Red Rants Archives for January 2015

De Gea dismisses “lies” about his future

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David De Gea has dismissed rumours of problems between him and Louis Van Gaal as "complete lies", insisting he's really happy at Manchester United.

The Spaniard has been United's player of the season so far with his performances attracting attention from Real Madrid, while speculations on his future have abounded.

Will United paper over the cracks again?

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It appears this week's theme is despair vs faith.

Either you're willing to give Van Gaal time to build his team, bed in new players and establish a regime oryou're frothing at the mouth, grabbing torches and pitchforks, incoherently muttering about Dennis Irwin and are ready to hire the latest European manager with a floppy fringe.

United suffer RVP blow

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Manchester United will be without Robin Van Persie for at leasta month, after the Dutchman suffered an ankle injury against Swansea on Saturday.

Van Persie was forced to play on as Louis Van Gaal had already used all of his three substitutions, but ended up hobbling around for the last 20 minutes of the match as United chased an equaliser that did not materialise.

Schmeichel: “United need to send a message with De Gea’s deal”

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Peter Schmeichel has urged Manchester United to extend David De Gea's contract in a bid to send a strong message to other Premier League and European clubs.

The 51-year-old has suggested that a new deal for the Spanish keeper, whose contract expires at the end of next season, would not only strengthen United but it would also reiterate their intention to remain competitive.

Gullit: “United should have signed Hummels”

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Former AC Milan and Chelsea star Ruud Gullit has claimed he was left surprise by Louis Van Gaal's decision not to sign Mats Hummels last summer and in the January transfer window.

United have been linked with the Borussia Dortmund defender for over a year but despite the speculation the German international has remained at the Westfalenstadion so far, with United signing Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo last summer.

Rooney issues United warning

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Wayne Rooney has warned Manchester United to cut out their mistakes or otherwise they run the risk of miss out on a top four finish come the end of the season.

Saturday's defeat at Swansea left United fourth, just a point ahead of Southampton and only two points ahead of Liverpool, while Spurs' last minute draw against West Ham meant the North Londoners are within three points of Louis Van Gaal's side.

LVG: “United are the best team in the league”

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Louis Van Gaal claimed Manchester United are the best team in the league on current form and that his players have finally started to come to terms with his football philosophy.

United's new-found resilience has seen them lose just once in their last 19 games since 2 November and they go into Saturday's game against Swansea third on the table and a game away from a first FA Cup semifinal in four years.

Scalping Swans

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The clock ticks over to the 72nd minute. A high ball is thrown into the penalty area, thousands watch in despair as an oversized, over vilified Belgian rises higher than any other to destroy Preston North End's dreams.

Throwing elbows, fouling two defenders and breaking hearts all over the North West, Marouane Fellaini thuds home the goal that will send Manchester United into an FA Cup quarter final.

Dull United will entertain if LVG is given time

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United fans are still grieving the loss of Sir Alex Ferguson. It needs tostop.

Years of trophies, a world class manager and a lack of depth in theleague, where at least six teams can be currently seen as United's genuine competitors,as opposed to two or three Arsenal, Chelsea, more recently City over the Ferguson era have ultimately left, some, United fans spoilt.

Young: “United have their mojo back”

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Manchester United's new-found resilience could prove crucial if they're to end an 11-year drought and clinch the FA Cup this season, says Ashley Young.

On Monday night, United beat Preston 3-1 to book a place in the quarter finals, meaning they've now lost just once to Southampton in January in the 19 games in all competitions they've played since 2 November.

Herrera praises “United’s fantastic support”

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Ander Herrera has praised United's travelling support, describing them as "fantastic" in the wake of United's 3-1 win at Preston in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Some 5,000 Reds made the tripto Deepdale on Monday night, supporting the team in a typically loud, boisterous, fashion.

"The support is always fantastic and it means a lot to us.

