Republik Of Mancunia Archives for January 2009

Replacing Ronaldo – Obertan Or Nani?

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Gabriel Obertan impressed for much of his début against Barnsley before looking tired in the final fifteen minutes or so. He kept the ball really well, ran at the opposition with speed and showed off his silky skills. He looks to be the real deal, regardless of what Larry White thinks.

He's only had one game so there's no point getting ahead of ourselves, but some sections of the press have already questioned what impact Obertan's arrival and début might have on Nani.

Scholes: We Want To Win With Style

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Paul Scholes is happy enough with being second in the table but hopes that sooner rather than later we can go top. Whilst most players would be content with just the three points, Scholes wants to see us win with style and become more fluent than we've been in most of our games so far.

"Without a doubt there's more to come," Scholes said.

VIDEO: Fergie Has A Go At Journos – “You Humiliate People”

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"VIDEO: Fergie Has A Go At Journos "You Humiliate People"" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Do United or Rio and Vidic Need To Worry?

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Reports today suggest that both Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand are both doubtful for Saturday's match at home to Blackburn Rovers, presumably meaning we will have to rely on Jonny Evans and Wes Brown to play in the centre of our defence.

Both Vidic and Rio have been criticised for their recent form, particularly in light of the Liverpool game, when Rio was out-muscled and out-run by Fernando Torres, and Vidic was sent off for his third game in the row.

Today’s United Transfer Rumours – Rio, Kiko and Rodwell

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Rio to Spurs
With Rio Ferdinand suffering from poor form and repeated injuries, the papers have pencilled Harry Redknapp in for trying to sign our defender in the summer. Rio seems to be gravitating towards the London lifestyle again and next summer United might be looking to get back some of the £30m they paid out for him eight years previously.

Phelan: We’ll Play Owen As And When We Need To

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Michael Owen scored his third goal of the season against Barnsley this week and has enjoyed a good scoring rate for us so far.

Mike Phelan has today talked of the options we have up front, whether we play Owen in the cups, whether he's a sub, or if he's in the starting XI.

"Michael has come to Manchester United as it a fresh challenge for him," said Phelan.

Wigan Boss Sucks Up To ‘Best Manager In The World’

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Roberto Martinez's interview with Spanish sports paper, AS, appeared on their website on Sunday. The interview was in a Q&A format where he was asked questions concerning how Wigan could compete financially, about television revenue in English football and who inspired him. Martinez claimed Liverpool were too reliant on Gerrard on Torres, that Valencia isn't good enough to replace Ronaldo and that Wigan's victory over Chelsea was "magnificent".

STATS: How’s Owen Doing So Far? Compared To Arsenal, Chelsea, City and Liverpool Strikers

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I do like looking at statistics, so maybe you do too. With Michael Owen wanting emphasis to be put on his performances as well as the goals he scored, I thought it would be interesting to see how Owen compares to the top strikers in the league.

These stats are never going to give you like for like because Owen is our third choice striker therefore gets fewer opportunities but they're interesting enough to look at.

Martinez Didn’t Join Fergie Bashing After All

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Sir Alex Ferguson was charged by the FA for claiming that visibly overweight referee Alan Wiley wasn't fit enough. After Wiley took an unusually large amount of time to book Anton Ferdinand in the second half, our manager accused Wiley of needing this time to take a rest.

Ferguson apologised personally to Wiley but was asked by the FA to explain himself before they charged him.

RoM Links

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The Guardian highlights what a prick Jeff Winter is

Mark Ogden compares Nani with Obertan in The Telegraph

The Mirror reckons that we're signing Villa and Silva

United Rant breaks down the referee's performance at Anfield

"RoM Links" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Owen: I was 5 out of 10 against Barnsley

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Michael Owen has scored three goals in five starts for Manchester United, twelve appearances in total, as he starts to settle in to his new team.

Fabio Capello recently described Owen as his "tormentor" as he struggled with the decision to include him in the England squad or not.

Owen is more than aware of the press fascination that follows him although believes he should be judged on his performances, not just goals alone.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Andy Mitten on Fergie’s Replacement, Heinze and Turin

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Andy Mitten has written the fabulous book "Glory Glory" which documents behind the scenes stories from the glorious 90's era from the players' perspective.

RoM gave away a copy of his book as a prize for the Cantona mask competition this week.

Mitten took some time out of his incredibly busy schedule at the moment to speak to RoM about his United experiences as well as the best bits about writing this book.

United Fans May Not Be Invited Back…

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It's not the first time, it won't be the last time... United fans helped themselves to refreshments and the till at Barnsley tonight.

"United Fans May Not Be Invited Back..." was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

VIDEO: Welbeck Goal Against Barnsley

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Follow Barnsley vs United with the RoM live blog

"VIDEO: Welbeck Goal Against Barnsley" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

LIVE BLOG: Barnsley vs United

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Barnsley vs United

Read the match preview

"LIVE BLOG: Barnsley vs United" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Can’t Watch Barnsley vs United Tonight?

