Republik Of Mancunia Archives for January 2010

VIDEO: Danny Welbeck’s Brilliant Goal For Preston

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"VIDEO: Danny Welbeck's Brilliant Goal For Preston" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Chelsea Captain Opts For Kissing The Badge Today… Rather Than His Mate’s Bird

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Imagine this. It comes out that Ryan Giggs had been having it off with someone like Nicky Butt's bird, the mother of his kid, or maybe Phil Neville, you get the idea. Then the following day Giggs plays, his captain's armband there for all to see, and he scores the winning goal. Then he runs around kissing our badge, showing himself as "Mr United" and trying to get the fans onside.

Fergie At Craven Cottage Checking Out Villa

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A day before our clash in London against Arsenal, Sir Alex Ferguson made sure he was in attendance of the 3pm game at Craven Cottage.

Fulham take on Aston Villa, who United are set to play in the League Cup final, and Gabriel Agbonlahor will have certainly grabbed our manager's attention after scoring two goals.

Red Knights To Rescue Manchester United

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"Red Knights To Rescue Manchester United" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Fergie: Wenger Let Himself Down With Fletch Comments

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After Manchester United robbed Arsenal earlier in the season, thanks to poor judgement from Almunia and an own goal from Diaby, Arsene Wenger took his frustrations out on Darren Fletcher.

This season, Fletcher has committed fewer fouls than Song and Diaby, despite playing in more games, yet Wenger took the childish move of branding Fletch "anti-football".

Nani: My Future Is At United Thanks To Ferguson

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"Week by week the coach has shown more and more confidence in me and that has really helped," Nani said. "United is not a very easy place to recover your place in the first team because there is such a big squad and I had problems at the start of this season. Injuries certainly damaged my performances and it was difficult.

Arsenal Star: United Is My Biggest Game

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Arsenal's one man, Cesc Fabregas, has revealed that playing Manchester United is his biggest game of the season.

"Manchester United surpasses all the other matches for me," said Fabregas. "As a player it is the one game I really look forward to playing in every season. Chelsea is really good, Liverpool too and Tottenham is special, particularly for the fans who get really excited.

Rooney: United By Far Top Club In The World

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Wayne Rooney has played down suggestions that United are a one man team and reckons we're the biggest club in the world.

"I don't look on us as a one-man team or see it as a great burden on me, it's nonsense," said Rooney. "If I don't get the service, I can't score. If I don't, I expect others to, and we've done that well.

Ridiculous City Fan Doesn’t Learn His Lesson

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"Ridiculous City Fan Doesn't Learn His Lesson" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

RoM Links

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The Evening News previews our match against Arsenal.

Football Fan Cast reckons Michael Carrick is our unsung hero.

The Independent shows the best bits of the United vs Arsenal rivalry.

The Guardian looks at the mid to late season transfers which changed the world.

Stretty Ender reveals the picture of the bitters in the Stretford End this week.

Anderson Is Off? He Looked Happy Enough Today

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Reports in today's press suggest that Anderson is about to move to Lyon on loan, after falling out with the manager and being excluded from the past two match day squads.

Looked happy enough in training today...

"Anderson Is Off? He Looked Happy Enough Today" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Chelsea Captain Proves To Be A Top Bloke Yet Again!

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So, John Terry has been knocking off Wayne Bridge's ex-missus, the mother of his child Jaydon Jean Claude Bridge, eh?

With friends like him, who needs enemies? Some bloody captain!

"Chelsea Captain Proves To Be A Top Bloke Yet Again!" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

VIDEO: Top 7 United Hat-tricks

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"VIDEO: Top 7 United Hat-tricks" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

PICTURE: Rio Mocks Tevez’s Goal Celebration

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Following Carlos Tevez's two goals against Manchester United in the League Cup, he made a 'yapping' motion with his hand, suggesting that Gary Neville was wrong to support the manager in not paying £47m for the Argie prick.

He then did several interviews, claiming United should do their talking on the pitch and called Neville an "idiot".

VIDEO: Another Example Of The FA’s Anti-United Double Standards

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More double standards from the FA
Uploaded by RepublikOfMancunia

Take a look at the other examples of the FA's ABU behaviour.

"VIDEO: Another Example Of The FA's Anti-United Double Standards" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Smalling Chooses ‘Biggest Club In The World’ Over Arsenal

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After having their first bid rejected and United having their offer accepted, Arsenal put in a second bid to Fulham which was accepted. Arsene Wenger was a big fan of the young Fulham defender and was doing all he could to lure him to Arsenal.

However, Sir Alex Ferguson met the player in London on Tuesday night after Fulham's defeat to Spurs and that was all that was needed to get the deal sorted.

GIF: Moment Of The Season So Far?

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"GIF: Moment Of The Season So Far?" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

What Did The Press Make Of Our Win Over City?

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Oliver Kay, The Times: There are neighbours, there are noisy neighbours and, if you are really unlucky, like Manchester City, you might be lumbered with the kind of neighbours who become utterly preoccupied with scuppering your planning application. Manchester City's designs on parading a trophy around this divided city for the first time since 1976, not to mention their much-publicised desire for world domination, are back on the drawing board after Wayne Rooney's late, late goal settled another extraordinary derby last night.

Fletch: We Weren’t Even Worried When Tevez Scored

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Darren Fletcher claimed after our 3-1 win over Manchester City that the lads were always confident of getting to the final, even when Carlos Tevez scored to mean extra time was looming.

"Everyone was up for it," said Fletch. "Even after Carlos scored we were not that worried. We dominated the second half after a tight first half and Wayne popped up with an unbelievable winner.

Garry Cook, You’re A W**ker, You’re A W**ker

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Manchester United are through to the League Cup final after outplaying Manchester City home and away.

Rewind one week and chief executive Garry Cook was claiming City were definitely going to beat United at Old Trafford and book their place in the final

"This football club will be without doubt the biggest and best in the world," Cook said.

