Republik Of Mancunia Archives for January 2013

Six wins but still sixth

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Manchester United finished the year with the kind of incoherent performance that has had the fans a flutter this season. The 1-0 victory over Norwich required the most obliging opponents imaginable and a fair slice of luck. But the wins are coming now, and the club finish December more in expectation than in dread.

Manchester United vs Tottenham Preview – Live on BT Sport

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Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur
Old Trafford, Manchester
Wednesday, January 1st, 2014 – 5.30pm kick-off
Premier League
Live on BT Sport

Manchester United and Tottenham's first match of 2014 comes against each other on New Year's Day, as the north Londoners travel to Old Trafford with both sides on 34 points.

Impact of Manchester United’s youth… compared to Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City

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Manchester United

Tom Cleverley 15 appearances
Danny Welbeck 13 appearances, 6 goals.
Adnan Januzaj 13 appearances, 3 goals.
Jonny Evans 12 appearances
Ryan Giggs 9 appearances
Darren Fletcher 3 appearances

Total: 65 appearances, 9 goals.

How Meulensteen revolutionised the youth at United

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Youngster's learning curve, The Telegraph, September 30th 2005

When Manchester United's Academy boys glide from their dressing rooms at the club's magnificent skill factory hidden deep in the Trafford countryside, they run past 10-foot high photographs of David Beckham, Sir Bobby Charlton, Duncan Edwards, Ryan Giggs and George Best.

Time for Morrison to come home?

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You always want your academy players to come through the ranks and make a success of their career in the first time. The one youngster who had people talking more than any other was Ravel Morrison. Not just because of the controversy that surrounded his personal life, but because of his supreme ability.

Moyes: It was all about Welbeck

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Manchester United endured an awful first half away to Norwich, in the absence of the likes of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, leaving reds to fear our run of good results was about to come to an end.

However, David Moyes' decision to bring on Danny Welbeck at half-time turned the game around.

Rooney back for next game

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We were left to panic this afternoon when rumours that Wayne Rooney hadn't travelled to Norwich proved to be true and United started with Javier Hernandez our only striker to start.

Thanks to Danny Welbeck, who came on at the start of the second half, United picked up all three points in Rooney's absence.

VIDEO: Welbeck goal vs Norwich

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Norwich City 0-1 Manchester United (Goal Danny... by videosondailymotion

LIVE BLOG: Norwich City vs. United

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CONFIRMED LINE-UP: Norwich vs United

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De Gea, Smalling, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Young, Carrick, Cleverley, Giggs, Kagawa, Hernandez

Norwich: Ruddy; Martin, R Bennett, Bassong (c), Olsson; Fer, Johnson; Snodgrass, Hoolahan, Redmond; Hooper.

Subs: Bunn (GK), Whittaker, van Wolfswinkel, Elmander, Garrido, Becchio, Josh Murphy.

Reactions to United’s win over Hull

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1. Before today, Hull had conceded 3 goals at home all season. The team closest to that is City with 5 goals conceded at home, followed by Liverpool and Arsenal on 6 goals. You probably would expect the league's best defensive record at home to belong to a club in the bottom half of the table, but Steve Bruce should be applauded for the job he's done with the newly promoted side.

VIDEO: United’s goals vs Hull

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Hull player: I grew up supporting United

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Warrington born James Chester, who joined Hull in 2011, has spoken about the early days of his career spent at Manchester United.

He joined the academy when he was 8-years-old, coming from a family of United supporters, and signed on as a trainee when he was 16-years-old.

"I went when I was eight or nine and I was there until I signed for Hull when I was 21," said Chester.

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: Hull vs United

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De Gea, Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Cleverley, Fletcher, Young, Rooney, Welbeck.

Subs: Lindegaard, Vidic, Carrick, Fabio, Kagawa, Januzaj, Hernandez.

Hull: McGregor, Bruce, Chester, Davies, Elmohamady, Figueroa, Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore, Graham, Sagbo.