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"Can't Watch Barnsley vs United Tonight?" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Ahead Of Our Trip To Barnsley…

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Manchester United travel to Barnsley today with the hope of getting a result which will help put the disappointment of the weekend behind us.

Of course, we won't be seeing the same line-up who started at Anfield but with strong competition for places in the squad, the team won't be made up or just youngsters.

VIDEO: The goal that “saved Fergie’s job”

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The Goal That Saved Fergie's Career
Uploaded by RepublikOfMancunia.

The legend goes that had Mark Robins not scored to put United through to the 1990 FA Cup final, which we went on to win, Sir Alex Ferguson would have been given the sack. This is a story that the manager denies but after almost four years in charge and not a trophy in sight it stands to reason that time might have been running out for the manager.

“United Players Were S**t Scared Of Keano”

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Andy Goram came to Manchester United on loan during the 2000-2001 to help us out during a time when our other goalies, Fabien Barthez and Raimond Van der Gouw, were unavailable Barthez on duty with the French side and Van der Gouw struggling with injury.

His first game was our 4-2 win over Coventry in the league although was subbed off with an hour played with the scoreline at 2-2.

Wes: Completely Different Experience For Youngsters

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Manchester United take on Barnsley in the fourth round of the Carling Cup which on paper is one of the easier draws of the round, given the several Premiership pairings to be played tonight and tomorrow.

Still, United are no strangers to cup upsets and were even knocked out of the FA Cup by Barnsley in the 97-98 season.

PICTURE: Winner of Cantona Mask Competition

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Congratulations to drinkers at the Brewhouse in Atlanta who can be found cheering on the reds every week, who have won RoM's Cantona Mask competition. The prize is Andy Mitten's new United book which they can read and pass between them.

Mike Groom is the runner up after taking this picture at The Anfield B&B on Anfield Road, just a stone's throw from the ground.

PICTURE: Another Post-Match Warm Down Argument

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The FA's dealing of Patrice Evra following the fuss that ensued during Manchester United's warm down at Stamford Bridge the season before last was nothing short of totally ludicrous. Despite the CCTV showing no proof of what the racist claimed and Evra having to be left-handed to hit Bethell where it is claimed (he's right-handed) the FA banned Evra for an incredible four matches!

RoM Interview With Liverpool Kop On Yesterday’s Defeat

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Jamie Kanwar from Liverpool Kop has interviewed me after yesterday's defeat.

Jaimie Kanwar: What went wrong for United at Anfield?

Scott the Red: The first problem was the team selection. With Darren Fletcher out injured we needed some grit and fight in the centre of midfield, with Anderson could have provided us with.

How Things Could Have Been Different At Anfield

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Following United, the expectation is our lads will create at least five clear cut chances and at the very least, one will get put in the back of the net.

At Anfield yesterday this wasn't the case but the frustration we feel through the hangovers today could have been avoided if several things had been done differently.

In Case You Need Ammunition Today…

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Decisions
Uploaded by RepublikOfMancunia "In Case You Need Ammunition Today..." was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Cantona Book Author On… United Fans, Sympathy For Eric and English Football

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Phillippe Auclair has written a brilliant book on Eric Cantona which gives a really interesting look behind the scenes of our hero's career.

RoM gave away a copy of this book last month and previewed the book using part of one of the chapters over the weekend.

Phillippe has given an exclusive interview with me which explores his understanding of Eric's relationship with the fans, his feelings on that incident at Selhurst Park and how he sees Eric as an untamed man.

Fergie: Carragher Should Have Been Sent Off

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With just over half an hour played Jamie Carragher fouled Michael Carrick in the penalty area. He got a foot to the ball but didn't put it out of Carrick's path, yet he did bring our midfielder down. If it had happened outside of the box it would have been an obvious freekick and a yellow card. For it to happen inside of the box it should have been a penalty and at least a yellow card, yet the referee gave nothing.

…and Michael Owen Scores 87th Minute Equaliser!

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"...and Michael Owen Scores 87th Minute Equaliser!" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Ahead Of Our Trip To Anfield…

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Derby day was massive this year because for the first time in decades City were tipped to actually stand a chance not because of derby day unpredictability, but because they actually had good players.

For us to batter them like we did for the second half really should have put them in their place but it looked as though the bragging rights had been stolen away from us when Rio Ferdinand bizarrely chose to try to flick the ball over Craig Bellamy's head which lead to City's last minute equaliser.

Ince: Unforgiveable To Call Me Big Time Charlie

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As Michael Owen prepares to go back to Anfield as a United player, another player to break the unwritten rule, Paul Ince, has reflected on his respect for Sir Alex Ferguson, their fallings out and why he left the club.

"I was playing golf with Ryan Giggs in 1995 when the phone rang. It was Fergie telling me he was at the clubhouse," said Ince.