Fergie: I’m Proud Of Team And Our Fans Were Unbelievable

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After knocking Manchester City out of the League Cup, Sir Alex Ferguson has praised the players and fans.

"It's a derby game, and you like to win your derby games," said Ferguson. "The atmosphere tonight, and the fact it was a semi-final tie, added a lot of spice to the match. And the fact we scored so late in the game brought a special type of celebration.

VIDEO: Scholes, Carrick and Rooney vs City

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Paul Scholes' goal

Michael Carrick's goal

Wayne Rooney's goal

"VIDEO: Scholes, Carrick and Rooney vs City" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Cole: Spat Is Handbags, Nev Loves Winding People Up

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Andrew Cole has played down the row between Gary Neville and Carlos Tevez, claiming our captain loves getting involves in things like this.

"It's all handbags," said Cole. "Nev just loves that kind of stuff. He will wind up his own players, and people who don't know Nev get the wrong idea.

Cole: If Things Go Well United Will Win

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Andrew Cole, who spent eight seasons at United, has today revealed who he hopes to win the Manchester derby.

He spent a season at City and was their top scorer. He signed a new contract with them but then left the club for Portsmouth on transfer deadline day.

Cole still has a season ticket with United and is hoping we right the wrongs of the unjust 2-1 defeat last week.

Fergie, Real Madrid and Rooney Put Transfer Rumours To Bed

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Wayne Rooney has reiterated his stance on his Manchester United future on a couple of occasions this week.

But in case there was any doubt, further confirmation of Rooney's future has been given today.

"Wayne made his declaration, but we knew that. He doesn't want to leave here," said Ferguson.

The Express’ Mick Dennis Is A Tool

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Sir Alex Ferguson was asked whether he was concerned about the players' discipline in tonight's derby, after crowd trouble flared up last week at Wastelands.

"I think we have enough experience of playing in big games to know that [players must behave]," Ferguson said. "It's always a key factor.

PICTURES: United Training Ahead Of The Derby

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

United See Of Arsenal To Sign Young Defender

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Manchester United have won the race to sign Fulham defender, Chris Smalling.

"United See Of Arsenal To Sign Young Defender" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

PICTURE: Kevin Webster Is Green and Gold

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Michael Le Vell, who plays Kevin Webster in Coronation Street, was spotted supporting our green and gold campaign.

There we have it, our celebrity figurehead. Hmm.

"PICTURE: Kevin Webster Is Green and Gold" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Rooney: I Grew Up Hating Liverpool… And Kai Will Too!

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Wayne Rooney laughed off the notion of his son, Kai Wayne, growing up to be a Liverpool fan.

"My family are all Evertonians and I also grew up as an Evertonian," Rooney told Goal. "We all grew up absolutely hating Liverpool and that will never change. So my son will have plenty of positive influences around him!

Rooney Passes Trick Question – I’m A Red Until Told Otherwise

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Wayne Rooney could have fallen in to a trap which would have lead to worldwide press concerning his future.

After just yesterday claiming that he was very happy at United, he has been interviewed by Goal and was asked if United were forced to sell him, who would he like to play for.

It would have been very easy for him to praise the football of Barcelona or the history of AC Milan, but instead he opted to just talk about United.

RoM Links

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The Times gives a good preview of the derby.

The Telegraph looks at how the fans should buy the club back.

Between The Lines responds to this article.

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

Back United to pick up where they left off against City

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It's never a good game when United lose but, amid disappointment and controversy, punters' should remember that the first leg of this Carling Cup semi-final was a cracker. Manchester derbies are fast becoming the most hottest clashes in England and that can only be a good thing.

As for this Wednesday: it's only half-time, we're one down with 90 minutes to play in front of 75,000 screaming Reds and we're famous for being the comeback kings of European football.

Rooney: I’m A United Player And Very Happy

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Wayne Rooney has dismissed rumours linking him with a move to Real Madrid, claiming he is very happy at United.

"There's always speculation, and when other big teams are talking about you, it's nice that you're talked about," he said. "But as I've said many times before, I'm a United player and I'm very happy here.

PICTURE: Welbeck At Preston

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"People will always talk about the link between the Gaffer and his son, but I have just come here to play my football and I am hoping to give 100 per cent for Preston North End," said Welbeck. "I have been looking at the history of the Club and Manchester United and Preston North End link well together and I am looking forward to playing for the club.

Reaction To Victory Over Hull

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We needed six points from our two home games against Burnley and Hull so I don't think we can get too carried away. These teams have been dreadful on the road this season, with the worst away record in the league, so whilst we can be happy to have won and to have scored so many goals, the real test will come against the teams we have to play this week.

Is Move Right For Welbeck, United or Ferguson Jnr?

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Danny Welbeck has shown more promise than many of our youngsters for some time, scoring 2 goals in 3 League Cup games this season, having played a total of 24 games for the club in all competitions.

News broke this morning that Preston have signed Welbeck on loan until the end of the season, which is often the practice for young players breaking through.

Diouf Pinches Welbeck’s Place… And Darren Reaps The Rewards

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Like Danny Welbeck did last season, Mame Biram Diouf scored on his home debut for Manchester United, in last week's 3-0 win over Burnley.

Sir Alex Ferguson has now decided to keep him in the squad, whilst Welbeck, whose last performance was his fairly dreadful outing against Leeds, which lead to him being subbed before an hour played, has been shipped off to Preston on loan.

Nani: It’s Great To Be Back… And Top

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Nani has today revealed how frustrating it has been to be out of the team for so long but that he was happy with how he played against Hull.

"It was very frustrating to be out injured, but it happens in football. I'm back now and I feel very good," said Nani. "I was happy with my performance and I just want to keep improving every week so I can help the team be successful.

Given: We Can’t Even Talk About Closing Gap On United

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Shay Given has more sense than the deluded masses at Wastelands.

"It would be crazy to say we are on a par with United now just because City have new owners who have already spent a huge amount," said Given. "United have got a fantastic history and a lot of trophies to show for it, so we've still got a lot of catching up to do.