Hull subs: Harper, Rosenior, Faye, McShane, Koren, Boyd, Fryatt

LIVE BLOG: Hull City vs United

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Hull players who started their career with United

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James Chester playing today

Chester, born in Warrington, joined United's academy when he was just 8-years-old and signed on as a trainee when he was 16. He went straight into the club's under-18 team, making 17 appearances that season.

He continued in the under-18 side the following season, and scored his first goal on December 9th 2006 against Manchester City.

Happy Christmas, reds

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United produce more footballers than any other English club

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Research by the CIES Football Observatory found that United have produced more footballers in the top five European leagues than any other English club.

Looking to the clubs at Europe's top five leagues, Barcelona, Lyon and Real Madrid are the only clubs to have produced more players.

"The Premier League came up with the statistic that we have got the most homegrown players competing in league football and that is a credit to our Academy," explained Reserves coach Warren Joyce.

Hasn’t Rooney always been a team player?

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Wayne Rooney currently has 8 assists this season, more than any other player, helping to justify the club's decision to cling on to him this summer.

David Moyes has sung Rooney's praises for his attitude this season, which has been hard to fault, and goes some way to explaining why he has opted to name the striker captain in the absence of Vidic and Evra.

Fairytale of De Gea

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Valencia: Luck changed after ditching 7 for 25

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Antonio Valencia was voted United's best performing player in the 2011-2012 season, so it seemed like the right decision to move to the #7 shirt from #25 when Michael Owen left the club that summer.

Valencia struggled for form and confidence all season and quickly reverted back to his old shirt.

Cleverley: Playing for United is a dream come true

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Tom Cleverley has been in for plenty of stick this season following a string of poor performances, with some fans arguing that he will never make the grade at United, whilst others are keen to be patient and see whether he can replicate a turn around like Darren Fletcher did.

December has been a good month for Cleverley though, with him forming a decent central midfield partnership with Phil Jones, and even scoring a goal in our 3-0 win over Aston Villa.

VIDEO: GNev’s reaction to possibility of scousers winning the league

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On Sky Sport's Monday Night Football, Gary Neville was less than impressed what Jamie Carragher discussed the possibility of Liverpool winning the league.

Ribeiro wants Manchester over Madrid

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Everton Ribeiro, who won Brazil's Player of the Year earlier this month, has again stated his desire to join Manchester United in January.

The midfielder has previously played in a youth tournament at United and when asked by Globoesporte whether he would prefer a move to United over Real Madrid, the 24-year-old said: "Yes, I would prefer that.

VIDEO: Powell scores again

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Nick Powell scored his eighth goal of the season in Wigan's 2-1 win over Reading away from home the day before yesterday.

David Moyes insists that Powell, as well as our other youngsters out on loan, has a future at the club.

"I am quite actively looking at our own boys like Jesse Lingard, Nick Powell and Ryan Tunnicliffe, the boys who are out on loan," Moyes said.

Reactions to United’s win over West Ham

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1. United started the game strongly and gave the fans the reassurance early on that we wouldn't be losing our third league game in a row at home. There was attack after attack from United, with it appearing to be only a matter of time before we put one away. It was so reassuring to see us pick up where we left off after the good performance against Villa.

Fellaini out for six weeks

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Marouane Fellaini is doing himself no favours when it comes to being labelled a flop, with the club confirming he will be out for six weeks after having an operation on his wrist.

David Moyes hinted on Friday that surgery may be the answer, but after scans from a back injury returned, it is presumed the club decided it would be best for him to deal with his long-standing wrist issue whilst out injured with his back.

VIDEO: Welbeck, Januzaj and Young’s goals vs West Ham

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CONFIRMED LINE-UP: United vs West Ham

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De Gea, Rafael, Evra (c), Evans, Smalling, Januzaj, Valencia, Jones, Cleverley, Rooney, Welbeck

Moyes responds to criticism of being “amateur” following RvP’s injury

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In the summer, fitness coach Raymond Verheijen called David Moyes a "dinosaur" after our manager claimed he was "overtraining" Robin van Persie to get him back to full fitness.

