Republik Of Mancunia Archives for January 2014

PICTURES: Fabio and Zaha at Cardiff

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Fabio da Silva and Wilf Zaha have posted pictures of themselves in Cardiff training gear this week.

Can Moyes take advantage of Kroos strop?

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Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos has been linked with a move to United during this transfer window and had us on red alert this week after suggesting he's open to a move. His current deal expires next summer and he hasn't begun contract negotiations yet.

"I am unable to rule anything out," he told kicker-Sportmagazin.

RoM Reads

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Scott writes for Bleacher Report about Solskjaer's best moments at United.

The Guardian talks about the difference Mata will make to United.

The Independent talks about Solskjaer's return.

The Telegraph says Mata's signing suggests United are ready to fight back.

Stretty News has GIFs of the goals from victory over Cardiff.

Mata: The atmosphere was amazing

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Juan Mata made his United debut this evening in our 2-0 victory and was received very well by our fans. "Juan Mata, la la la, Juan Mata, la la la" and "He made the rentboys cry, to play with Januzaj, Juan Mata, wooah, Juan Mata, wooah" were two of the favourite chants for him.

"The most important thing is that we won and we got the three points," said Mata.

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: United vs Cardiff

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De Gea; Rafael, Smalling, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Jones, Giggs, Young; Mata, van Persie.

Bench: Lindegaard, Cleverley, Fletcher, Januzaj, Kagawa, Hernandez, Rooney

RoM Reads

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Scott writes for Bleacher Report about whether Juan Mata can inspire United like Cantona did.

The Guardian discusses United's win over Chelsea in their transfer dealings for Mata/Rooney.

The Independent reports on Solskjaer's mixed emotions ahead of this evening.

The petition for a teenage area with cheap tickets at Old Trafford is a few signatures short of 1,000.

Mata and United – a match made in heaven

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All over social media avenues, Manchester United fans are giddy at the sight of Juan Mata's arrival to Old Trafford but the transfer contextualizes the position of both clubs. £37million, a club record, for a player that has been deemed surplus to requirements, sold to a rival that is no longer considered to have the capability of stopping the well oiled machine that is Mourinho's Chelsea.

Mata: I’ll make amazing United fans happy

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Juan Mata has today again reiterated his happiness to be at United and his desire to make the fans happy.

"This is a massive club," said Mata. "The training ground, the fans and the club everything is massive and I'm glad to be here. In the history of the Premier League, they're the team who have won the most trophies.

Mata: United’s #8

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Juan Mata has been given the number 8 shirt to wear at Manchester United, replacing Anderson who left the club on loan earlier this month.

Chelsea’s loss is United’s gain

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Chelsea's loss is most definitely United's gain. One thing that cannot be argued is that United have signed Chelsea's best performer over the last 2 complete seasons. The mood at Stamford Bridge is one of regret at letting such a mercurial talent leave at all, selling him to a direct rival seems insane.

Mata: De Gea is a very good friend

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Juan Mata had revealed that David de Gea played a big part in him deciding to leave Chelsea for United, with his compatriot pestering him over the past few days.

"He has been texting me in the last few days saying, 'when are coming, when are you landing?!' 'Are you coming by helicopter or by bicycle?

Mata: United fans are unbelievable

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At £37.1m, Juan Mata is the most expensive player in Manchester United's history.

However, the Spaniard expects to be a big success at the club, thanks to to the manager, his new team mates and the fans.

"I know it is a big price but I'm confident that everything is going to be okay.

Mata: I’m very proud to have joined this massive club

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Whilst the fans can hardly believe it, Juan Mata is a Manchester United player. In his first interview he talked about proud he is to have signed for us.

"It's a very happy day for me, meeting my team-mates, the manager, seeing the training ground," he said. "It's a massive club and I feel very proud to be here.

Van Persie and De Gea welcome Mata to United

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Robin Van Persie and David de Gea have welcomed Juan Mata to United on Twitter.

Aside from the difference he will make on the pitch, there's no doubt the likes of Van Persie and Wayne Rooney will be reassured by this signing.

PICTURE: Mata arrives at Carrington

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Juan Mata has arrived at Carrington to sign his contract with Manchester United.

Mata: Giggs is an inspiration

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Manchester United confirmed they had agreed a deal to sign Juan Mata from Chelsea, pending an agreement of terms and passing of medical.

One of the first players he'll be seeking out is Ryan Giggs, who he revealed he admired back in 2011.

"He's actually one of the best wingers that there has been and are around right now," he said.

Time for the players to shush

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January has been a dreadful month for United, probably the worst for a couple of decades in terms of the significance of games lost, full of defeats.

It started on New Year's Day with a 2-1 defeat at home to Spurs. Four days later we lost 2-1 at home again, this time to Swansea in the 3rd round of the FA Cup.

United revenue on the increase… despite Deloitte table fall

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It has been widely reported today that Manchester United have dropped to 4th in the Deloitte Football Money League. Whilst Real Madrid and Barcelona were ahead of us last season, now Bayern Munich have moved a place above United too.

This is the first time that United have fallen outside the top 3 since the table was created 1996-97.

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: United vs Sunderland

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De Gea; Rafael, Evans, Smalling, Buttner; Carrick, Fletcher [C], Valencia, Kagawa, Januzaj; Welbeck.

Capital One Cup – United’s only hope of silverware?

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Manchester United head into tonight's Capital One Cup semi-final second leg with a 2-1 deficit to overhaul against Sunderland, with the Old Trafford faithful expectant of progression against a side that has struggled domestically this term.

David Moyes' men have had a bad run of form recently, with four defeats in the last five outings in all competitions playing their part in souring the season for the reigning champions.