Fergie: We Must Remain Loyal To The Cause Of Manchester United

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Following the weekly anti-Glazer protests, Sir Alex Ferguson has chosen to speak out about the fans' disapproval.

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion and to express disapproval if they don't like what they see around them," said Ferguson. "I am not slow to express disapproval myself if there is something I don't agree with even in the boardroom with the directors.

Rooney: I Haven’t Scored 4 Goals Since I Was 12!

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Wayne Rooney scored all four goals in our victory over Hull yesterday and now races ahead to the top of the goalscorers leaderboard.

Last season's top scorer was Nicolas Anelka with 19 goals, something Rooney has achieved in January!

"The last time I scored four goals was probably when I was about 12!

Brilliant Stats: Rooney + Ronaldo Last Season vs Rooney This Season

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This time last year, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney had scored 14 Premiership goals between them, Ronaldo with 8, Rooney with 6.

This season, Rooney has 19 Premiership goals to himself.

This time last year, we had scored 34 Premiership goals.

This season, we we have scored 49 goals.

VIDEO: Rooney’s Four Goals Against Hull

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"VIDEO: Rooney's Four Goals Against Hull" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Owen: Rooney Wants My Opinion At Half Time

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Michael Owen will be hoping for a run out against Hull today, when considering United have to face City in the League Cup semi-final and Arsenal in the league next week.

Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov have been keeping him out of the team for most of the season, with the manager not keen on the idea of playing Owen and Rooney together.

Kaka: Ronaldo’s Departure Weakens United

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Kaka sheds light on his opinion of Manchester United, post-Ronaldo.

"I think he has already proven that Real Madrid were right to buy him for so much money and I'm glad he is on my team now and not still playing for Manchester United," said Kaka. "I think this season we will see how important Ronaldo was to Manchester United.

RoM Links

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The Chelsea Blog looks at what they would want their players to do if in the Tevez/Neville situation.

The Times talks about fighting unwanted football owners.

The Sun reckons Real Madrid are confident of signing Rooney.

F365's Mediawatch is interesting.

Studs Up ponders on the alternative interpretation of "sock sucker".

Updates On Bond Issue

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The Guardian

The Telegraph

United Rant

"Updates On Bond Issue" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

City Player Wind Up Leaves Tevez With Egg On His Face

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Carlos Tevez scored two goals against Manchester United in the week to give City a 2-1 lead as we go in to the second leg of the League Cup semi.

The Argie striker shrugged off his celebrating team mates to dedicate his celebration to United captain, Gary Neville.

Tevez admitted that he hadn't actually read what Neville said, given that he hasn't bothered to learn English in his four years living in England, and that his team mates read out the interview.

Can United put more than 3 goals past Hull?

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With the rest of the Premier League in FA Cup action the pressure is on United to clamber above Chelsea and Arsenal with a win over Hull this weekend.

A victory would make the Reds the first top flight team to reach 50 points this season and take them two clear of those London rivals. Three points is imperative.

Will It Make A Difference To Neville?

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Gary Neville has been issued with his second warning of the season after sticking his middle finger up at Carlos Tevez on Tuesday. The United captain didn't take too kindly to our former player celebrating the undeserved penalty in front of the dugout.

After being served a warning by the FA for celebrating Michael Owen's late winner against City earlier in the season, fans were expecting a ban or a fine.

From Ordering Pies For Aberdeen To Most Important Person At United

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Sir Alex Ferguson spoke to a group of philosophy students at Dublin's Trinity College about power, control and success.

"If I lose control of these multi-millionaires in the Manchester United dressing room then I'm dead," said Ferguson. "So I never lose control. If anyone steps out of my control, that's them dead.

VIDEO: Diouf Hat-Trick Against Sunderland

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VOTE for Republik of Mancunia

"VIDEO: Diouf Hat-Trick Against Sunderland" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Tevez Flips His Lid… Benitez Style

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Remember when Rafael Benitez showed up a match day press conference with a list of notes which he falsely claimed to be facts?

Looks like Manchester United has sent someone else barmy, with Carlos Tevez exploding on ESPN Argentina.

"My celebration was directed at Gary Neville," said Tevez.

Want Two Tickets For the Manchester City Game?

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Through our exclusive partnership with Betfair we are able to offer two tickets to the semi final 2nd leg against City at Old Trafford.

All you need to do is click here, join Betfair and place a bet and you'll be entered into the draw.

Betfair are also offering a risk free bet of up to £25 so why not put the bet on Manchester United to beat Manchester City at Old Trafford that way you can be in with a chance of watching the game live whilst also knowing you're going to have a few extra quid in the bank!

Who Showed The Lack Of Respect?

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Tevez vs Neville.

The sequence of events...

1. Neville respectfully gives his opinion on Tevez, claiming that he is a good player, but if the manager believes the financial demands are too much, then he will support him, given his excellent track record over the two and a bit decades.

O’Shea Out For The Season

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John O'Shea hasn't played for United since our 1-0 defeat against Chelsea at the beginning of November.

Sir Alex Ferguson has today confirmed that will probably have been his last appearance of the season.

"He's got a terrible injury at the moment," Ferguson said. "It's one of those sorts of injuries that are unusual.

Tale Of Two Strikers Forced Out And Obsessed With Former Club

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Emmanuel Adebayor and Carlos Tevez, two players obsessed with their former club. Adebayor was shunned by his fan base, after likening his feelings for being courted by Milan to a fella being told Beyonce wanted a piece. He fancied himself for getting a move to a club like AC Milan and Barcelona, but neither came knocking.

PICTURE: Nev Sticks Finger Up At Tevez

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Expect a fine/ban being dished out to Gary Neville by the FA after sticking his finger up at Carlos Tevez following the Argie's goal celebration last night.

Gary Neville had supported the manager in not signing Tevez, which clearly upset our former striker, so much so, that he dedicated yet another celebration to his former club, instead of his current one.

