Republik Of Mancunia Archives for January 2010

Reflection On A Game We Deserved To Lose

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Can you feel too hard done by when you lose a game you deserve to lose? Not really. It is frustrating that we conceded when we did, in the last second of added on time, but based on the performance, losing 2-1 was fair.

Nani warranted his inclusion ahead of Antonio Valencia when his freekick found Wayne Rooney to put us ahead with just over a minute played.

Looking Back At Bolton and Forward To Munich

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Ahead of kick-off against Bolton I asked the footballing gods for a win and a boost to our goal difference, if possible. Given that we have so often seen our prayers have been heard, I didn't think it was too much to ask for.

However, when Chelsea beat Aston Villa 7-1 I thought someone was taking the piss.

Class of ‘99 – Where Are They Now?

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The 1999 Manchester United have to be high up there on any Bayern Munich fan's most hated list.

But what happened to them?

Team
Peter Schmeichel The victory against Bayern Munich was his last game for Manchester United. After leaving us he spent two years in Portugal playing for Sporting, where he won the league, before moving back to England and playing for Aston Villa.

Who put the ball in the Germans’ net? Albert Quixall!

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Everyone who's ever seen a Manchester United 'golden moments' showreel from the 1990s will know all about David Beckham's astonishing strike from the halfway line against Wimbledon in '96, summed up in Eric Cantona's immortal words: 'Good goal, David.'

Well, a similar goal has been scored once before in United's history.

Ribery: United Are A One Man Team

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Manchester United have been a "one man team" for several years now, according to some. When Ruud van Nistelrooy was at the club and scoring for fun, we were a one man team. Then Cristiano Ronaldo made us a one man team. Now it is Wayne Rooney. It is bizarre that these three players have all played in the same team, yet still we were a one man team.

Evra: CL Defeat Affected Me

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Patrice Evra has again reiterated the stance of so many of our players, claiming last year's Champions League final defeat to Barcelona serves as huge motivation for doing well in the competition this season.

"The one thing that sticks with me most about last year was the worst moment," Evra said.

RoM Is A Different League

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The Republik of Mancunia has been named the best Manchester United blog by A Different League.

First place goes to the site that many saw as the frontrunner, and for good reason. With 9/10 points average the winner of the Best Man Utd blogs 2010 is The Republik of Mancunia. Articles here are thought-provoking and well written, but also meticulously researched by Scott the Red.

Pique: Giggs, Scholes and Neville In Charge At United

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Gerard Pique has gone from strength to strength after leaving Manchester United. Behind the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Wes Brown in pecking order for a central defensive position, he was happy to return to his former club, Barcelona, at the start of last season.

He is now a regular for the Spanish and European champions, with there often being talk of how we shouldn't have let him slip away.

“Smalling Getting Mistakes Out Of The Way Before United”

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Since signing for Manchester United, Chris Smalling's every move is being heavily scrutinised, with the mistakes he makes being highlighted in the press.

Fulham boss, Roy Hodgson, reckons Smalling won't have any problem with the pressure of playing for United and joked that he is getting all his mistakes out of the way whilst he's a Fulham player.

The Story Of Robben, United and Chelsea

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Arjen Robben has today claimed that he has no regrets of joining Chelsea in the summer of 2004, despite his career not going perhaps the way he would like since then, between getting moved on by Jose Mourinho and getting forced out of Real Madrid, before joining Bayern Munich.

So, how did it all happen?

Robben: I Don’t Regret Choosing Chelsea Over United

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Arjen Robben joined Chelsea in the summer of 2004 after being so close to signing for Manchester United.

The talented winger, who is now at Bayern Munich, claims he has no regrets over his decision.

"I sensed there was some disappointment when Bayern were drawn to play United, but I can see good omens for me in this game," said Robben.

Nev: Berbatov Has Been Outstanding

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Manchester United captain Gary Neville has sung the praises of Dimitar Berbatov after his role in our 4-0 victory over Bolton which saw us return to the top of the table.

"Dimitar's performances in the wins against Wolves and Bolton have showed fantastic determination," said Neville.

VIDEO: Berbatov and Gibson’s Goals Against Bolton

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Bolton Wanderers 0 1 Manchester United
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Bolton Wanderers 0 2 Manchester United
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Bolton Wanderers 0 3 Manchester United
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United’s Top Two Scorers – How Does Berbatov Compare?

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1992/1993
8th Eric Cantona (15), Mark Hughes (15)

1993/1994
8th Eric Cantona (18)
16th Ryan Giggs (13)

1994/1995
5th Andy Cole (21)
13th Andrei Kanchelskis (14)

1995/1996
9th Eric Cantona (14)
16th Andy Cole (11)

1996/1997
3rd Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (18)
14th Eric Cantona (11)

1997/1998
7th Andy Cole (15)
26th David Beckham (29)

1998/1999
1st Dwight Yorke (18)
2nd Andy Cole (17)

1999/2000
3rd Dwight Yorke (20)
4th Andy Cole (19)

2000/2001
6th Teddy Sheringham (14)
15th Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (1)

2001/2002
2nd Ruud van Nistelrooy (23)
6th Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (17)

2002/2003
1st Ruud van Nistelrooy (25)
7th Paul Scholes (14)

2003/2004
3rd Ruud van Nistelrooy (20)
22nd Paul Scholes (9)

2004/2005
11th Wayne Rooney (11)
21st Paul Scholes (9)

2005/2006
2nd Ruud van Nistelrooy (21)
4th Wayne Rooney (16)

2006/2007
3rd Cristiano Ronaldo (17)
4th Wayne Rooney (14)

2007/2008
1st Cristiano Ronaldo (31)
9th Carlos Tevez (14)

2008/2009
2nd Cristiano Ronaldo (18)
11th Wayne Rooney (12)

2009/2010.