Van Gaal praises team spirit

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Louis Van Gaal praised Manchester United's team spirit after his side overturned a 1-0 deficit to beat Preston 3-1 on Monday night, securing a spot in the quarter finals of the FA Cup.

After a sluggish first 45 minutes, United fell behind early in the second half but rallied to recover through goals from Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini and a late Wayne Rooney penalty and the United manager was particularly pleased with his team's reaction.

Five things we’ve learnt from Preston vs United

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Manchester United booked their place in the quarter finals of the FA Cup after coming from behind to beat Preston 3-1 at Deepdale.

Much as it's been customary over the last few months, United struggled to impose themselves on the game, hampered by ponderous football, but found a new lease of life when Louis Van Gaal switched to a 4-4-2 formation with an hour gone.

Young tips Di Maria to succeed at United

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Ashley Young has insisted that Angel Di Maria was a great signing for Manchester United and that he will show his real quality and become a star at Old Trafford.

Since joining United from Real Madrid for a club record fee in the summer, Di Maria has failed to reach the heights of his days at the Bernabeu and, after a promising start to the campaign, the Argentine has struggled for consistency.

LVG keen to sign central midfielder

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Louis Van Gaal is determined to sign a creative midfielder in the summer and reiterated he's chosen to deploy Wayne Rooney in midfield because of the need to ensure stability in the middle of park.

United spent £58m on Angel Di Maria and £29m on Ander Herrera last summer, but with the former struggling for form and the latter almost systematically ignored by Van Gaal, Rooney has found himself in midfield on a permanent basis since the turn of the year.

LVG: “Rooney is United’s best striker”

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Louis Van Gaal has admitted that Wayne Rooney is Manchester United's best striker but that he's forced to deploy him in midfield, because of the contribution the United captain offers in that particular role.

Van Gaal's comments came a couple of days after he admitted that Rooney had failed to impress when deployed as defensive midfielder against Burnley.

Five things we’ve learnt from United vs Burnley

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Manchester United moved up to third in the table after a largely unconvincing 3-1 win against Burnley last night. United were again slow and predictable in the first half and while things improved in the second 45 minutes, Burnley will feel disappointed they did not take the chances that United's abysmal defence gifted them.

LVG: “Rooney has a future up-front”

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Louis Van Gaal has said that Wayne Rooney still has a future as a striker at Manchester United, despite having been deployed as central midfielder since the turn of the year.

After scoring eight goals and assisted four in the first 14 league games of the season, Rooney's form has dropped since Van Gaal decided to deploy him deeper to accommodate Robin Van Persie and Radamel Falcao up-front.

Scholes slams ‘bizarre’ LVG

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Paul Scholes has described Louis Van Gaal's reaction to Sam Allardyce's jibe as "bizarre", adding that the reaction was not suited to a Manchester United manager.

Following United's last minute equaliser against West Ham on Sunday, Allardyce slammed United as a "long ball" team, only for Van Gaal to produce a dossier in Tuesday's press conference showing that Allardyce's comments were baseless.

Time for Van Gaal to embrace the United way

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North London, 28 April 2013. Manchester United travel to the Emirates having already clinched the title and theyare welcomed onto the pitch by a guard of honour, while Sir Alex Ferguson prepares to face Arsene Wenger for the last time in his career.

In the away end's concourse, travelling United fans have been bouncing long before kick-off.

Di Maria admits struggle

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Angel Di Maria has insisted he's happy at Manchester United, but conceded that the typical Mancunian weather and the task of learning a new language are hurdles he is yet to overcome.

Since returning from a spell out on the sidelines, the Argentine has failed to recapture the fluency he had shown earlier this season, while rumours linking him with a move to PSG emerged after Di Maria's house was burgled last week.

A summer of selling strikers

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When Sky Sports finally brought an end to their info graphics and flashing charts that had led an aggressive visual assault on anyone who watched for the last two months, no one was questioning United's attacking line.