Some Suggestions For The Soccerlens Awards…

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If you're struggling to decide on winners for the 2009 Soccerlens awards, here's some of our favourite sites (plus a shameless plug for ourselves)

Best football writer: Rob Smyth (who we interviewed at the start of the season)
Best news site: Newsnow
Best team site: Republik of Mancunia
Best team writer: STR on Republik of Mancunia
Best football gossip site: The Spoiler
Funniest site: Studs Up
Best football video site: 101greatgoals
Best stats site: Soccerbase

"Some Suggestions For The Soccerlens Awards.

City Should Worry… Not Us

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We'll batter them at Old Trafford.

Manchester City were outplayed pretty much from the first whistle to the final whistle on their home turf, and only collected the win because they were awarded a penalty for a foul outside the box.

It wasn't our best performance over the 90 minutes but we still managed to control the game.

VIDEO: Giggsy Goal Against City

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"VIDEO: Giggsy Goal Against City" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

CONFIRMED Line-Up: City vs United

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Team: Van der Sar, Evra, Brown, Evans, Rafael, Anderson, Giggs, Carrick, Fletcher, Valencia, Rooney.
Subs: Kuszczak, Neville, Fabio, Scholes, Park, Owen, Diouf.

FA Cup defeat against Leeds clearly changed the League Cup in Ferguson's priorities, with him dumping the youngsters in favour of a strong team.

Evra: City Star Has United In His Heart

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Despite all the verbal abuse and booing Carlos Tevez received from United fans on his last trip to Old Trafford, the Argie striker has repeatedly claimed since he has respect and love for the fans and club, and will not be celebrating if he scores against us.

Patrice Evra, who is still friends with Tevez, has again reiterated the Argie's desire to stay at the club that was in his heart.

Becks: I Want To End My Career At United

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David Beckham knows it would be unlikely, but has revealed he would love to play for Manchester United again before the end of his career.

"I don't think it would ever happen but if I could finish my career at Old Trafford it would be amazing," said Beckham. "It would be kind of perfection.

VIEW FROM THE ENEMY: City Fan On Cook, Winning The League, Sparky and Tevez

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Ahead of the first of our two semi-final clashes against Manchester City, Jack Pitt-Brooke from the popular City blog, The Lonesome Death of Roy Carroll, has taken time out to have a quick chat. The last time we spoke was ahead of derby day in September, with Jack hopeful of a 1-1 draw. Things didn't quite work out that way!

Green and Gold

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"Green and Gold" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Competition Winner Recalls Heights Of Last Derby Day…

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In September, RoM ran a competition with Betfair to give away tickets for derby day, which would go on to be seen as probably the best derby day ever.

One of the competition winners, Mark Dobson-Hill, tracked me down ahead of our semi-final against City, and shared his memories of the day where he returned to Old Trafford with his Salford born dad, Stewart Hill.

Becks: City Can’t Buy History… Or Me

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A contract worth £500,000 was enough to tempt David Beckham away from the success at Real Madrid to the nothingness at LA Galaxy in the USA, but he reckons no amount of money could lure him to Manchester City.

"I would never sign for Manchester City," said Beckham. "That's mainly because I am a Man United fan.

Nev: We Don’t Need To Reassert Our Dominance Over City

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Ahead of our League Cup semi-final against Manchester City tonight, Gary Neville believes Manchester United are not using this occasion as another opportunity to put our local rivals in their place, rather to get ourselves in to another final.

"I don't see the game as an opportunity to reassert our dominance over City," said Neville.

Betting Preview: Back A Draw At Wastelands

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Have Betfair punters lost their marbles? Reds backers won't believe their eyes when they look at the Match Odds on Tuesday night's Carling Cup semi-final first leg.

Manchester City should never, ever be favourites to beat United and odds of 2.88 (15/8) on an away win at Eastlands are amongst the best you will ever get on a Reds' victory.

And The Voting Opens…

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Please vote Republik of Mancunia as...

The best team site

The blog with the best writer

No cheating, it will only result in disqualification.

"And The Voting Opens..." was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Phew! Berba Is Ok

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After scoring the opening goal against Burnley, before setting up our second with a parried shot from the keeper, Dimitar Berbatov limped off the field to a standing ovation from the Stretford End.

Sir Alex Ferguson revealed that decisions would be made today in regards to whether Berbatov would need surgery on his knee, rather than waiting until the end of the season.

Reaction To Burnley

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At the beginning of the month there was talk that the club would stop playing the deafening music as the players walked out of the tunnel, in a bid to get the atmosphere going. The club gave in to this request and the ground was almost silent as the players walked out, with the exception of the Burnley fans' singing, who are one of the few clubs to take up their full allocation.

RoM Reads

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Mark Ogden of The Telegraph has more to say about the Glazers.

MUST release a statement follow Daniel Taylor's article in The Guardian.

The Times looks at the players we should buy.

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

We Could Do Worse Than Giving Ruud Another Go…?

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We will find out today whether Dimitar Berbatov will miss the rest of the season, with Sir Alex Ferguson set to confirm whether our striker needs a knee operation. With Bulgaria not travelling to South Africa this summer for the World Cup, it would have been ideal if we could have kept Berbatov playing for the rest of the season and scheduled his operation for the end of May.

STATS: Carlos Tevez vs Dimitar Berbatov at Manchester United

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After Sir Alex Ferguson's comments that he has no regrets over Carlos Tevez leaving, many fans have compared the Argie's strike rate this season at City with Dimitar Berbatov at United.

It wasn't a case of buying Berbatov or buying Tevez, as the transfer money for Dimitar had already been paid whilst Tevez was on loan, but the comparisons are made.

Fergie: I’ve No Tevez Regrets

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After spending the first four months of his Manchester City career struggling to find the back of the net and being slagged off by the fans ("a poor man's Dickov"), Carlos Tevez has found the back of the net plenty of times recently.

After being questioned about the Argie forward, Sir Alex Ferguson has nonchalantly dismissed any feelings of regret, claiming that we have moved on.

