment Group who were involved in Robin van Persie's move from Arsenal to United, a move that could facilitate a January move to United, which the Dutch midfielder is said to be keen on.

United’s saviour: Tom Cleverley

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No, no he's not. That was a lie. Though some might be cynical enough to believe that the headline was used as a crude ploy to draw in readers they will be categorically and absolutely correct.

Tom Cleverley is not the saviour of Manchester United, Tom Cleverley was the kidthat promised much and delivered almost nothing.

Falcao reveals worries over United move

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New Manchester United number 9 Radamel Falcao has revealed that he feared his move to Old Trafford would unravel at the very last minute, as the loan deal to bring the Colombian to Old Trafford went right to the wire.

Having agreed a £6m loan fee with Monaco early on Monday, United were made to wait until 1.

Revolution the only solution at United

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As the dust finally begins to settle on the schizophrenic hyperbole that is transfer deadline day, Manchester United appear to be a complete different proposition to what they were 10 days ago, let alone when compared to the team Louis Van Gaal took charge of in July.

If Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw were a promising first date back in June, Marcos Rojo the long overdue call for a second meeting and Angel Di Maria the extremely expensive first dinner out and Daley Blind the movie date that followed themeal, then the arrival of Radamel Falcao was undoubtedly the moment in which the girl United had not even dared to look at for fear of rejection invited the club back to her place.

Ed Woodward: The Wolf of Busby Way  

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After followingUnited's transfer business this summer, many fans might be wondering whether Edward Woodward is not the straight and narrow, suit wearing calculated CEO many thought, but actually United's very own Jordan Belfort.

"A world-class midfielder and a world-class centre back, that's all I need!

What’s the Mata Juan?

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At the turn of the year, when the news broke that Manchester United were on the verge of making a club record signing, excitement was tantamount. Juan Mata had spent his first few years in the Premier League dazzling crowds with his typical Spanish style of classy, intricate football.

The perfect number ten.

LVG not done spending

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The transfer window might have shut just over 24 hours ago but Louis Van Gaal and Manchester United are already plotting their January business, according to reports that claim the United manager is not done spending yet.

United spent a combined £150.1m this summer, breaking the British transfer record with the £59.

Falcao a chance that could not be missed

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Louis Van Gaal has said he could not pass up the opportunity to sign Radamel Falcao, once he was made aware that the Colombian might available this summer.

With Manchester City, Real Madrid and Juventus all chasing the Monaco striker, United entered the race yesterday morning, blitzing their rivals and finally securing the 28-year-old on a season-long loan, with the option to make the deal permanent in 12 months, in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

United offload youngsters

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Manchester United youngsters Tom Lawrence and Nick Powell have completed a move to Leicester City. Both players join Nigel Pearson's side with Powell on a season-long loan while Lawrence signs permanently for an undisclosed fee believed to be in the region of £1m.

A member of United's academy since he was eight-year-old, Lawrence rose through the club's ranks and was part of the team that won the2011 FA Youth Cup, before suffering an injury-ravaged season in 2012-13, before spending part of last season on loan at Carlisle, where he impressed.

Welbeck agrees £16m Arsenal move

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Danny Welbeck has agreed to join Arsenal in a £16m deal, after a topsy-turvy deadline day during which his transfer to the Emirates remained in the balance until the very end.

Welbeck had attracted interest from Sunderland, Hull and Tottenham, with Spurs looking favourite to clinch a loan deal for the United striker, before Arsenal entered the race on Monday afternoon, as Arsene Wenger looked to bolster his options up-front following an injury that will keep Olivier Giroud out until December.

United confirm striker exit

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Javier Hernandez has reached an agreement with Real Madrid and will be unveiled at the Santiago Bernabueu later on Monday, after completing his loan move to the European Champions.

With Radamel Falcao arriving on loan from Monaco, Hernandez's opportunities to break into the first XI appeared even more limited and Louis Van Gaal decided the Mexican could be moved on, after months of speculations had linked him a host of European clubs, including Juventus, Valencia and Inter Milan.

United agree deal for Falcao

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Manchester United have agreed a season-long deal for Monaco striker Radamel Falcao, subject to the Colombian passing a medical at Carrington later on Monday.

According to Sky Sports, the deal for the former Atletico Madrid centre-forward includes the option of United signing the 28-year-old, who missed out on the World Cup in the summer after suffering a serious knee injury last season.

ROCK ME! Falcao to United?

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All summer, Manchester United's transfer activity has been long, drawn out and a hive of speculation but, overnight, from nowhere, initial rumours of their interest in Monaco's Radamel Falcao has rapidly evolved into reports he's all-but a done deal.

According to Colombia-based journalist for DirecTV Sports, Saris Bello, Manchester United will bring the Colombian international to Old Trafford for four seasons with a fee of €65 million

"Falcao to Manchester United for €65 million euros, for 4 seasons.