The man that controls Jim White's unnaturally expressive face took his hand out of his rectum and replaced the animatronic doll in the props cupboard until January.

Blind praises “amazing” support

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Daley Blind has praised United's away support after Louis Van Gaal's men snatched an unlikely equaliser against West Ham on Sunday.

Despite United delivering another dull and boring performance, the away fans were in fine voice as usual and, thanks to Blind's last-gasp equaliser, the trip back from East London was made more bearable.

United open talks with De Gea

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Manchester United have opened talks with David De Gea over a new contract, according to Jorge Mendes, the goalkeeper's agent.

The 24-year-old, who has less than 18 months left on his contract, has been in outstanding form this season and has repeatedly been linked with a move to Real Madrid, as the Spanish giants look to replace Iker Casillas.

Five things we have learnt from West Ham vs United

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Manchester United escaped East London with a point on Sunday, as Louis Van Gaal's men delivered another mind-numbingly dull performance but were bailed out by a late Daley Blind's goal. The result sees Unite drop to fourth and drag even further into what is shaping up to be as an incredibly tight race for top four.

United must bring the hammer down on the Hammers

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A broken plane, a broken dream, a broken heart, a broken team, no word said, a silent vow, we loved you then, we love you now.

Off the back of an emotional week United take what will undoubtedly be a difficult trip to London for Sunday's fixture against West Ham. It will be important to play with the spirit of those lost on that bleak February night.

Mendes: “De Gea will stay at United”

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David De Gea will remain at Manchester United for the foreseeable future, according to his agent Jorge Mendes.

The 24-year-old has only 18 months on his contract and has attracted interest from Real Madrid, with reports suggesting the European champions would be happy to wait for De Gea to see his contract out at Old Trafford before returning to Spain on a free transfer.

LVG talks up United chances of silverware

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Louis Van Gaal said Manchester United were worth a bet to win the FA Cup for the 12th time after beating Cambridge 3-0 on Tuesday night and progressing to the fifth round.

Goals from Juan Mata, Marcos Rojo and James Wilson saw United through in comfortable fashion against the League Two side and United will now face another lower league outfit, Preston, in the fifth round.

United must bite the bullet and sign Falcao

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Radamel Falcaois currently experiencing his most difficult spell as a professional footballer. Notwithstanding Saturday's goalit may very well be the most out of form spell he has experienced his entire life. Let's face it the man has been nothing but top class since his arrival on the European football scene with Porto in 2009.

United’s January transfer window a success even without signings

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Whisper it, but January mightturn out to be a success. In fact, for the first time in what feels like a lifetime, Manchester United enjoyed two successful transfer windows in the same season.

There were, of course, largely different in nature, for the one in August was characterised by lavish spendings and world class players arrivingat Old Trafford, while the one that came to a close yesterday was all about the departures, rather than arrivals.

United confirm Zaha exit

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Wilfried Zaha has made his loan spell at Crystal Palace a permanent transfer after joining the south London club for £3m on transfer deadline day.

Sir Alex Ferguson's last signing at United, Zaha cost the club almost £15m in the 2013 January transfer window but failed to establish himself as first team player under David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal, playing only four times for United since arriving to Old Trafford at the beginning of last season.

Januzaj’s talent not enough, warns LVG

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Louis Van Gaal has warned Adnan Januzaj that he must make the most of his talent if he is to succeed at Old Trafford and force his way into the starting XI on a regular basis.

Januzaj made his first Premier League start in almost three months against Leicester on Saturday and gave a good account of himself playing on the left side of a midfield diamond.

Five things we’ve learnt from United vs Leicester

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After an insipid performance against Cambridge, Manchester United returned to winning ways, dispatching Leicester 3-1 as they banished the demons of the 5-3 capitulation earlier in the season.

Louis Van Gaal had demanded more goals from his players and he was pleased with what he saw, as United scored three and could have probably had one or two more, but there's still plenty of room for improvement.