Ahead Of Our Trip To The Reebok

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A mistake from Gerard Pique saw Nicolas Anelka put Bolton 1-0 up and saw us drop three points behind Arsenal at the top, who had won their game, as had Chelsea.

The Reebok had been our stomping ground for some time so it was quite a shock to see us lose all three of the points there, without putting up much of a fight.

Nani On His Dream Club

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Cristiano Ronaldo couldn't shut up about his "dream club" last season, before making his summer move to Real Madrid.

International team-mate, Nani, has spoken about his dream club today after signing a new four year deal.

"I am delighted to have signed a new contract," said Nani.

Are Sunderland Having A Laugh?

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The second to last game of the Premiership season will see us travel to Sunderland to take on Steve Bruce's team. A former United captain, whose two goals against Sheffield Wednesday towards the end of the 1992/1993 played a significant part in us winning our first title in 26 years, will obviously be professional but I'm sure wouldn't be devastated if three points there lead to another title for United.

COMPETITION: Who Did Rooney Score His First League Goal Against?

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The quality Wayne Rooney canvas, worth £50, is the latest prize on offer for another RoM competition. They are available to buy at Modern Canvas Art and they have a selection of other pictures, including some pretty smart ones of George Best.

We all know Rooney scored a hattrick against Fenerbahce on his Manchester United debut, but against which club did he score his first league goal?

Replacing Believe

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With Manchester United reaching the quarter-finals in Europe yet again, there has been talk of what can be done to mark the occasion if we reach the next round.

The impressive 'BELIEVE' mosaic, which was put in place by Stretford End Flags, has been used for two European Cup semi-finals, two League Cup finals, as well as the European Cup final in Moscow.

RoM Links

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The Mirror reckons Sir Alex Ferguson is controlling Rafa Benitez's mind.

The Chelsea Blog wonders where it all went wrong.

Dirty Tackle talks about football's new best paid player.

The Daily Mail reports that Ribery is heading to Spain.

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

PICTURES: Fletch vs Kuyt

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Darren Fletcher and Dirk Kuyt clashed after the Dutchman went in late and hard.

5 minutes later, Kuyt was subbed off, whilst Fletcher stayed on for the full 90 before being named man of the match.

"PICTURES: Fletch vs Kuyt" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Chelsea Boss Cracking Up After Using Essien’s Calculator

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It looks as though Carlo Ancelotti has been Michael Essien's infamous calculator, with him making an odd claim about how many points will win the league in England.

"I like statistics and I think that, in the past, with 86 points every team has won the title. I think that we need to get 86 points to win.

Can United make it to their third consecutive CL final?

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The Betfair markets have been reacting to Friday's Champions League draw and it's time for punters to step up too.

United backers will be delighted to see the Reds paired with Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals and either Lyon or Bordeaux in the semis. Odds of 4.5 (7/2) on a third Champions League triumph for Sir Alex's men should be snapped up now.

PICTURE: The King Was Back For Liverpool Victory

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"Au revoir Cantona... come back when you have won 18″ read the banner at Anfield all those years ago.

Eric Cantona did exactly that, returning to Old Trafford on Sunday to watch United beat Liverpool, with us winning our 18th title last May.

Cantona was at Carrington yesterday.

Owen: It’s Great At United

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Michael Owen has today revealed that his hamstring operation was a success, than he has the option to extend his current deal, and that he can't wait to play for United again next season.

"I'm just looking to next season now," said Owen. "I've got another year left on my contract here and have the option of a third as well.

RoM Links

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Read an interview with me on Anti-Football.

The Telegraph reports on Park and frog juice.

The Evening News believes England needs the Nevilles this summer.

Football Talk praises Fletch and Park.

Studs Up reveals Wenger's plan to stop Barcelona.

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

Giggs: I Wasn’t Going To Leave Boyhood Club For Inter

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In 2003, Ryan Giggs was linked with a move away from Manchester United to join Inter Milan. It was rumoured that he would leave in a deal that would see Adriano join United.

Giggs has today reflected on his situation as a local lad and United fan getting to play for the club, insisting he never would have left for Inter.

Robson: I Know Gerrard and Carrager Are Hurting

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Former Manchester United captain, Bryan Robson, who lifted the Premiership trophy for United back in 1993, has spoken about how Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher must be feeling.

With United looking good to retain a 19th league title, particularly after our 2-1 win over Liverpool yesterday, there is even more emphasis on the fact this season marks a 20th year without a title for the scousers.

Fergie: Rooney Changed His Mind On Pen Direction

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"Wayne said to me he changed his mind. So I said, 'Never change your mind'," Ferguson revealed. "He went the other way but he got the rebound."

"Fergie: Rooney Changed His Mind On Pen Direction" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

VIDEO: Rooney and Park Goals Against The Vermin

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"VIDEO: Rooney and Park Goals Against The Vermin" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

We Bought Him Just To Sell Shirts, Didn’t We?

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Ji-Sung Park has scored against Arsenal, AC Milan and Liverpool this season.

Not too shabby for a lad we signed just to sell shirts in the Far East.....