COMPETITION: Wear Your Cantona Masks With Pride

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Take a picture of you wearing your Cantona mask today, wherever you may be, and win yourself a copy of Andy Mitten's new Manchester United book, "Glory Glory Man Utd in the 90's"

"COMPETITION: Wear Your Cantona Masks With Pride" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Rafa Is Right About The Money, Wrong About The Fans

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"There is a massive difference in money but we have better fans than United."

I don't know whether I'd describe the difference as 'massive', but yes, Rafael Benitez has spent more money than Sir Alex Ferguson.

Money
Liverpool
2004/2005
In:
Djibril Cisse £14m
Xabi Alonso £10.

View From The Enemy: On Sunday, Gerrard’s Brawl and Liverpool’s Year

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Ahead of Sunday's match at Anfield, Jamie Kanwar from Liverpool Kop has given a few minutes of his time to answer some of my questions.

Scott the Red: What do you make of the beachball fiasco at the Stadium of Light?
Jamie Kanwar: It was a very unfortunate incident, and according to the laws of the game, the goal should not have stood.

Vidic: It Was A Bad Day But I Have A Good Record Against Torres

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The painful defeat against Liverpool last season was one of the lowest points for the club in several years. Whilst we can point to the whole team for under performing, it's hard to look past the crucial flaws in Nemanja Vidic's game that day. Why on earth he allowed the ball to bounce when Fernando Torres was approaching, I'll never know stick it in the bloody stands!

RoM Reads

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The Times takes the piss out of Liverpool

Daniel Taylor writes for The Guardian about Michael Owen's return to Anfield

In Between The Lines, When the Seagulls Follow The Trawler and Rossobianchi look ahead to Anfield

The Daily Mail looks at the change in Owen

Join MUST

"RoM Reads" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Truth Behind THAT Night At Selhurst – Ferguson Almost Got Rid Of Eric

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In the summer, RoM offered you the opportunity to win a copy of Philippe Auclair's excellent book about Eric Cantona, 'Cantona: The Rebel Who Would Be King', which was won by Ged Hanley.

The biography documents Cantona's life from his time in France to his departure from Manchester United, describing the glory, the mistakes, the combat and the inspiration.

VIDEO: Fergie Press Conference Ahead Of Liverpool

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"VIDEO: Fergie Press Conference Ahead Of Liverpool" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

PICTURES: United Training Ahead Of Liverpool

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"PICTURES: United Training Ahead Of Liverpool" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Nev: I’m A United Fan So Of Course I Want Liverpool To Lose

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Ahead of the last meeting between Manchester United and Liverpool, Wayne Rooney claimed he hated Liverpool. The following day we got thumped 4-1 and our favourable position in the league started to look increasingly shaky and the bragging rights were lost.

So ahead of Sunday's game, another big scouse-hater has been interviewed, but he has gone for the more diplomatic approach, talking of his respect for Liverpool, whilst still acknowledging the rivalry.

RoM Reads

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Mark Ogden previews Sunday's big game for The Telegraph

The Times compares Owen's 'sins' with those of Hicks and Gillett

The Independent looks at the top ten United vs Liverpool clashes

Studs Up takes the piss

The Telegraph picks up on our fans' Cantona mask plan

Soccerlens interview Andy Mitten, whose United book I will be offering up as a prize in a competition next week

"RoM Reads" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Which Injury Would Matter Most?

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Manchester United secured three points in Moscow without the services of our four best performing players this season: Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney, Patrice Evra and Darren Fletcher.

Ahead of our trip to Anfield on Sunday, half of these players will be available, but who do you think we need the most?

A Tad Hypocritical Rio, No?

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I'm not overly keen on criticising our own players but sometimes it's hard to avoid it. I got a lot of stick for criticising Cristiano Ronaldo last season but it's rare that I would really lay in to one of our own players.

I'm afraid I have to get something off my chest today though.

Rio fucked up massively a few years ago and I was more than happy to voice my dislike of him.

PICTURES: Banners For Sunday

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As well as beachballs and Cantona masks, our lads will be travelling to Anfield with a couple of appropriate banners.

"PICTURES: Banners For Sunday" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Akinfeev: United Are A Great Club

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In the summer, Arsenal's Andrei Arshavin tipped us off to Russian goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, with Edwin Van der Sar not getting any younger and Ben Foster battling injury.

Ahead of our match against Akinfeev's team, CSKA Moscow, Sir Alex Ferguson was asked whether he was interested in signing the keeper.

RoM Reads

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Andy Cole writes for The Independent about United vs Liverpool.

When The Seagulls Follow The Trawler reviews last night's victory.

Between The Lines looks at Antonio Valencia's lacking celebration.

The Daily Mail looks at where Rafa's £229m has gone.

The Spoiler reveals the new FIFA goal of the year competition.

Vidic: Valencia Is An Artist But Media Paralysed Him

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Nemanja Vidic has praised Antonio Valencia following the two winning goals he has scored in our past two matches.