With Van Persie now injured, Verheijen has criticised Moyes again.

"Coincidentally when United were in Sydney last July, I was there as well," Verheijen told Irish radio station NewsTalk.

Moyes: I’d definitely back knighthood of Law

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The Manchester Evening News has launched a campaign calling for Denis Law to be knighted and David Moyes has been asked whether he would support that.

"100% I would back that, definitely" Moyes said with a smile. "I said when I first came in that I was thrilled to meet Sir Bobby Charlton.

Fletch needed in Carrick and Fellaini absence

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Darren Fletcher returned to the first team after spending a year recovering from the chronic bowel condition which some claimed would end his career. His every touch was cheered when he came on in our 3-0 win over Aston Villa and had a good 20 minutes, even if you have to take in to consideration how poor the opposition was.

TOP 5: United games at Christmas

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Winter is a wonderful time, and Christmas is even more special. It is special because amongst all the utter, utter tedium of hanging out at home and eating the worst meat of all time, turkey, you get to watch an enormous amount of football. Christmas has so many games that it can destroy a season just watch Arsenal fall apart in the next few months and it poses a gruelling test.

Agent confirms Chicharito’s future at United

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Javier Hernandez has been linked with a move away from the club after spending another season with limited playing time.

Since Robin van Persie joined the club, Chicharito has been on the sidelines and hasn't played as much football that a player of his quality deserves.

However, despite Chicharito hinting at his unhappiness with his current role on Twitter, his agent, Eduardo Hernandez has claimed the Mexican striker is staying put.

VIDEO: Young and Evra interviewed after Stoke win

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PART V: Bill Foulkes and the Harry Gregg fall out

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The hidden legacy of Munich: tensions between Bill and Harry Gregg

One of the pleasures of seeing the ‘Class of ‘92' in action is the palpable sense, even after all these years, that the likes of Giggs, Scholes, Beckham, Butt and the Neville brothers are still terrific friends.

LEAGUE CUP SEMI-FINAL: United versus…

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[not available]

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: Stoke vs United

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de Gea, Rafael, Evra, Jones, Smalling, Evans, Cleverley, Anderson, Welbeck, Antonio Valencia, Young.

Substitutes: Hernández, Nani, Fletcher, Kagawa, Büttner, Zaha, Johnstone.

PART IV: Bill Foulkes and the End of the Rainbow in ’68

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The Holy Grail in Europe

Everyone at Old Trafford and indeed throughout football, if not the wider world, knew that Matt Busby was obsessed with winning the European Cup. He never put it into words but everyone assumed he saw it as the only possible way of vindicating his original decision to enter Europe back in 1956, with all its tragic consequences two years later.

Miscellaneous Musings on Keane vs Vieira: Best of Enemies

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The finest sentence of Roy Keane's 2002 Autobiography reads; "I like dogs, because unlike humans, they don't talk shite." As a human myself, who also happens to be a dog owner, I can see where he's coming from.

It's the sort of candor that's become synonymous with the man; a brand of deliberately outspoken contrariness that has led some notable Reds (namely Pete Boyle and Andy Mitten) to liken Roy to Mancunian musician Morrissey.

PART III: Bill Foulkes and the Munich aftermath

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Part II of this tribute to Bill Foulkes looked at the rise of the Busby Babes and the tragedy of Munich. In this part of the story we're told about the role Foulkes played as the club was rebuilt after Munich.

The Munich Aftermath

When the Babes were destroyed on the runway at Munich Bill Foulkes and Harry Gregg were the first to get back into action, soon followed by Bobby Charlton, whose injuries were relatively slight.