"We Bought Him Just To Sell Shirts, Didn't We?" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Vidic: I’m Enjoying Playing For United

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Nemanja Vidic is becoming increasingly frustrated at being linked with a summer move to Spain, claiming that he has done and said everything he can to stop people talking about his future.

"I can't stop people speaking, what can I do? I have said that I'm enjoying being here and playing here," said Vidic.

Rio: I Hid Back Injury From Ferguson

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Rio Ferdinand has played in just 8 of our 30 league games this season thanks to a bad back injury which has kept him out for months.

Our defender has today revealed he kept the extent of the injury from Sir Alex Ferguson but after letting Fernando Torres past him so easily at Anfield earlier this season, the boss called him in to his office to talk.

Giggs: Rooney Loves It At United

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Ryan Giggs broke Sir Bobby Charlton's appearance record when coming off the bench for Manchester United in the victorious 2008 Champions League final, where he scored our final penalty in the shoot out.

Whilst Charlton still holds the record for the number of goals scored for the club, 249, Giggs has now played in 70 more games than any other player.

VIDEO: To Get You In The Mood For Liverpool

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Some goals against Liverpool over the past few years to get you in the mood for this afternoon.

COME ON UNITED!

"VIDEO: To Get You In The Mood For Liverpool" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Fergie: There’s A Hatred There When We Play Liverpool

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Ahead of this afternoon's match against Liverpool, Sir Alex Ferguson has recognised just how well Manchester United have done in his time, but is insistent that we need to look to what more there is to win, rather than what we have won already.

"It's a hell of a haul," he said. "But we have to try to be better than that.

Ferguson Was Right About Chelsea… Now Liverpool

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Following the 2007-2008 season, when Chelsea took the title race to the last day before finishing 2nd, Sir Alex Ferguson claimed that he didn't see how there was much room for much improvement for them.

Ron "Chopper" Harris responded by claiming Ferguson was talking out of his arse. John Terry responded by claiming it was United who had peaked, not Chelsea.

Nani: I Now Understand What It Means To Play For United

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Nani's reputation amongst the fans has grown over the past few months with his form and attitude starting to make dramatic progress.

Whilst he is often still singled out for criticism, it's hard to ignore the measured impact he's had on our games recently, in providing crucial assists and scoring himself (even if his goals against Arsenal and Portsmouth went down as own goals).

The Importance Of Paul Scholes

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When the ball hit the back of the net against Wolves a few weeks ago we all breathed a huge sigh of relief. We weren't playing too well and we were in desperate need of the points. With tough games on the horizon we couldn't afford to drop points there.

I wouldn't have cared if that winning goal had come off Gary Neville's arse, as long as it went in, but it was great to see Paul Scholes get it, given that it was his 100th league goal.

Benitez: United Are Top Whilst We’re Struggling For Top Four

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Last season, things were looking good for Liverpool to win their 19th title, until Rafael Benitez opened his big gob.

Ahead of Liverpool's game against Stoke, Benitez chose to dedicate his pre-match press conference to Sir Alex Ferguson, bringing a long sheets of carefully prepared notes, claiming to have several "facts" about our manager.

RoM Links

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The Guardian looks at Wayne Rooney's less than impressive record against Liverpool.

Studs Up looks at the return of Owen Hargreaves.

The Irish Independent reports on the Irish teenage goalie we've just signed.

The Evening News previews our game against Liverpool.

The Times talks about Henry's return to the Emirates.

Pictures You May Not Have Seen From Nou Camp 99

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"Pictures You May Not Have Seen From Nou Camp 99" 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.

VIDEO: The Man We Have To Stop

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"VIDEO: The Man We Have To Stop" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Fergie: I Didn’t Expect FA To Punish Gerrard

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Ahead of Sunday's match against Liverpool, journalists were searching for a Sir Alex Ferguson rant against the FA, asking him what he thought of Steven Gerrard getting away with two red card offences in a week.

First Gerrard stuck his fingers up at Andre Marriner and told him to "fuck off" but no action was taken.

Champions League Draw: 99 Revisited and Barca Avoided Until Final

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Manchester United have been drawn against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final.

If United make it through to the semi-finals, they were will play the winner of the Lyon vs Bordeaux tie.

Bayern Munich are currently top of the league in Germany, but United are in a good position of playing the second leg at home.

PICTURE: Hargreaves Returns

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Owen Hargreaves played 45 minutes of football for the Reserves tonight against Burnley Reserves in a 2-0 win for United.

Febian Brandy put United ahead after 22 minutes before Corry Evans sealed the win ten minutes in to the second half.

"PICTURE: Hargreaves Returns" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Ask Fergie A Question!

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Ever wondered what it's like to ask Sir Alex Ferguson THE question? Well now, courtesy of our football crazy mates at Betfair, you have the chance to do so.

Simply post your question in the comments section below before Friday 19th March and then tune in to www.betfairfootball.com to see one lucky reader's question answered.

Liverpool Player: This Club Is A Sinking Ship

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Whilst Ryan Giggs is talking about the possibility of a 19th title this season, Liverpool's Albert Riera has been slagging off the manager and claimed the situation of the club at the moment is like that of a sinking ship.

"I've been here two years and I know how he (Benitez) is," said Riera.

Giggs: I’m A United Fan and I Want To Beat Liverpool’s Record

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Ahead of Sunday's game against Liverpool, Ryan Giggs has confirmed that beating Liverpool's title record, after equalling it last season, serves as motivation to win the league this year.

"We are trying to win the league this year and whatever records you break or whatever things you do in history comes after," said Giggs.