Vidic reckons the pressure of filling Cristiano Ronaldo's boots had a negative effect on our winger but now we can expect to see more and more great things from Valencia.

"At the beginning of the season, Antonio had some difficulties because he was bought to replace Cristiano Ronaldo," said Vidic.

Cantona Masks Aplenty – Don’t Forget To Take Yours!

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"Au revoir Cantona and Man United... come back when you've won 18" read the banner at Anfield all those years ago. Back then it appeared laughable that this rejuvenated United team, under the guidance of Alex Ferguson, could even dream of going on to win eighteen titles. But if we were ever to win eighteen, they certainly would have added another ten or twenty league titles to their collection.

Rio: Form Means Nothing Ahead Of Liverpool Clash

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After suffering from an injury ravaged season so far, Rio Ferdinand's substitution in our 1-0 victory over CSKA Moscow last night was just precautionary, with the manager worried of the effects an artificial surface might have on Rio's back, ahead of our important game at the weekend.

Rio reckons it doesn't matter that Liverpool are currently suffering from their worst run in 22 years, as form goes out of the window in the big games.

Fergie: Our Football Was Mature And Fabio Outstanding

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Sir Alex Ferguson is happy with our 1-0 away win against CSKA Moscow last night with Antonio Valencia bagging the winning goal.

"I think we should be proud of it," said Ferguson. "It's not easy away from Europe because we've been to some fantastic places over the years. Maturity there is a way you play in Europe away from home and I think you saw tonight we showed good patience in the game and kept good possession, I think that's a key factor.

Nev: We Were A Threat In Moscow… Now For Anfield

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Gary Neville is happy with our performance yesterday against CSKA Moscow but is already looking forward to Anfield.

"I think we were a constant threat," said Neville. "In the first half Fabio and Nani down the left were very difficult to play for them. And then in the second half Antonio started to get a lot of the ball and we were a constant threat behind them on the wings, and I think we had the better chances and most of the play as well.

RoM Reaction To CSKA Moscow Victory

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Without setting the world alight, Manchester United proved again how far we have come in Europe over the past few years. Of course, you could argue the two appearances in the last two European Cup finals already have shown that, but it's results like the one last night in Moscow that do it for me.

VIDEO: Valencia vs CSKA Moscow

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"VIDEO: Valencia vs CSKA Moscow" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

LIVE BLOG: CSKA Moscow vs United

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CSKA Moscow vs United "LIVE BLOG: CSKA Moscow vs United" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

CSKA vs United: Twins vs Twins

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You would think having identical twins playing mirrored positions of right back and left back was fairly unique, as is the case with our Brazilians Rafael and Fabio da Silva. CSKA Moscow are giving us a run for our money though with their identical full back twins, Aleksei and Vasili Berezutski.

The Scouse Boom-Bust Cycle

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"The Scouse Boom-Bust Cycle" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

PICTURES: United Training In Moscow

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"PICTURES: United Training In Moscow" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

“Silly Question Gets No Answer”

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Sir Alex Ferguson doesn't have any time for journalists asking him about his most recent FA charge.

""Silly Question Gets No Answer"" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Prepared For The Weekend?

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Got your beachball? Cantona mask? Don't forget your t-shirt, from as little as £8.90! And Cantona's Christmas song will be sung, so we also have a t-shirt for that.

"Prepared For The Weekend?" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Football Away From OT

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A few news stories away from Old Trafford which you might be interested in.

Larsson retires
Sweden's failure to qualify for next summer's World Cup has encouraged Henrik Larsson to hang up his football boots. The former Barcelona striker, who joined United on loan during the 06-07 season, scored in the Premiership, Champions League and FA Cup for us.

Competition Update

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Ashley Williams won a No.1 Fan from RoM last month and here's a picture of his prize under his signed United shirt.

The latest RoM competition will be announced tomorrow.

"Competition Update" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Last Time We Were In Moscow…

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Ahead of our trip to the Luzhniki Stadium tomorrow, spend ten minutes reflecting on what happened last time we were there.

Feels bloody brilliant, doesn't it?

"Last Time We Were In Moscow..." was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

RoM Reads

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Henry Winter again writes for The Telegraph in defence of Sir Alex Ferguson

Studs Up has a laugh at Rafa and Liverpool

The Mirror look at sick chants following City repeatedly singing their Munich Carlos Tevez song

The Times discusses the most bizarre goals in football

Sky Sports warns our fans will be checked for beachballs at Anfield

Are you on LinkedIn?

Carrick: Night In Moscow Was Best Of My Life

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Michael Carrick will almost certainly start on Wednesday night as we take on CSKA Moscow in the Luzhniki Stadium. Several players have been ruled out as unavailable but Carrick will be making the trip to the stadium where we won the European Cup in 2008.

Carrick says that was the best day of his career but is still haunted by what happened in Rome a year later.