United’s midfield problem has a solution

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The spine of a Manchester United team is emerging from the wreckage of the season's first fifteen games. In Sunday's 3-0 victory at Villa Park, David Moyes quietly found a solution to United's central dilemma; How to disguise United's lack of midfield bite. The solution was not a surprise.

The win over a flailing Aston Villa side was constructed around the performances of Rafael and Valencia on the right flank.

Reactions to United’s victory over Aston Villa

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1. Well that was a relief. Not just three points in the bag but United actually looked like a half decent side again. I made the trip to Aston today and wasn't entirely sure what I had in store for me. We're so hit and miss, that you genuinely couldn't rule out us absolutely thrashing Villa, or getting absolutely thrashed by Villa.

Moyes: Our away fans don’t stop singing

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David Moyes has sung the praises of Manchester United fans after they have continued to get behind the team despite a string of poor results.

"When I first became Manchester United manager I described how incredibly privileged I felt to take on the position, and that belief has only been reinforced during my short time in the role," he told 12th Man.

PART I: Bill Foulkes – His United beginnings to Munich

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When Manchester United announced that Bill Foulkes, one of the club's finest former players, had died at the age of 81, I was greatly saddened to hear that one of my all-time favourite footballers had passed away. Bill had been such a central figure throughout my earliest days as a supporter the feelings of nostalgia were poignant, but also tinged with a strange kind of guilt.

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: Villa vs United

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De Gea; Rafael, Evans, Jones, Evra; Valencia, Cleverley, Giggs, Januzaj; Rooney, Welbeck.

Bench: Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Young, Fabio, Fletcher, Buttner, Zaha.

Villa: Guzan; Lowton, Clark, Baker, Luna; Westwood, El Ahmadi, Sylla; Albrighton, Agbonlahor, Benteke.

LIVE BLOG: Aston Villa v Manchester United

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VIDEO: Welbeck and Cleverley goals vs Aston Villa

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Fletch: I couldn’t give up on playing for United

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Darren Fletcher played his first game since Boxing Day last year today as United cruised to a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa.

After a chronic bowel condition threatened to end his career, Fletcher insists that he is now back for good, and aims to nail down a place in the team.

"This is it, I'm back for good," said Fletcher.

Moyes: Fletcher looked like he had never been away

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Darren Fletcher was greeted fondly by the travelling Manchester United fans at Villa Park this afternoon when he came on to the pitch to warm up at half-time. "There's only one Darren Fletcher!" the crowd sang on repeat, and "Darren Fletcher, football genius!" which he applauded in response.

He came on to replace Giggs with 70 minutes played, his first football since Boxing Day 2012, and David Moyes reckons the midfielder looked like he had never been out of the team.

Best United goals under Fergie

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United managed 2,762 goals under Sir Alex Ferguson, roughly two scored for every one conceded. Everyone will have their favourites of the Ferguson era. Sometimes it's about context Solskjaer's winnerin the 1999 Champions League Final and the Mark Hughes volley against Oldham that saved the double spring to mind.

PART II: Bill Foulkes the Busby Babes

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Part I of this tribute to Bill Foulkes looked at his early playing days. In this part of the story we're told about Bill's rise to the first team and being a part of the Busby Babes.

Bill and the Busby Babes

Eventually Matt managed to persuade Bill to quit the pit and go full time, but not before the craggy full back had played for England in 1954, bizarrely the only time he did so.

Great CL draw for United

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Manchester United have been drawn against Olympiakos in the next round of the Champions League.

United finished top of the group, meaning we had better chances of a more favourable draw.

City and Arsenal finished 2nd in their groups, meaning they will play Barcelona and Bayern Munich respectively.

United: the vaguely acceptable face of mania, obsession and ecstasy.

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Not just the most dramatic end to a football match that we'll ever see, or even the most dramatic end to a football match that anyone will ever see, but the single most dramatic, consuming event that most of us will ever see in the course of our lives. United: the vaguely acceptable face of mania, obsession and ecstasy.