The Best And Worst Time Of The Season

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It comes around quickly doesn't it? That time of year when more than ever your life revolves around football. That time of year when the morning of any game feels like the morning of the biggest game. That time of year when you celebrate any goal scored against your rivals as though they were goals your own team had scored.

PICTURE: Terry Breaks Man’s Leg After TNSSO Defeat

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After Chelsea crashed out of the Champions League last night, following a home and away defeat against Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan, John Terry broke the leg of a member of Chelsea's security staff.

The club have claimed that Terry was only driving at 1-2mph in his 4×4, but then, the club also claim that the man only "badly bruised" his leg, whilst the police reveal the leg was actually broken.

Fletch: Memories Of Liverpool Defeats Still Fresh

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If the teams around them win their games in hand, Liverpool will move down to 7th in the league, 5 points behind Spurs and City, 4 points behind Villa and 4 points above Birmingham.

Darren Fletcher has today said we shouldn't let Liverpool's dreadful season, which saw them crash out of the Champions League at the group stages and struggle in the Europa League, fool us in to thinking our match on Sunday will be an easy one.

Guardiola: We Must Try To Emulate Manchester United

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Ahead of Barcelona's Champions League game against Stuttgart, Pep Guardiola has urged his team to show the European form of Manchester United.

"It's a marvellous challenge to try and be one of the best eight sides in Europe and to emulate Manchester United, who last year became the only recent champions to make the quarter-finals the following season," said Guardiola.

VIDEO: The FA Do It Again

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"VIDEO: The FA Do It Again" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

GIF: Stevie Me Guilty Of Yet Another Assault

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Just last week, Steven Gerrard escaped punishment from the FA after he stuck his fingers up at the referee and told him to "fuck off". Given that both Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo have both received yellow cards for sarcastically applauding a bad decision by the referee in the past, it is fairly alarming that Gerrard, who captained England the week before, was let off.

Carrick: Arsenal and Chelsea Results Didn’t Bother Us

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Title rivals Arsenal and Chelsea both picked up three points yesterday, with the blues thrashing West Ham 4-1 at home whilst the Gunners needed an injury time winner to beat Hull who went down to ten men in the first half.

Michael Carrick has today claimed that whilst it is nice to see rivals drop points before United play, it doesn't put any pressure on us when they don't.

Fergie: Fantastic Football From Berbatov

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Sir Alex Ferguson has praised the effort of Dimitar Berbatov today following his goal and assist against Fulham.

The manager claims it was important for the Bulgarian striker to get a goal for himself after missing a couple of headers earlier on.

"The work by Berbatov was fantastic football and he just laid it on a plate for Wayne who took it well," Ferguson said.

Berb: I Preferred Rooney Assist To Goal

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Dimitar Berbatov had a great game against Fulham today, being integral to our game plan and assisting the all important second goal for Wayne Rooney before scoring himself.

After the game, Berbatov revealed he preferred setting up Rooney's goal than he did scoring.

"I'm pleased," said Berbatov.

RoM Reaction To Fulham Victory

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At this stage of the season, I'm not too bothered how we score or how we get the points, just as long as we do. Obviously it would be easier on our hearts if we could grab two goals in the first ten minutes every week but that would be too good to be true.

Today we didn't have to settle for scrappy goals or scrape a win.

VIDEO: Rooney and Berbatov’s Goals Against Fulham

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

New Look RoM

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So here we have it, the redesign for Republik of Mancunia is complete! There may be the odd glitch or two over the next few days and welcome any feedback.

Hope you like it.

"New Look RoM" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Watching United 50 Years Ago: Fulham v Man United, March 26th 1960‏

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Ahead of our game against Fulham, Giles Oakley has reflected on United vs Fulham over the years.

As the Manchester United supporters' unprecedented Green & Gold protest movement gathers momentum , consciously rooted in the club's Victorian origins as Newton Heath, there has seldom been a better moment to explore the Red Devils' sometimes tragic history and sense of identity.

RoM Links

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Piers Morgan paints what may be a painfully accurate picture of David Beckham in The Daily Mail.

The Express reports on Sir Alex Ferguson's claim that Ronaldo could return one day.

The Observer says Wayne Rooney is the best since Sir Bobby Charlton.

The Chelsea Blog tells us why Joe Cole is on his way to United.

New Look RoM

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So here we have it, the redesign for Republik of Mancunia is complete! There may be the odd glitch or two over the next few days and welcome any feedback.

Hope you like it.

"New Look RoM" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

What Is Duncan White On About?

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Duncan White has written an article in The Telegraph which is intended to champion Wayne Rooney. He talks about what a mature man he has become over the past year, which is nice to read, but the foundations for this article are all flawed.

"This time last year, against Sunday's opponents Fulham, Wayne Rooney was sent off for mockingly applauding the referee, Phil Dowd.

VIDEO: James Corden On Meeting United Players and Fergie

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James Corden talks about embarrassing himself at Carrington in front of Sir Alex and Fabio Capello, before working out with Manchester United players for Sports Relief.

Donate to Sports Relief.

"VIDEO: James Corden On Meeting United Players and Fergie" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Looking Back At Milan and Forward To Fulham

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Five years ago I think I would have cried at the final whistle on Wednesday. Beating Milan at the San Siro was incredible enough but to go on to beat them 4-0 at Old Trafford was out of this world. The fact that I was just really happy though, sharing in the happiness of David Beckham wearing the scarf and Real Madrid getting knocked out of Europe brought us, was a reminder of how fortunate we've been over the past few years.