VIDEO: Rooney vs Torres In New Nike Ad

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"VIDEO: Rooney vs Torres In New Nike Ad" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

VIDEO: Berbatov, Rooney and Diouf’s Goals Against Burnley

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"VIDEO: Berbatov, Rooney and Diouf's Goals Against Burnley" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

What Happened At The MUST and IMUSA Meeting?

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Ahead of today's victory over Burnley, about 300 United fans showed up at O'Briens in the Stretford Arndale to talk about what we're going to do to reclaim our club. With reds divided on what is the best course of action, it was an opportunity for the supporters groups to get an idea of what the fans wanted to do.

RoM Reads

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The Daily Mail has an interesting article on FCUM.

The Mirror reports on Fergie giving Owen hope of more playing time.

Patrick Barclay of The Times looks at why we should blame Fergie for the Glazers.

Sky Sports previews today's game.

Rob Smyth at The Guardian looks at the best League Cup semis.

Betting Preview: Manchester United to keep clean sheet against Burnley

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United's surprise defeat at Turf Moor back in August was the first signal that Burnley meant business in the Premier League but with Owen Coyle gone fresh questions are being asked about the Claret and Blues' survival.

Former Sheffield Wednesday manager Brian Laws was the surprise choice to replace Bolton-bound Coyle and a trip to Old Trafford is hardly an ideal opening fixture.

Evra Will Make You Believe

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Finally, a United related story you actually want to read this week, with the depressing reality of the debt building up day after day.

Patrice Evra has correctly pointed out that no other team in the league would be in contention for the title had they suffered the crippling defensive injuries we coped with in the last couple of months in 2009.

PICTURES: United Adjust To Manchester Snow

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"PICTURES: United Adjust To Manchester Snow" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

RoM Reads

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

Free Holiday Or Worthwhile Experience?

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So the Manchester United players jet off to the Middle East whilst Manchester is frozen over, with snow storm after snow storm, and we're expected to believe that it's not just a holiday?

The lads returned from Qatar today after spending a few days at the ASPIRE academy and the manager has been full of praise about the trip.

Fletch: We’re Used To Criticism And It Spurs Us On

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After all the recent criticisms Manchester United have received in the press of late, Darren Fletcher cl

"It hasn't been the easiest of times. There has been a lot of disruption," said Fletcher. "The injuries in defence have seen players playing all over the place, myself included.

Shameless Begging – Vote For RoM

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The Soccerlens awards are upon us once again, whereby the best blogs in various categories will be decided upon. Last year we were voted as Best British Blog, which was great, and of course we'd like to win another award this year too.

The categories are: Best Writer, Best Podcast, Best Community, Best News Site, Best Team Site, Best Competition Site, Best Team Writer, The Expert, Best Gossip Site, Funniest Site, Best Mobile Application, Best Online Game, Best Babes Site, Best Betting Site, Best Online Store, Best Videos Site and Best Stats Site.

Sol Ecstatic At Arsenal… But I Thought He Wanted United Move?

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Arsenal fans will be reassuring themselves today that the manager knows what he is doing in bringing 35-year-old Sol Campbell back to the club. They reassured themselves of the same thing when Mikael Silvestre signed and we warned of his calamitous ways, although will likely side with United fans on that one now.

Ljajic Doesn’t Make Big Club Move

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Our move for Adem Ljajic fell through a few months ago with the club claiming they were no longer interested in signing him. With former Partizan team mate Zoran Tosic failing to break in to the United team and likely to be sold off in the summer, it seemed to be a reasonable explanation.

However, the player's agent suggested the reason for the deal collapsing was United's lack of funds.

PICTURES: Kissy Kissy – Footballers Lip Service

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(Click on picture to enlarge)

Diego Maradona kisses the Argentina shirt after reaching the final of Italia 90. 20 years later, he went on to manage Argentina and told the press to suck his dick after qualifying for the World Cup in South Africa.

After joining the club from Juventus months earlier, Attilio Lombardo was seen kissing the Crystal Palace shirt during a 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa.

Would You Take Joe Cole On A Free?

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Joe Cole grew up supporting Chelsea and got his dream move when just 22-years-old, with Claudio Ranieri signing him for £6.6m.

He has time and again stated that he wants to see out his career with the club, despite being looked over every manager he has played for at one point or another, and after coming back from a lengthy injury at the start of this season, reiterated his desire to sign a contract with the club.

RoM Reads

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The Guardian reports that the Glazers are open to putting Carrington up for sale.

The Times reveals the details of the proposed £500m bond issue.

United Rant continues to rant about the Glazers.

Monkey Mags twats of the week.

The Daily Mail reports on the fan reaction to Liverpool selling the naming rights of their ground.

PICTURE: City Striker Dons Arsenal Shirt For Interview

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Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor appeared on Sky Sports News tonight wearing an Arsenal branded t-shirt. D'oh.

Arsenal are clearly a popular club amongst other teams' players, with Chelsea's Michael Essien caught wearing the Gunners' shirt two years ago.

And even David Beckham has worn Arsenal gear, when joining the rivals of his former club for training two years ago.

More Pictures From Qatar

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"More Pictures From Qatar" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Fletch: If It’s A Man’s Game, Why Did I Get Second Yellow?

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Mark Clattenburg hasn't come across terribly well this week, between his justification of sending Darren Fletcher off to failing to understand the offside rule.

Today, Darren Fletcher has revealed that Clattenburg, the referee who once sent someone off because Steven Gerrard told him to, told our midfielder it was 'a man's game' when he complained about being fouled.

Another Analysis Of The Debt

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There is plenty of talk about our debt issues at the moment, where just like in 2005, the less than satisfying performances have come at a time of more doom and gloom about the Glazers.

I received an e-mail this morning from a poster on the blog asking me to share some of his analysis with the readers.

MUST: Celebration In The Streets Of Manchester When Glazers Go

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After the updates on our financial situation today, MUST chairman, Duncan Drasdo, has reiterated the fans' desire to get rid of the Glazers.