It Had To Be Done…

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"It Had To Be Done..." was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Evans: I Closed My Eyes And Saw Glory

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Jonny Evans had a great opportunity to score for Manchester United at the weekend but Jussi Jaaskelainen did well to keep it out. This isn't the first time Evans has come close though, with him rattling the woodwork following a diving header against Villarreal early last season.

The 21-year-old defender regrets his miss and feels he's doomed to never scoring.

Wes Brown Song T-shirts

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The Wes Brown song is proving to be as popular at home as it has been away.

Use this shop if you live in: UK, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Monaco, Switzerland, The Netherlands, France, Ireland, Italy Spain, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Cyprus, Iceland and Japan.

Owen: I’m Loyal To Manchester United

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"I'm human," said Owen. "I'd prefer people to sit down and recognise what you did for them and for the team in years gone past but I'm pretty realistic as well. Now that I'm playing for their local rivals I'm not holding my breath, put it that way. People talk about loyalty in football, and for a football supporter it's easy to preach about that.

RoM Reaction To Bolton

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I got on to the concourse just in time to catch the Chelsea game from the 89th minute onwards. After Villa had gone 2-1 up I thought at best Chelsea would score an injury time equaliser, at worst, an injury time winner but kept my fingers crossed they would drop points regardless.

There was a roar at the final whistle before then pouring up the steps in to our seats in anticipation it what could be a table topping result.

Giggs In Ballon d’Or Shortlist

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Ryan Giggs joins Wayne Rooney and Nemanja Vidic in the short-listed 30 players for the prestigious Ballon d'Or award.

Andreï Arshavin (Russia, Arsenal)
Karim Benzema (France, Lyon/Real Madrid)
Iker Casillas (Spain, Real Madrid)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Manchester United/Real Madrid)
Diego (Brazil, Werder Brême/Juventus Turin)
Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast, Chelsea)
Edin Dzeko (Bosnia, Wolfsburg)
Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon, FC Barcelona/Inter Milan)
Cesc Fabregas (Spain, Arsenal)
Fernando Torres (Spain, Liverpool)
Diego Forlan (Uruguay, Atletico Madrid)
Steven Gerrard (England, Liverpool)
Ryan Giggs (Wales, Manchester United)
Yoann Gourcuff (France, Bordeaux)
Thierry Henry (France, FC Barcelona)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden, Inter Milan/FC Barcelona)
Iniesta (Spain, FC Barcelona)
Julio Cesar (Brazil, Inter Milan)
Kakà (Brazil, Milan AC/Real Madrid)
Frank Lampard (England, Chelsea)
Maicon (Brazil, Inter Milan)
Lionel Messi (Argentina, FC Barcelona)
Luis Fabiano (Brazil, FC Séville)
Franck Ribéry (France, Bayern Munich)
Wayne Rooney (England, Manchester United)
John Terry (England, Chelsea)
Nemanja Vidic (Serbia, Manchester United)
David Villa (Spain, Valence)
Xavi (Spain, FC Barcelona)
Yaya Touré (Ivory Coast, FC Barcelona)

"Giggs In Ballon d'Or Shortlist" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

RoM Reads

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The Daily Mail is still talking about Fergie's comments about Wiley.

ManUtd24 gives a scout Steven Defour.

The Evening News gives player ratings for yesterday's victory.

F365 reviews the latest Cantona book which RoM gave a copy of away a few weeks ago.

Sadly, the Liverpool beach set is sold out.

Fergie: Bolton Gave Us A Panic

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Sir Alex Ferguson reflects on our victory over Bolton.

"It was harder than it should have been, there were a lot of opportunities to finish the game," Ferguson said. "And when that happens, two-goal leads aren't particularly great and of course Bolton scored and then it was back to walls stuff really for that last ten minutes, there was a bit of panic.

REVEALED: Truth Behind Liverpool Ball Calamity

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"REVEALED: Truth Behind Liverpool Ball Calamity" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

This Couldn’t Be More Perfect

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Steve Bruce on the beachball which lead to Liverpool's fourth defeat in nine games: "They have got it on telly with the guy who threw it on and it's got Liverpool crests all over it. What a shame."

"This Couldn't Be More Perfect" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

VIDEO: United’s Goals Against Bolton

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Manchester United took the lead after a Michael Owen header deflected off Zat Knight in to the back of the net, before Antonio Valencia scored his first United goal to give us a 2-0 lead. Matt Taylor pulled one back for the visitors, leading to a nervous last ten minutes after squandering plenty of chances up until that point, but it ended with three points for United and us going back on top.

Fergie: This Is Rio’s Worst Form For United

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It was a moment we will have probably forgotten in a year from now, but at the time, it felt like one of the worst moments of the decade.

The return of Carlos Tevez to Old Trafford had been built up beyond belief, with some sections of the press claiming he should be greeted warmly, whilst others recognised that he was deserving of the abuse he would receive.

Leave United For City? There’s No Comparison Between Them!