Fergie: We Would Have Needed A Machine Gun To Stop Ron

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Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed that he had a funny feeling that we were going to be drawn against Real Madrid in this year's Champions League and therefore face our former superstar, Cristiano Ronado.

However, on the night that we beat AC Milan 4-0, Real Madrid were knocked out by Lyon, the current fourth best team in France, with a United scout in the crowd watching on.

Rooney: Beating Liverpool’s Titles Would Be A Big Moment

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Manchester United equalled the record number of English league titles last season, which had been held by Liverpool since 1990.

Currently at the top of the table, Wayne Rooney has claimed that it would be a massive achievement to win the title again this season.

"I've always felt the league is the most important one to win, but especially this year," said Rooney.

Rio: Dressing Room Behaviour After Milan Was Weird

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Rio Ferdinand has claimed that the dressing room atmosphere didn't match what someone might perceive a dressing room to look like after beating AC Milan 4-0.

He says the mentality at United requires you to always look forward to the next game and how this attitude is different to that of other clubs he's played for.

Vidic: Rio and I Know All About Each Other

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"Vidic: Rio and I Know All About Each Other" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

STATS: Arsenal, Chelsea and United’s Remaining Fixtures

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We all know that Arsenal have the easier of the remaining fixtures, with United, Chelsea and Arsenal all extremely close together at the top of the table.

These stats show the difference in fixtures between the remaining teams, not looking at the league position of the opponents, rather their position in the home and away leagues.

Friday Quiz: Where Is This Horrible Place?

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It is no surprise to learn that the area above has agreed a £1 billion plan with Manchester City council to redevelop the area. The council owned area of land is deemed unattractive enough to warrant massive funding to improve it.

So where is this horrible piece of land?

"Friday Quiz: Where Is This Horrible Place?

Rooney: Bald Patch Helps With Headers

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After scoring his seventh successive header last night, Wayne Rooney has claimed it's all down to his receding hair line!

"It's coming off my bald patch and that's helping me score," joked Rooney. "I've been working on my heading a lot and thankfully it's paying off. 'I've been in the box a lot more, I've been working on my timing and my finishing.

Cocky Arsenal Boss Plays Down Milan Win

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After thrashing Porto in the Champions League this week, Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger, claimed he thought it would be a good thing to be drawn against an English club in the next round.

It was a fairly bizarre comment, given that Arsenal have been beaten home and away by the remaining English clubs in the competition.

Rooney: I Want United Fans To Respect Me Like Beckham

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"Rooney: I Want United Fans To Respect Me Like Beckham" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

PICTURE: Beckham Is Green and Gold

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It would take a pretty incredible moment to overshadow watching your team batter one of the European giants and second best team in Italy, AC Milan, 4-0 on the night and 7-2 on aggregate.

Yet somehow, the topic of conversation for most as they left the ground was whether they saw David Beckham put on the green and gold scarf as he left the pitch.

Becks Explains Why He Wore Green And Gold

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David Beckham wrapped a green and gold scarf around his neck as he left the Old Trafford pitch last night.

Disappointingly, the former United winger has claimed he didn't know about the connection between the colours and our anti-Glazer protests.

"I'm a Manchester United fan. I saw the scarf there, I put it round my neck," said Beckham.

VIDEO: Rooney, Park and Fletcher’s Goals Against AC Milan

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"VIDEO: Rooney, Park and Fletcher's Goals Against AC Milan" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Fergie: Neville Is A Remarkable Man

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I'm sure I wasn't alone in groaning upon hearing that Gary Neville would be marking Ronaldinho last night. Rafael had a hard enough time in the first leg and he's fast, whilst Neville struggled to keep up with the Wolves players at the weekend.

However, I was happy to be proven wrong, with Neville doing enough defensively to keep AC Milan quiet.

PICTURES: United and Our Former Numbers 7s

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The pictures above were all taken from last night's Champions League action.

Former Manchester United number 7's, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo, went crashing out of Europe last night whilst we progress to the quarters following our 7-2 aggregate win over AC Milan, the second best team in Italy.

Neville Goes Green

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Gary Neville is planning on turning his home in to an environmentally friendly zone. He apparently wants to build this £6 million flower-shaped home on greenbelt land overlooking Bolton, and has also applied to the council for permission to put up a 54m wind turbine, which is almost the size of Bolton Town Hall.

RoM Looks Ahead To Milan

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Before this season, the last time we faced AC Milan in the European Cup we were lacking in confidence and self-belief. Despite going on to be named Champions days after losing 3-0 to them at the San Siro, we had suffered a few barren years and therefore it didn't seem a massive surprised Milan beat us.

FSW’s Defence – Sometimes You Move Your Fingers

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Most managers would be appalled if their captain stuck two fingers up at the referee for booking them, particularly when the yellow card was totally justified.

As the FA try and enforce their Respect the Referee campaign, it doesn't say an awful lot when the player who captained the England national team just last week is showing such obvious disrespect for the referee.

Wes Out For Six Weeks… Not Three Months

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It was reported this week that Wes Brown would be missing for three months after breaking a bone in his foot against Wolves.

More positive reports emerged yesterday though, suggesting the more likely timescale until his return will be four to six weeks, meaning he should make it back for the last three games of the season, but will miss our clashes against Liverpool, Chelsea and City.

Fergie: Green and Gold Or Red… Our Fans United

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Sir Alex Ferguson says he fully expects our fans to get behind the team against AC Milan tonight, despite the on-going protests against the Glazers.