"Most supporters have had enough," said Drasdo. "Under their ownership the club has become liable for more than £260million in interest payments alone and the latest trading statement would have shown a substantial loss were it not for the sale of Ronaldo.

Scholes: We Always Get Written Off… But We’ll Prove Them Wrong

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Paul Scholes has seen his team written off time and time again, so understandably, is not too fuss to see it happening this season.

"You thrive on adversity," said Scholes. "The more it happens the better it is for us. We have probably been written off at some stage every season and this year is going to be no different.

Finally! Press Expose Spirit Of Shankly Idiots

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Spirit of Shankly end of season do
Uploaded by RepublikOfMancunia.

Hats off to Barry Glendenning at The Guardian, who writes their tea-time newsletter, The Fiver.

If the Fiver was forced to apologise and resign every time we sent an ill-advised email to recipients who found them objectionable, production of the world's most tea-timely newsletter would have ceased moments after its maiden excursion more years ago than we care to remember.

Remembering Albert Scanlon: A Fan’s Tribute

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He hurtles down the muddy left touchline, shoulders square on, head down, shorts hitched up, plain white socks a blur, heavy brown lace-up football at his feet as he bursts past floundering defenders to the by-line before launching a cross into the path of an on-rushing team-mate. It could be to Bobby Charlton for a net-ripping thunderbolt, or for gaunt-faced Dennis Viollet to ghost onto and despatch into the far corner with a shimmy of the hips, or perhaps golden-haired Albert Quixall will silence the critics again with a volley of unstoppable power.

PICTURES: United Players Arrive In Qatar and VDS Joins Them

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"PICTURES: United Players Arrive In Qatar and VDS Joins Them" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Evans: I Played Brum Onside For Goal

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Jonny Evans has voiced his frustration over dropping points this weekend and taken the blame upon himself for Birmingham's goal.

"We were disappointed at being behind because of the way we played in the first half," said Evans. "I knew we were in for a tough game and when they got the goal it gave them something to hang on to.

They’re Not Famous Anymore

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Whenever you feel down in the dumps about football, just thank your lucky stars you don't support a team that brings out a t-shirt/DVD/mug when they win one game.

For just £12, Leeds United fans can wear this lovely t-shirt about town. Jealous?

"They're Not Famous Anymore" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Fighting The Good Fight On F365

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"Fighting The Good Fight On F365" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Making A Profit… Thanks To Ronaldo Sale

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Manchester United have reported pre-tax profits of £48.2million for the year to June 30th 2009, with a total turnover of £278.5 million for the year, up from £256.2 million the year before.

The sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid for £80million in the summer was included in the profits as was the £41.

You Have To Worry About Referees After Clattenburg’s Comments

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There were a few moments where it was touch and go for United after the linesman held up his flag with the ball in the back of the Birmingham net.

Mark Clattenburg correctly let the goal stand though, with the ball clearly coming off Scott Dann, not Wayne Rooney, who the linesman was flagging for.

VIDEO From The Stands: Reaction To Awarding Of The Goal At Birmingham

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"VIDEO From The Stands: Reaction To Awarding Of The Goal At Birmingham" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

We’re S**t And We’re Champions

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Did we see a reaction to Leeds yesterday? I don't think so. I'm not one to buy in to the doom and gloom, so I'm not going to start now, but I wanted more from us against Birmingham.

After dominating possession during the first half, we should have been going 1-0 up at half time. Antonio Valencia, who put in another good performance, played in a beautiful ball to Wayne Rooney.

RoM Reads

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The Mirror writes a very nice article on Gary Neville.

Rossobianchi discusses who should be our next captain.

United Rant has Roy Keane down as an agony aunt.

Between The Lines addresses the debt.

Rob Smyth of The Guardian looks at six great solo goals.

The Times shows the worst January transfers.

Seven United Fans Arrested At Birmingham

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With St. Andrews incapable of providing adequate provisions for half-time beverages and snacks, I stayed in the stands during half-time. There was no way that people were going to get their beer down there, with thousands of fans crammed in to such a tiny area. If you did make it to the counter in time, there would be no way you'd make it back through the crowds with even half a beer left, so I thought better of it, and have apparently missed something newsworthy.

Fergie: I Was Shocked That Older Players Didn’t Help Youngsters

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When I found out the team set to play against Leeds last weekend, I was very surprised. I knew that Sir Alex Ferguson wasn't going to put out a team of Reserves, but I certainly didn't expect as many first team players as there were. Every single player in that starting XI had started a Premiership game for us this season, which was showing an awful amount of respect to a Third Division side.

Anderson: I’m Sad About My United Form… But I Can Make History Books

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Anderson has struggled to recreate the form of his first season at Manchester United, showing flashes of brilliance like his domineering role at Stamford Bridge, but generally lacking in consistency when it comes to his performances.

"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed in my goal performance at United," said Anderson.

It’s All Over For United… Again

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In response to the doom and gloom articles being written about us in the papers, I thought I would share a thing or two written about us in the summer of 2006.

Almost everything about the club reeks of disarray. Owned by the Glazers, who push buttons from a remote hideaway like Dr Evil; run by a manager who shreds his legacy at every turn; almost exclusively represented by the inadequate (Darren Fletcher and Kieran Richardson) and the odious (Rio Ferdinand); unable to close a deal for West Brom's reserve keeper, never mind the new Roy Keane.

Our Thoughts With The Togo Team

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The Togo national football team bus was ambushed as they were on their way to the African Cup of Nations. They came under attack from machine gun fire for 30 minutes whilst they were trapped on the bus. Two of their players were shot and taken away for treatment, whilst the bus driver was shot dead.

Nev Retiring “Nonsense”? Really?

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"4-3, mate" were the infamous words of Jake Clarke as he was carted away by security. He had both his arms held behind his back, but this didn't stop Craig Bellamy marching over to him and striking Jake in the face. The FA didn't deem this action worthy of any penalty, but Jake has been banned from Old Trafford by the club "indefinitely".