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Dwight Yorke, who last week was reliving the memories of that night in the Nou Camp, is amazed that Carlos Tevez has chosen to leave Manchester United for Manchester City as he approaches the peak of his career.

Clearly Robinho agrees.

"Things have changed," said Yorke. "But I know when I was at the peak of my career there is no way I would have left the best team in the world.

RoM Makes Top Ten United Website

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"RoM Makes Top Ten United Website" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

VIDEO: Tosic Scores Skillful Goal For Serbia

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Dimitar Berbatov and Nani weren't the only players on the International scoresheet last night. Zoran Tosic also scored in Serbia's 2-1 defeat against Lithuania.

"VIDEO: Tosic Scores Skillful Goal For Serbia" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Looking For Eric DVD

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Looking for Eric is now out on DVD so if you're planning on buying a copy please do so through RoM to give us a few pennies to go towards our competitions.

"Looking For Eric DVD" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Are Giggs And Neville Right About Footballers’ Salaries?

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Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs have both surprisingly spoken out about the controversial issue of football players earning every penny of their astronomically large salaries.

When the starting salary for a nurse is £20k a year, a teacher is £21k a year and a police officer is £22k a year, it's hard to argue that John Terry deserves £160k a week!

Fergie: United, We Can Kill Cancer

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"Fergie: United, We Can Kill Cancer" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

VIDEO: Berbatov Bags Three For Bulgaria

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Dimitar Berbatov scored a hat-trick for Bulgaria in their 6-2 win over Georgia.

"VIDEO: Berbatov Bags Three For Bulgaria" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

VIDEO: Nani’s Great Goal For Portugal Tonight

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Nani opened the scoring for Portugal in their 4-0 win over Malta which sees them through the play-offs.

"VIDEO: Nani's Great Goal For Portugal Tonight" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

VIDEO: Obertan In Action For The Reserves

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Manchester United Reserves beat Oldham Athletic Reserves 3-0 in the Manchester Senior Cup, with Gabriel Obertan getting his first 45 minutes of action under his belt since signing for the club.

Febian Brandy, Sam Hewson and Joshua King were on the scoresheet, but Obertan drew in attention thanks to his quick feet and impressive speed.

RoM Reads

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Red Rants looks at Ferguson and referees.

The Guardian reckons England are a one-man team. That one man is Rooney.

The Daily Mail give their opinion of Obertan's debut for the Reserves.

The Bolton News reckons their team has nothing to fear this weekend.

"RoM Reads" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Getting a Kick out of Eric Cantona (Part II.III): Memories of Chasing the Double Double in ‘95

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Let's now jump forward from Crystal Palace and the Kung-fu nightmare at Selhurst Park in January 1995 to Crystal Palace at Villa Park on Sunday 9th April. Old antagonisms from the league encounter had hardly had time to subside when United were to face Palace again, this time on neutral turf in the FA Cup Semi Final which United had reached by beating Sheffield United, Wrexham, Leeds (yes!

PICTURES: United Players In Action This Week

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"PICTURES: United Players In Action This Week" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

VIDEO: Berbatov’s Goal Against Cyprus

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Bulgaria went on to lose 4-1.

"VIDEO: Berbatov's Goal Against Cyprus" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Quotes of the Week

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"I didn't mean to stamp on Carvalho, but I know what it looks like and I do wince when I see it."
Wayne Rooney is still adamant it was an accident.

"In terms of a game where everything just clicked, it has to be Barcelona away in the Champions League. Of all the goals I scored, I always preferred the ones that were brilliant team goals, and the interaction was at its peak.

PICTURES: United Players On International Break

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"PICTURES: United Players On International Break" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Which Team Does Rooney Play As On FIFA 10?

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"I mainly play as United," said Rooney. "Only when I play online, a lot of the time the other person will also want to play as United and they're really stubborn and won't change. I don't want to play United v United so I'll always change, and Barcelona's always a good alternative.

Rooney: I Have To Get Aggression Balance Right

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Wayne Rooney says that he has worked to improve his grip on his temper so that he can avoid missing matches because of suspension.

Rooney has picked up two yellow cards for United so far this season, but hasn't been booked in any of the eight World Cup qualifying games for England.

"There is a balance that you need to get right because if you go over the top, you will miss a lot of games through suspension," said Rooney.

Evra On Best Mates Park And Tevez

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Patrice Evra is enjoying his celebrity status in the far East which has come with him being best mates with Ji-Sung Park, the "Korean David Beckham".

Evra also concedes he didn't like seeing his other best mate, Carlos Tevez, wearing City's blue shirt.

"Because I am a close friend of Ji there has been this reaction," said Evra.

Psychic Evra On Playing Real Madrid And Marking Ronaldo

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Patrice Evra reckons that Manchester United will play Real Madrid at some point this year in the Champions League, even as early as the next round. With the final at the Bernabéu this season, I know I'm not alone in hoping we play and beat Real Madrid on their own turf.