A few weeks ago there had been talks of all fans entering the ground ten minutes late but nothing official has been organised, therefore we should expect a full stadium at kick-off.

The Difference Between United and Chelsea Is Down To Ferguson

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As John Terry creates more headlines for himself, celebrating in exaggerated fashion with his captain's armband after Chelsea's second own goal in the FA Cup against Stoke (sorry...? Deflections only go down as "own goals" when United score?), you have to wonder where he gets this attitude from.

Why does he think it's OK to have an affair with the mother of his best friend's child, cheat on his own wife and mother of his two kids, then offer no public apology?

PICTURE: Stevie Me Sticks Fingers Up At Ref

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Steven Gerrard stuck two fingers up at Andre Marriner last night following the referee's decision to book him. The Liverpool captain tackled James McCarthy from behind, performing one of his famed scissor tackles on his opponent after 81 minutes.

It was a frustrating evening for Liverpool, who failed to muster even one shot on target against Wigan, who are fighting for survival and have conceded 53 goals already this season.

Rafael: Great Privilege To Play In Big European Games

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With Wes Brown reportedly injured and Gary Neville lacking pace, it is likely Sir Alex Ferguson will play Rafael at right back against AC Milan tomorrow and will again face Ronaldinho.

"It was a great privilege for me," said Rafael. "It made me feel that the manager really trusts me by giving me the opportunity to play in this type of match.

RoM Links

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The Independent has a great article on Ferguson, Beckham and what makes us better than other clubs.

The Guardian's gallery looks at United vs the Glazers.

Despite what The Daily Mail thinks, there won't be empty seats of AC Milan game.

John Terry finally says sorry to Wayne Bridge on YouTube.

VIDEO: Will Keane Scores Winner For Reserves… Wearing Number 16 Shirt

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"VIDEO: Will Keane Scores Winner For Reserves... Wearing Number 16 Shirt" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Nev: I Love This Club So Much

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Sir Alex Ferguson revealed this week that Gary Neville may still have another year at Manchester United in him, although unlike the Ryan Giggs and Edwin Van der Sar, Nev has yet to be offered a contract extension.

Despite injuries and suspension this season, Neville has made 19 appearances this season, which may suggest the manager is right in seeing what our right-back may have to offer.

Return of the Beckham – United v Milan at Old Trafford

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Spring is here and what started out as a transitional season for the Reds looks like it could turn into a golden year. You can get 11.0 (10/1) on United pulling off a League Cup, Premier League and Champions League treble and something tell us those odds will narrow over the coming weeks.

On Wednesday, a rare chance to back at home United win at decent odds of 1.

Rio: Berbatov Is One Of The Hardest Runners

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Rio Ferdinand sings the praises of Dimitar Berbatov after his man of the match performance for Manchester United in our 1-0 victory over Wolves at the weekend.

"I wasn't surprised at Berba's work-rate," said Ferdinand. "To be honest if you look at the statistics you'll see that he's one of the hardest runners in our team and that he covers the most ground.

Interview With The Great Granddaughter Of The Man Who Saved United

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Our football club as it was first known, Newton Heath, was having great financial difficulties in 1901 and needed to raise £1000 to avoid bankruptcy. The club held a four day fair to raise money at St. James' Hall on Oxford Road. By the third day, despite a donation from City, United were struggling and it looked as though we were going to go under.

Mr Liverpool Not Bothered About Leaving Liverpool FC

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Jamie Carragher, who is described on Liverpool FC's official website as "Mr Liverpool", has today revealed that if he isn't offered a new deal at the end of next season when his current contract expires, he won't be bothered.

"The club will give me a new contract if they want to," said Carragher.

Beckham’s Dad Wants Milan Win?

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When Jonny Evans played on loan at Sunderland, his mum and dad would make the journey up to the North East to watch him play...

...apart from when United were playing at home, and they would take the season tickets they've had for years to Old Trafford to watch the reds play.

David Beckham, who was brought up a United fan by dad Ted, reckons that his father will be cheering on AC Milan this Wednesday.

Ferguson To Teach Rooney An Important Lesson?

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Ahead of Manchester United's 1-0 victory over Wolves, which was a hard fought affair that we came close to drawing, Sir Alex Ferguson was critical of our star player, Wayne Rooney. After struggling for fitness three days earlier in the League Cup final, and seeing team mate Michael Owen pick up an injury on the disgraceful pitch, Rooney played 86 minutes for England in a friendly, on that same dodgy pitch.

PICTURES: United Beat Wolves

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"PICTURES: United Beat Wolves" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

VIDEO: Scholes Scores 100th League Goal Against Wolves

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"VIDEO: Scholes Scores 100th League Goal Against Wolves" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

LIVE BLOG: Wolves 0 – 0 United – Red Perspective

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Wolves vs United "LIVE BLOG: Wolves 0 0 United Red Perspective" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

“Ronaldo Is A Superstar… I’m Just Valencia”

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Antonio Valencia has again spoken to distance himself from the comparison with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Valencia fills the requirements of a proper winger very well, unlike Ronaldo, who was ridiculously good at scoring goals and whose position became more and more central all the time.

Valencia has scored more goals than James Milner, Ashley Young, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Aaron Lennon, and as for assists, only three players have assisted more goals than Valencia in the league this season.