Fergie: We DO Have Money To Spend

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With talk of the Glazers' financial worries dominating the press, Sir Alex Ferguson insists we do have money to spend but that we would struggle to get good value for it at the moment.

"We have got the money," said Ferguson. "There is no question about that. I just don't see that player who can make a difference for us in terms of value or ability.

Ahead Of Our Trip To Brum…

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After Manchester United's spineless performance against City in the match that marked the 50th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster, I was absolutely livid with the players. Whilst of course I always want to see United win, it would be ridiculous to expect United to win every game. I also don't expect us to win every important game, regardless of how much we crave it.

KEANO! There’s Only One Keano!

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Keano! There's only one Keano! There's only one Keano!

February 1st 2005 Roy Keane chases Patrick Vieira down the tunnel, with the Senegalese born midfielder shitting himself and running off.

Vieira totally bottles it in the match.

United beat Arsenal 4-2 at Highbury.

Diouf Handed “32″ Shirt And Nearing Debut

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Our Senegalese striker, Mame Biram Diouf, was granted a work permit in December and is now awaiting his debut after settling well at the club.

He will wear our number "32″ shirt, formerly worn by Carlos Tevez.

"He has adapted very well to our training regime and has looked very impressive," said Ferguson.

Fergie: I Always Wanted To Sign Maldini

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Sir Alex Ferguson has today revealed that AC Milan legend, Paolo Maldini, had been on his wanted list for years.

After starting with the youth team in the 1970's, Maldini went on to play for the first team for 25 years, making a total of 902 appearances. Milan retired his number three shirt, only to be worn again if one of his sons plays for the first team.

Giggs To Get The Freedom Of The City

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Ryan Giggs will be honoured with the freedom of the city of Salford today.

"Ryan is a role model to young people and a proud ambassador of the city," said councillor John Warmisham. "He is the ideal candidate for freedom of the city. He does tremendous work for Unicef in relation to children and other charities and has never forgotten his Salford roots.

Darren: Dad Said This Was The Job For Me

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After Peterborough made the ridiculous decision to sack the manager who had earned them two straight promotions earlier this season, Darren Ferguson has now found a new job with Preston.

Preston are currently 16th in the Championship, eight places above his former club Peterborough, who have won just two of the fifteen games they have played since Ferguson Jnr left.

RoM Reads

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United Rant discusses the debt.

Mark Ogden writes for The Telegraph about the debt.

Dear Mr Levy talks about Berbatov.

The Telegraph compares the overreaction to United's situation with that of 2005.

The Spoiler reckons United and Arsenal are battling over the signature of a Cardiff City teen.

Former Red Disproves City Boss’ Ridiculous Claim

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New Manchester City boss, Roberto Mancini, has made several odd claims since joining our noisy neighbours. Firstly, he claimed that City would win an incredible five titles in the next ten years! Given that the only experience he's had of winning titles was when other teams were docked points, it is a fairly brave statement.

Time To Stop The Music

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As the players walk out on to the pitch at Old Trafford, music is blasted out of the tannoy which is reminiscent of something out of Gladiator. You almost expect lions to come racing out of the tunnel after the players!

There have been mutters of complaint about this for sometime, as it prevents the chanting from starting, as any sound from the crowd is totally drowned out by the deafening music.

STATS: United vs City – The Best Supported Club Since The 1940’s and Before Premiership?

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Yesterday, Manchester City still hadn't sold all their tickets for the League Cup semi-final which was due to be played the following day. On the Monday, it was announced that any season ticket holder or membership holder could purchase an additional two tickets.

Given that City haven't played in the semi-final for 28 years I thought it was odd that the game wasn't a sell out.

Bitter Blue Mathieson Talking Nonsense In The MEN

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City supporting journalist, Stuart Mathieson, has written in the Evening News that Manchester United have now been handed the advantage because of the postponed matches.

Why? "It will leave City just 72 hours to prepare for the visit to Old Trafford, while United will have had the comparative luxury of putting their feet up for eight days.

Vidic: I’m Not Unhappy, I’m Just Injured

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Nemanja Vidic pulled out of our match against Leeds United at the last minute, after picking up an injury in the warm up. This meant Antonio Valencia was drafted in at the last minute to go on the bench.

The press the following day was rather surprising though, with it becoming obsessed with Sir Alex Ferguson's post-match comments which were made directly after the game.

Sell All Their Tickets, City Couldn’t Sell All Their Tickets…

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Manchester City are due to play in their first semi-final for 28 years this month, under the guidance of new manager Roberto Mancini.

The population of Manchester is 460,000. City fans say all "proper Mancs" are blue. So why couldn't they sell all their tickets for the biggest game they've played in for almost three decades?

Awww Diddums For Bitter Given

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"I have to admit it took me a long while to get over it. A lot has happened since and it's gone now but it took me a good few weeks, even a couple of months, to get it out of my system. We played so well that day and for them to get such a late, late goal was very difficult for everyone to swallow.

Bloody Snow

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The first leg of the League Cup semi-final has been postponed for two weeks because of the snow.

The fixture, which was due to take place tomorrow, will now take place on January 19th, meaning the return leg has been moved back to January 27th. This has consequences for our Premiership match against Hull which was due to play this week.

Vidic: We Need Rooney… Not Ronaldo

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Nemanja Vidic has sung the praises of team mate Wayne Rooney, claiming that he is tougher to play against than Cristiano Ronaldo.

"If there was ever one player we had to keep hold of then it was Wayne and not Cristiano Ronaldo," said Vidic. "I am not taking anything away from Ronaldo but Wayne is the toughest player to play against.

Fergie: Da Silvas First Choice In Five Years

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After Rafael's impressive display against Wigan last week, as well Fabio being one of the few to give a good account of himself against Leeds, Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed the two Brazilian teenagers are likely to be our first choice full-backs in five years time.