"I know we will play Real Madrid," said Evra.

Getting a Kick out of Eric Cantona (Part II.II): The Kung-fu Aftermath

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The day after Eric Cantona's astonishing Kung-fu kick at Selhurst Park in January 1995 I had to attend an all day BBC senior management seminar on 'The Digital Revolution'. Roy, the deputy head of Children's TV, a Manc and life-long United supporter came up in a state of agitation about it all and it was the main topic of conversation off and on all day, especially when it became known that I'd 'been there' last night.

Rooney: I’m Glad I Didn’t Get England Stick Like Other United Players

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Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher all missed their penalties in the last World Cup quarter finals against Portugal. Owen Hargreaves was the only man to find the back of the net.

The game had finished 0-0 after extra time, with Wayne Rooney getting sent off for an incident involving Ricardo Carvalho.

Which Five Trophies Can Torres Brag About?

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Before Gary Neville got fined £5k for his celebration against Liverpool, what irked me the most about Robbie Fowler's five digit salute a week before was that he had no claim to Liverpool's European success.

Whilst wearing City's blue shirt, he had ten years at Liverpool, 330 appearances to his name, and just five trophies.

Owen Can’t Wait For Anfield Clash

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Whilst Michael Owen's move to Manchester United will have hurt a lot of Liverpool fans, they probably weren't expecting him to settle in to the club as quickly as he has done. To see him celebrate like a mad man, running to the Stretford End and North Stand, after scoring that winning goal against City must have been a real sickener.

FIFA Approve United’s Pogba Deal

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After Chelsea had been slapped with a ban from the transfer window, news broke that Manchester United could be in for the same punishment after French club Le Havre claimed we had unlawfully gained the signature of youngster Paul Pogba. United claimed time and again that we had done nothing wrong and there was no problem with the deal, much to Le Havre president Jean-Pierre Louvel's frustration.

Hitting the fan with United (Part II.I): Getting a Kick out of Eric Cantona

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In Part I of 'Hitting the fan with United' I revealed that I had been an eye-witness to both of the most serious match-day assaults perpetrated by players on spectators in Manchester United history, jaw-dropping events which happened 35 years apart.

The first and now less-remembered incident happened in April 1960 and involved Harry Gregg, not only one of the greatest goalkeepers ever to play for United but also a genuine hero for his bravery at the time of the Munich Air Crash two years before, when 23 people were killed including 8 'Busby Babes'.

Hargreaves: Can’t Wait To Wear United Shirt Again

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Owen Hargreaves has returned to training following a long layout after operations to both his knees.

He is set to return to first team action in November and is already counting down the days.

"I can't wait to get back involved in it all," said Hargreaves. "I can't wait to play again for United, to be able to pull on the shirt and have an effect on games.

Owen: I’m At The Biggest Club In The World

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Michael Owen really is determined to win the Manchester United crowd over. As if scoring a late winner against our local rivals wasn't enough, he's really stuck the knife in to his former club by claiming we're the biggest in the world.

"It's fantastic working with Sir Alex," Owen said yesterday.

RoM Reads

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The Mirror supports Dimitar Berbatov.

The Times looks at the best United-Arsenal XI.

The Guardian isn't impressed with the top four.

Studs Up explores Ferguson's comments about Wiley.

"RoM Reads" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

What’s Wrong With United??

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The Evening News asked 'what's wrong with United?' yesterday, claiming we weren't firing on all cylinders. It's odd because United usually start the season so well...

We of course knew that like most things concerning our football club for the past few years, this season would be all about Cristiano Ronaldo, regardless of the fact we claimed £80 million for him in the summer.

Edwin Returns For Everton Victory

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Manchester United Reserves' beat Everton Reserves 1-0 thanks to a 56th minute goal from Federico Macheda.

Edwin Van der Sar played for the full 90 minutes without showing any signs of discomfort, indicating he'll be back for the Bolton game.

Ben Foster sadly missed out on his big opportunity to impress and get himself in to the World Cup squad.

Three More Years For De Laet

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It seems as though Ritchie de Laet has impressed the manager as much as he impressed most of our fans given that he has just been offered a new three year contract extension.

We last saw him in the Wolves League Cup game but he previously put in impressive performances against Hull last season and Valencia in a pre-season friendly.

Evra: Too Many Jokes If France Don’t Qualify

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France are currently second in their qualifying group, four points away from top side Serbia and four points clear of third place Austria.

Patrice Evra claims that avoiding the piss-taking that would come from his United team-mates, particularly considering he laughed at all the England players after they failed to qualify for Euro 2008.

Gallagher Responds To Fergie’s “Unfit” Claims

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After years of jokes and snidey comments about referees being on the Old Trafford payroll, did former referee Dermot Gallagher really have to make these comments?

"There's better ways to deal with things," said Gallagher. "If in the year 2009 you're an employee, you don't expect your employer to have a go at you in public.