Smalling: Fergie Showed That United Were The Team For Me

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After blowing the opportunity to sign Aaron Ramsey a couple of years ago by sending Gary Neville to meet the youngster, opposed to Arsene Wenger's tactic of getting a private jet to fly out the player and family to meet him, Sir Alex Ferguson made sure he did things properly when it came to the highly rated defender, Chris Smalling.

Fergie: Wembley Pitch Fit For Horse Show

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Sir Alex Ferguson has laid in to the poor quality of the Wembley pitch after losing both Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen to injuries following playing on it.

"I think Wembley's a difficult pitch," said Ferguson. "I thought a horse show had been on it by the time I went on it. It reminded me of a ploughed field.

Wayne Lets Down United

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Manchester United have the opportunity to go top of the table later today as they take on Wolves whilst Chelsea play in the FA Cup.

A draw would be enough to see us go top, thanks to a superior goal difference, whilst a win would put us two points clear with Chelsea not playing in the league again until next weekend, when they play West Ham at home.

PICTURE: Another Arsenal Banner Tribute… Another Season Not To Worry?

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After Arsenal striker Eduardo broke his leg, Gunners came in our in full support of their player, unfurling a banner which claimed they would win the Premiership and the European Cup in his name.

Arsenal were top of the table at the end of February, but after drawing away to Birmingham, despite their opponents going down to ten men after Martin Taylor was sent off after just three minutes, Arsenal spent the remaining months of the season in decline.

Green and Gold – Fergie Delighted and We Can Wear What We Bloody Like!

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Whilst David Gill is happy to say whatever he thinks the Glazers expect of him, Sir Alex Ferguson has been speaking his mind in relation to the green and gold protests.

Not only has he reiterated his point that he has no problem with the protests, but has even added he is delighted to see our fans out in full force wearing the green and gold.

STATS: Michael Owen’s First Season At United

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Stats
Total minutes of football: 1119
Total goals: 9
Goal ratio: 1 goal per 124 minutes (roughly 1 goal per 1.3 games)
Assists: 2 (1 in Prem, 1 in the League Cup)
Goal responsibility ratio: 1 goal per 102 minutes (roughly 1 goal scored or assisted per 1.

Arsenal Boss: I Am Convinced Of Park Ji-Sung’s Quality

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Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger, has sung the praises of Park Ji-Sung.

Park scored the opening goal in what Wenger called "the most disappointing night" of his career, when United thrashed Arsenal at the Emirates in the Champions League semi-final last year.

We repeated that thrashing this season at the Emirates, with Park on the scoresheet again.

Manchester United’s chances to take the summit

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Manchester United can go top of the Premier League on Saturday evening as the title race gets tight again.

Chelsea's unexpected defeat to Manchester City threw the competition wide open again and there's little to split the Reds and the Blues, and indeed Arsenal, in the betting on this season's Premier League winner.

RoM Links

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The Times claims the Red Knights have raised £1.5b.

F365 reviews the media reaction to Owen's injury.

Red Cafe talks to Duncan Drasdo on the podcast (although you'll have to listen to a 20 minute mundane chat to get to it!)

Sky News has some more information on the latest takeover talk.

VIEW FROM THE ENEMY: Wolves Fan On Weakened Teams, David Jones and Survival

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Ahead of Manchester United's crucial game at the weekend, which a draw alone would see us go top of the table with Chelsea playing in the FA Cup on Sunday, Thomas Baugh from Wolves Blog has given me a few minutes of his time to discuss Kevin Doyle, who he wants to win the league and Antonio Valencia, amongst other things.

Gutted. Owen Out For Season.

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The Wembley stadium surface, which has been widely criticised, has claimed another victim.

Sir Alex Ferguson has today confirmed that Michael Owen will be out for the rest of the season.

Following last season's FA Cup semi-finals, Arsene Wenger, David Moyes and Sir Alex Ferguson all criticised the playing surface.

What MUST Have To Say About Red Knights

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After spending the past few days with "green and gold", "Red Knights" and "Glazers out" making the headlines, then seeing MUST's campaign to get the supporters' backing for the RKs, I got in touch with Duncan Drasdo to ask him what was going on.

I showed him the Are You United? article on RoM and pointed out some of the more pressing questions and criticisms.

RoM Links

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Mark Ogden writes for The Telegraph about our protests putting Liverpool's to shame.

Studs Up makes fun of the Red Knights.

The Belfast Telegraph is full of praise for Corry Evans.

United Rant talks about effect of increased MUST membership.

The Daily Mail looks at the costly mistake made by Chris Smalling in the England U21 defeat against Greece.

Smalling: I Will Be Star-Struck At United

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Eighteen months ago, Chris Smalling was earning £5 an hour as a waiter while studying for his A-Levels. Now he plays for Fulham and has agreed a deal with Manchester United for next season.

The talented defender admits that he will be star-struck when he first joins the club but doesn't feel nervous about playing for United.

Are You United?

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Red Knights are developing a plan to buy United and any new ownership model would aim not only to put the club on a sound financial footing, but would also put all of us, as supporters, at the heart of everything the club does.

Crucially, before they take action, the Red Knights need to know that they have the backing of United supporters.

Rio: Fergie Listens To Our Opinion… But He Has Last Word

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Rio Ferdinand has spoken about the relationship our players have with the manager.

"The manager's the manager and his word is gospel, but over the years he respects anybody who questions what he does to a certain extent," said Rio. "A manager who doesn't allow his players to have an opinion won't be successful – you need strong characters in the dressing room and United have had that over the years, from Roy Keane to Giggsy and myself.