"Rafael was outstanding against Wigan and showed fantastic energy and desire," said Ferguson.

Carrick: League Still The Priority

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Ahead of our League Cup semi-final clash with Manchester City, Michael Carrick has ranked it as the lowest priority for United, whose aim he believes is to win the the Premiership and the Champions League.

"Our first aim in 2010 is to win the league again," said Carrick. "It's always been the first thing we've set out to do and to win four in a row would be amazing.

Foster: We Always Want To Beat City

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Ben Foster had a howler against City in September, gifting them two goals with bad goalkeeping errors. Strictly speaking, he wasn't helped by the United defence though, with the first goal coming from a lack of communication between himself and Rio, the second goal coming from United giving the ball away, and the third goal from Ferdinand ridiculously trying to chip the ball over Bellamy's head at the half way line and failing.

Evans: I’m Back… And I Want Big Role

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Jonny Evans started against Leeds at the weekend after not playing since the first week of November.

He has been frustrated to miss so many games, but now he's back he hopes to play as much as possible.

"It's frustrating to have an injury at any time during the season but it was especially disappointing in the last two months to have missed so many games," said Evans.

Vidic: I’m A United Player And Proud Of It!

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Nemanja Vidic insists that even when not playing he feels the pain of defeat because he is proud of his club.

"I can't stand to lose because it is not good for our title challenge and because I don't like to lose any game," said Vidic. "Losing feels the same as being punched on the face.

Was Vidic Really Injured?

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Some areas of the press have today claimed that Nemanja Vidic's Manchester United future is in doubt after he "refused" to play against Leeds on Sunday, despite taking part in the warm up.

It makes sense with rumours mounting over Vidic's supposed unhappiness in Manchester.

Unless you read the interview with Vidic from the weekend, before the Leeds game, where he talks about the greatness of our club and manager.

It Could Be Worse…

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...we could be scouse.

That is all.

"It Could Be Worse..." was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

No Silver Lining To Leeds Result

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If you are a United fan coming here to read my post-match thoughts to cheer yourself up a bit, then I suggest you fuck off now. If you want to share in the pure rage, stick around.

Before the match, I said these games, cup ties against your biggest rivals, are ones you wait years or lifetimes for.

Fergie: After Law Punch Up I Insisted On Best Behaviour Against Leeds

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During an FA Cup semi-final which finished 0-0, United and Leeds still managed to find a way to make the game more entertaining.

Denis Law

"I was going for the ball, but my shirt was not going with me. Jack Charlton had grabbed a handful of it and was trying to hold me back, I lashed out at Jack and we began swapping punches.

Ahead Of Leeds Scum’s Visit…

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These are the days all football fans crave. Aston Villa haven't played Birmingham in the FA Cup since 1901. Newcastle and Sunderland have waited since 1956. Sheffield Wednesday played Sheffield United in 1993. Arsenal took on Spurs in 2001. Chelsea played Fulham in 2002. You have to wait years for these games.

VOTE for Ryan Giggs on Piers Morgan’s Poll

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Piers Morgan is running a poll for the Best British Player of 2009. Burnley's Graham Alexander and City's Craig Bellamy are racing out in the lead.

Let's really piss him off by getting Ryan Giggs to win his poll.

VOTE FOR RYAN GIGGS

"VOTE for Ryan Giggs on Piers Morgan's Poll" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

WE ALL HATE LEEDS SCUM!

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Can't wait!

"WE ALL HATE LEEDS SCUM!" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Leeds Captain: I Don’t Hate United… They’ve Been Great, Unlike Us!

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Leeds captain Richard Naylor has acknowledged there is no love lost between our two clubs, although recognises how great we've been over recent years... unlike them.

"It's a big game and, after growing up a Leeds fan with all the history, you don't like them very much," said Naylor.

Carrick Can’t Wait For Leeds Game

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Michael Carrick is hoping that Sir Alex Ferguson will pick him to play on Sunday, as Manchester United take on bitter rivals Leeds in the Cup.

"Experiencing those types of feisty atmospheres are why you play football," said Carrick. "Rivalries like that add extra spice. It is great for the fans and good for the players.

COMPETITION: Win Football Factory DVD For Leeds Story

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The FA Cup draw can be absolutely brilliant. It is rare, but when you are drawn against your hated rivals it makes up for all the shitty low league no mark draws your team has ever had.

This year is our year for a brilliant draw. United were the second to last ball to be drawn, Leeds the last.

RoM Interview With The Enemy

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After talking to the fella from popular Leeds blog, The Scratching Shed, they have given their best effort to wind me up too.

Read RoM's interview with TSS.

Roll on Sunday!

"RoM Interview With The Enemy" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

PICTURES: Manchester United in 2009

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Some of the best bits of 2009...

"PICTURES: Manchester United in 2009" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

VIEW FROM THE ENEMY: Leeds Fan On Being Hated, Alan Smith and Munich

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"VIEW FROM THE ENEMY: Leeds Fan On Being Hated, Alan Smith and Munich" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Becks: I’d Love To Score Against ‘Dream Club’ United

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David Beckham said he was close to tears when he found out via text that AC Milan would be playing United in the next round of the European Cup. But he is going to be a professional about the game, hoping to beat United, but trying not to celebrate if he scores against us.

"If I score I will not celebrate," Beckham said.

STATS: Cole + RvN > Torres

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Fernando Torres scored 50 league goals in just 72 games. Wow. Incredible. He is the only Liverpool to achieve such a feat.

We'll ignore the fact that Andy Cole and Ruud van Nistelrooy did it faster.

It took Cole just 65 Premiership games and Van Nistelrooy 68 games. Well done lads.

"STATS: Cole + RvN > Torres" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Carrick: Chelsea Difference Is Not End Of The World

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As we hoped, the football we played against Wigan has filled our players with confidence over what they can achieve, with Michael Carrick claiming the team are patient enough to deal with the two points difference between us and Chelsea.

"Two points difference is not the end of world for us," said Carrick.