The Gaffer

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In August we ran a competition with Philsophy Football to win a 'Gaffer Mug' by simply naming the year Sir Alex Ferguson was given the Manchester United job.

Emily, of YouTube fame, was given the mug by her dad, who was one of four winners.

"The Gaffer" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Oliver Kay writes for The Times claiming that Fergie's accusation about the refÂ

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Oliver Kay writes for The Times claiming that Fergie's accusation about the ref was just to cover his own mistakes.

United Rant sums up the Sunderland draw.

Soccerlens writes in praise of Dimitar Berbatov.

The Sunderland Echo interviews Anton after his own goal.

The Guardian reports on how our players will cook for fans in the corporate seats.

Becks Butters Up ‘Best Fans In The World’ And Rewrites History

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David "top red" Beckham has again been perpetuating the lie that his move away from Manchester United was completely out of his control. Whilst we'll never know all what happened behind the scenes, Beckham gave a good indication at the time to what the situation was, with his lacklustre performances, interviews with the press and blinding performance against Real Madrid in the Champions League.

RoM Reaction To Sunderland Draw

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It's funny to read in the press and from United fans on the blog that Sunderland were robbed of three points yesterday not because I don't think United were dreadful, because we were, but because Sunderland didn't really do anything. I think Steve Bruce set up his team brilliantly and was very impressed that they didn't park the bus, but despite us passing to them every other pass, they only saw 37% of the ball and only had three attempts on goal all match, one of which that should have been struck off for a foul on the keeper.

What A Nice Brother

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"What A Nice Brother" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Chelsea Captain Torn Up Because Of United Success

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John Terry has played first team football for Chelsea for eleven seasons. In that time they have finished 3rd, 5th, 6th, 6th, 4th, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd in the league, giving them an averaging finishing place of 3rd. Yet those title wins five and six seasons ago have given Terry ideas above his station.

Bruce: Teenage Giggs Took Mickey Out Of Viv

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Steve Bruce has spoken about his first memory of Ryan Giggs as a teenager taking the piss on the training ground.

"My first memory of Ryan was Fergie nicking him from City," said Bruce. "Ryan would have been 14 or 15 at the time. Sir Alex was saying, 'We've got this young kid coming over today, he's going to train with the first team, so just be careful with him.

Patrice Evra – The Game Never Ends

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"Patrice Evra The Game Never Ends" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

PICTURES: United Training Ahead Of Sunderland

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"PICTURES: United Training Ahead Of Sunderland" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Sunderland Striker: Being A United Player Was Great

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Selling on players from the academy is one of the reasons why Manchester United have so much money to spend in the transfer market, with Frazier Campbell one of the most recent to move on. He had a choice between Hull, a club where he had already made a name for himself in helping them gain promotion to the Premiership, or Sunderland with former United captain Steve Bruce.

Owen To Miss Just One Match

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Sir Alex Ferguson has today conceded that maybe he should have left Michael Owen out of our Champions League match against Wolfsburg in the week after our striker missed a day's training through injury.

However, the manager says that after Sunderland, Owen will be available for our next game, which is against Bolton following the International break.

Push, Coleen, PUSH!

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Couldn't Coleen just do the decent thing and have a planned cesarean?! Why can't she be too posh to push?!

"Coleen is due just after the Moscow game. It's a long way but I have a job to go and play for United and, unless anything changes, I will be there," said Rooney. "But of course, I want to be there for the birth of my child and, if anything happens around that time, then I am sure I will stay back.

‘Nerdy’ Berbatov Has Brilliant Attitude & Fans Should Love Him

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I have fought Dimitar Berbatov's corner since he joined Manchester United and came under criticism from our own fans as much as elsewhere. I saw enough in him to stick my neck out and acknowledge that whilst he wasn't scoring as much as we'd hoped, he was class and we needed to give him time. If you don't get Berbatov, you don't get football became somewhat of a catchphrase, feeling the need to repeatedly defend the guy.

RoM Reads

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The Telegraph writes in full praise of Dimitar Berbatov.

Liverpool Kop reckons stats prove Torres is better than Rooney. Just like stats proved Berbatov was the best player on the park last night... oh, no wait...

Rossobianchi talks about Giggs' knighthood.

F365 takes the piss out of Keano.

Fergie: Giggs Playing Like He’s Just Started His Career

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Ryan Giggs has had a brilliant impact on our start to the season, proving critics wrong who doubted the reasoning behind making him being named PFA Player of the Season last year.

Against Arsenal, it was Giggs who provided the ball in to Wayne Rooney which saw us win the penalty, as well as the cross which Diaby headed in to his own net.

Foster Still First Choice After Edwin

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Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Ben Foster will remain our first choice keeper in the absence of Edwin Van der Sar, despite Tomasz Kuszczak being chosen for our cup games against Wolves and Wolfsburg.

"Tomasz Kuszczak produced a very good performance against Wolves last week and we felt he deserved to play another game," Ferguson said.