RoM Links

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The Guardian has a nice interview with Rio Ferdinand.

View From Tier 3 asks can our fans revolutionise football.

Studs Up pokes fun at Terry and Bellamy.

The Daily Mail looks at which players have recovered from broken legs.

The Guardian shows just how religious Italian football can be.

Another City Player Assaults Another United Fan?

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Craig Bellamy assaulted Manchester United fan, Jake Clarke, in front of the eyes of the world after City conceded a 96th minute goal by Michael Owen, after Bellamy thought he had earned a point for the blues in the last minute of normal time.

Another City fan has now been accused of assaulting another United fan in the club 42nd Street in town.

RoM Reaction To Beating Villa In The League Cup Final

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"Are you Norwich in disguise?" is how we were greeted by cheerful Aston Villa fans as we walked towards the ground. Their excitement was infectious, all clad in their 'Carling Cup 2010′ embroidered shirts and dopey grins on their faces. It was great to be at Wembley and I of course wanted to see us leave with the trophy, but I did feel a bit of a fraud in knowing I was nowhere near as excited as their lot.

COMPETITION: Manchester Is Red

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Manchester United have had larger attendances than City since the 1940's... even when we were playing at Maine Road! Manchester is red.

To win a Manchester Is Red mug, simply e-mail the answer to the following question with your postal address to: republik_of_mancunia_competition@hotmail.

RoM Links

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The Guardian looks in to who the Red Knights are.

Football365 talks about the ref's cup final performance.

Kickette responds to our cup final victory.

The Daily Mail shows world football's rich list.

The Times reckons Sepp Blatter is going to bin the offside rule.

A Different League has listed us in the nominations for top United blog.

VIDEO FROM THE STANDS: United vs Villa Final

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Before kick off
Uploaded by RepublikOfMancunia
Celebrating MO's equaliser
Uploaded by RepublikOfMancunia

Celebrating with the trophy
Uploaded by RepublikOfMancunia

Lap of honour
Uploaded by RepublikOfMancunia

For more videos from the day check out RoM's Dailymotion.

Evra: Fans Wear Green and Gold Because They Love This Club

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Patrice Evra has offered some support to our anti-Glazer protests.

"They are the original colors of Manchester United and the fans wear them because they love this club," Evra said. "They have their reasons for doing it and we don't think that they're crazy. They'd like things to change.

Owen: I Love Playing For United

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After scoring a crucial goal in yesterday's 2-1 win over Aston Villa, Michael Owen has dismissed rumours he is unhappy with his limited playing time at United.

"I am loving it at Manchester United," Owen said. "There are plenty of people who want to put negative spins on things.

Eckersley Fee Less Than We Hoped For

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Richard Eckersley joined Burnley at the start of the season, following in the footsteps of another United youth product, Chris Eages. He made just four appearances for United and left with the hope of more first team action.

However, it hasn't entirely gone to plan so far, with the 20-year-old finding himself sent off on his Burnley debut in September and has only played twice since, both in cup games.

Rooney Is Arsenal Captain’s Dream Signing

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Piers Morgan: "Which striker in the world would you most like to bring to Arsenal?"

Cesc Fabregas: "Wayne Rooney. He can do everything. A brilliant player."

"Rooney Is Arsenal Captain's Dream Signing" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

VIDEO: Scenes At The Final Whistle and Trophy Lifting At Wembley

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The scenes at the whistle following Manchester United's 2-1 win over Aston Villa at Wembley.

"VIDEO: Scenes At The Final Whistle and Trophy Lifting At Wembley" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Evra: I’m Proud To Follow On From Cantona

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Patrice Evra lifted his first trophy as Manchester United captain, after Gary Neville started the match on the bench, as well as Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand missing the game through injury.

Our French full back has today revealed his pride in being the captain and becoming the second Frenchman after Eric Cantona to lift a trophy for us.

VIDEO: Smithy Gives United A Work Out For Sports Relief

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"VIDEO: Smithy Gives United A Work Out For Sports Relief" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Graham Poll Explains Technicality Which Saved Vidic

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Manchester United fans breathed a huge sigh of relief yesterday after referee Phil Dowd opted not to send off Nemanja Vidic despite him pulling down Gabriel Agbonlahor as the last man.

Whilst a sending off would have ruined the game as a spectacle, Poll reckons there was another reason which saved Vidic.

VIDEO: Owen and Rooney Cup Final Goal’s Against Aston Villa

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"VIDEO: Owen and Rooney Cup Final Goal's Against Aston Villa" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Fergie Praises Patience Players and Fans

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Sir Alex Ferguson lifted his 34th trophy in 23 years as Manchester United manager on Sunday, with the reds beating Aston Villa 2-1 at Wembley.

After going a goal behind after four minutes, goals from Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney gave United the win.

Ferguson has praised the patience of our players in coming back from a goal goal and is pleased with the great support from our fans.

VIDEO: United Player Dressing Room Celebrations

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After beating Aston Villa 2-1 in the Carling Cup final, Manchester United players celebrate in the Wembley dressing room.

"VIDEO: United Player Dressing Room Celebrations" was originally published at The Republik of Mancunia.

Owen: Great To Score And Win With United

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After scoring Manchester United's equalising goal in yesterday's Carling Cup final victory, Michael Owen limped off before half time with a hamstring injury.

Owen was surprisingly upbeat after the match though, insisting he was very happy to have scored and that United, with his only concern being doing well for us, not going to South Africa for this year's World Cup.