VIDEO: Jones goal vs Shakthar

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Goal Jones Manchester United 1-0 Donetsk 10... by video4all

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: United vs Shakhtar

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De Gea, Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Buttner, Giggs, Jones, Januzaj, Kagawa, Young, Rooney.

Live Blog: Manchester United v Shakhtar

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RoM Reads

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Scott writes for The Metro about the Newcastle defeat.

The Guardian talks about Keano's latest criticism of Fergie.

The Independent discusses United's best and worst performing players this season.

Pride of all Europe says this season isn't all down to Moyes.

United Rant compares United now to United 12 months ago.

Van Persie: Makes me really happy playing with Rooney

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Having played his first game in a month at the weekend, Robin van Persie is looking forward to being reunited with Wayne Rooney tomorrow night when we take on Shakhtar Donetsk.

"What I enjoy most is the interaction together, that we both want to play together," Van Persie said. "We both realise that we are better off playing together, because we are stronger when we are playing together, as a partnership.

Reactions to defeat against Newcastle

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1. With ten minutes left to play yesterday, fans were streaming out of the exits at Old Trafford, not prepared to stay until the final whistle confirmed our second home defeat in a matter of days. People have trotted out the stat pointing to the end of the 2001-2002 season, when Sir Alex Ferguson's United lost two games in a row at home.

COMPETITION: Win a France shirt

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The Republik of Mancunia has teamed up with UK Soccer Shop to give away an International shirt every week for 11 weeks in an exciting competition that will test your United knowledge to its limits!

How To Play

Each week we will show you a silhouette of a Manchester United player, and to enter the competition all you need to do is tell us who it is via our online form below.

FA CUP DRAW: United drawn against…

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Swansea

Confirmed line-up: United vs Newcastle

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De Gea, Rafael, Evans, Vidic, Evra, Januzaj, Cleverley, Jones, Nani, Hernandez, van Persie.

LIVE BLOG: United vs Newcastle United

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Reactions to defeat against Everton

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1. We've lost and drawn so many "must win" games now that it's probably time we stopped describing matches this way. Every single game between now and May is a "must win" after the points we've dropped and any talk of a "tough start to the season" is completely invalid when it comes to discussing our current league position.

LIVE BLOG: Everton vs United

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CONFIRMED LINE-UP: United vs Everton

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De Gea, Rafael,Smalling,Vidic,Evra, Valencia, Giggs, Fellaini, Welbeck, Kagawa and Rooney.

Subs: Lindegaard, Evans, Cleverley, Nani, Young, Hernandez, Januzaj.

PICTURE: Bill Foulkes flag

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There will be a minute's silence for Bill Foulkes ahead of tonight's game against Everton. The picture above is the design Stretford End Flags has chosen for a flag.

In the programme notes for the game, David Moyes has paid tribute to our former player, who sadly passed away last week.

"Bill was a giant of a man who played a big part over almost two decades for this club, surviving the Munich air crash and then helping Sir Matt Busby's side become the first English winners of the European Cup ten years later," writes Moyes.

Scholes and Butt coaching our lads in Europe

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This season a new competition has started for Under 19 teams of all the Champions League qualifiers. The teams are all in the same groups of 4 as the senior teams are and the top 2 go through to the next round.

United are at a bit of a disadvantage over some of their rivals as United don't usually have an U-19 team, instead having an U-18 team and an U-21.

PNev: I nailed my colours to the mast

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In an interview with The Guardian, Phil Neville has talked about his time at Everton, following his transfer to the Merseyside club in 2005.

David Moyes made Neville his captain, much to the amusement of Liverpool supporters, but he didn't feel as though he was really accepted until he had been at the club for a few years.

PNev: I cried my eyes out when I left United

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In an interview with The Guardian, Phil reflects on the day Sir Alex Ferguson invited him round to his house to tell him that it was time for him to move on.

Of course, the manager was right, with Phil thriving at Everton and becoming captain, but that didn't change how disappointed he was to be leaving the club he loved.

COMPETITION: Create a new United chant

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Reds globally dream of having their chant reverberate around the Theatre of Dreams. Have you ever wanted to have one of your chants immortalised in MUFC folklore? Well maybe now is your chance. Please send your original song entries tojonathan.shrager@gmail.com for Pete Boyle's consideration.

COMPETITION: Win a Savile Rogue bar scarf

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Republik of Mancunia has teamed up with Savile Rogue to give you the chance to win one of the world's finest cashmere football scarves in United colours.

Savile Rogue scarves give a nod to football terraces of yesteryear, shunning in-your-face logos and cheap nylon in favour of a traditional design and the comfort, quality and warmth of top grade wool.

VIDEO: Giggs interview at Class of 92 premiere

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The goings on from the Class of 92 premiere

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Last night I was fortunate enough to be one of the few people to see the live screening of the new United film, Class of 92, which focuses on our Youth Cup winning side of 1992.

Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes and Phil Neville tell the story of their careers, which is all building up to that incredible Treble winning season in 1999.

The Month: November

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November is the focus so, naturally, it's worth looking at a game played in December. The 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane was a disappointment, though, yes, it doesn't much sound like one: but, given the points Manchester United dropped prior, a win was as necessary as one can be around this point of the season.

Reactions to the draw with Spurs

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1. Today's game against Spurs was described as a "must win" by some. The problem with dropping points against teams you shouldn't is that when you have more difficult games, like Tottenham away, the pressure is on to win. We drew with Cardiff just a week before Arsenal breezed past them at the same ground.

VIDEO: Rooney’s goals vs Spurs

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Former Manchester United coach gets Fulham job

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Rene Meulensteen has taken over first team duties at Fulham after Martin Jol was sacked today.

Harrison: Wife said I was too harsh on Class of ’92

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Eric Harrison, the coach hailed for bringing through the brilliant Class of '92, has explained to Gary Neville exactly what it entails to cut it at United. He also claimed that his wife told him that he was too harsh on the youngsters, claiming that he was a 'disgrace' for the way he spoke to them.

Chelsea manager makes his opinion on bringing through youth known

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Ahead of Chelsea's game against Southampton, Jose Mourinho has explained his club's poor record of bringing through youth team players on having less time at a big club.

Ryan Bertrand is the closest thing Chelsea have had to an academy product making the first team recently, who the West London club bought from Gillingham when he was a teenager.

Scholes: Young players don’t have same chance I did

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In an interview with Gary Neville, Paul Scholes has claimed that young English players have nowhere near the same opportunities he had as a kid wanting to play football.

"When we were coming through, it was nearly all English players with maybe one or two Irish or Welsh," said Scholes.

VIDEO: New Januzaj chant

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I want to tell you, I might as well do, about a boy who can do anything.

He comes from Belgium, his name is Adnan, Januzaj! Januzaj! Januzaj!

Fergie addressed youth team problem after 4 weeks in charge

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Eric Harrison, the Manchester United coach credited with bringing through that fantastic team of 1992, has claimed that he owes his ability to establish a great youth team to Sir Alex Ferguson putting faith in the academy.

Harrison says that after a few weeks Ferguson spoke to him about his concerns regarding the youth team.

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: Tottenham Hotspur vs United

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De Gea, Smalling, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Jones, Cleverley, Kagawa, Rooney and Welbeck.

Bench: Lindegaard, Rafael, Anderson, Hernandez, Nani, Young and Fellaini.

Spurs: Lloris, Walker, Vertonghen, Paulinho, Dawson, Chiriches, Lennon, Sandro, Soldado, Dembélé and Chadli.

Bench: Kaboul, Holtby, Capoue, Townsend, Defoe, Sigurdsson and Friedel.

LIVE BLOG: Tottenham Hotspur vs United

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