RoM Reads

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Scott writes for Bleacher Report about what United can do if they don't sign anyone.

Scott writes for The Metro about our potential bid for Juan Mata.

The Guardian claims a provisional £40m fee has been agreed between the clubs for Mata.

The Independent discusses why Chelsea would be prepared to sell Mata to United.

What to make of Mata rumours

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After Jose Mourinho's appointment as Chelsea boss, several journalists reported that Jose Mourinho wasn't keen on Juan Mata. It wasn't just the Chelsea fans who couldn't believe it. He was one of the best players in the league and had just won Chelsea's player of the season for a second consecutive season.

PICTURE: Former United player posts picture of first game as a kid with Beckham

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Mats Moller Daehli posted a picture to his Instagram account of his first football game.

RoM Reads

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Scott writes for Bleacher Report about some of the tactical battles we'll face vs Sunderland.

Scott writes for The Metro about United's "bad luck".

The Guardian claims we will put in a bid for Juan Mata.

The Daily Mail reports on Gary Neville's claims that Juan Mata is not the right player for United.

Reactions to defeat against Chelsea

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1. There can't have been too many United fans who were expecting a result at Stamford Bridge. Surely a draw was the best we could hope for. Still, it doesn't make it any less disappointing to have your expectations confirmed and an easy 3-1 win for Chelsea made for a disappointing Sunday afternoon.

TOP 5: Manchester United non-summer signings

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As Manchester United hurtle towards the end of the winter transfer window without a single signing, fans can count themselves lucky that the club have once again avoided the pitfalls of the break. The risks are obvious: there's no value in the market, none of the players United want are available, and it's hard to find someone good enough to get into the United side.

VIDEO: Bebe scores a screamer

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LIVE BLOG: Chelsea vs United

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CONFIRMED LINE-UP: Chelsea vs United

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De Gea; Rafael, Evans, Vidic, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Jones, Young; Januzaj, Welbeck.

VIEW FROM THE ENEMY: Chelsea fan on Moyes, winning the league and predictions

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Ahead of today's game against Chelsea, Ramon Isaac from the Chelsea blog Mowing Meadows has taken some time out to talk football.

Scott: How do you think Chelsea's season has gone so far?

Ramon: Personally I think it has gone about as well as it could've done so far.

Fergie trusts Mourinho more than his own brother?? Riiiight…

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It came as a shock to most people when rumours started circulating on the evening of May 7th that Sir Alex Ferguson planned to retire at the end of the 2012/2013 season, having wrapped up the title weeks before the end of the season.

That night, Ferguson rang up his brother and closest confidante, Martin, to let him know of his decision.

Mourinho suggests Chelsea DID offer us Mata/Luiz

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In the summer, when Chelsea were confident their club would be prising Wayne Rooney away from Manchester, a rumour circulated that Jose Mourinho was prepared to let Juan Mata or David Luiz move in the opposite direction.

The rumour was quickly dismissed, with Chelsea fans scoffing at the idea that Mourinho would be prepared to let Mata, their player of the season two years running, leave the club.

Ando: I’m proud to have been a part of this tremendous club

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Having sealed a loan move to Fiorentina until the end of the season, Anderson has thanked United fans and spoken with great affection for the club.

"Thank you Manchester United for all you gave to me," Anderson said. "It was a pleasure and a proud to be part of this tremendous club.

Cahill: Moyes will prove doubters wrong

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Tim Cahill, who played for David Moyes at Everton for eight years, has spoken out in defence of his former manager.

"There's been so much focus on Manchester United's struggles this season, but a manager should be judged over two campaigns and after eight years playing under David Moyes, I know he's got all the attributes to prove everyone wrong," Cahill told Fox Sports.

PICTURE: New banner for Fletcher

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RoM Reads

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Scott writes for Bleacher Report on how we can exploit any of Chelsea's flaws this weekend.

United Rant discusses the teenage section at Old Trafford.

The Guardian discusses Anderson's exit.

The Independent talks about our battle with Real for Gundogan.

Sign the petition for a teenage section at Old Trafford.

I need excitement, oh I need it bad, and it’s the best I’ve ever had…

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In October 1978 the Irish punk rock band The Undertones released their classic debut single Teenage Kicks. In two minutes and twenty seven seconds of pure genius songwriter John O'Neil captured the intensity, joy and pain of teenage passion. The song's anonymous hero blurts out his feelings for a girl he sees regularly around his neighbourhood.

RvP: Moyes will turn things around

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There have been several concerns about Robin van Persie's future at the club this season after reports he is not happy with David Moyes' training regime. The player picked up what Moyes referred to as a "freak injury" when taking a corner and has played in less than half of our games this season.

However, speaking to The Guardian, Van Persie has claimed he is fully behind the manager and believes that he needs time to adjust before he can turn things around.

RvP on Evra’s pre-match playlist which all players contributed to

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Robin van Persie has revealed details about the music United listen to ahead of kick-off. Speaking at the Pepsi 2014 football campaign launch, Van Persie claims that Patrice Evra included the favourite songs of his team mates on a playlist to get them in the mood before the game.

"Patrice asked a group of more than 25 players what everyone's favourite songs were, so now all those songs are in a playlist for before the game," he said.

Evra – Written in to United’s history books

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There are times at which Old Trafford feels akin to Ellis Island in New York. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" reads the inscription at the base of the Statue of Liberty in reference to the millions of immigrants who headed to the United States in search of a land of opportunity.

Section for teenagers at Old Trafford

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Over the past two decades the age of supporters inside Old Trafford has been on a steady increase. According to surveys conducted by the Premier League, the average age an adult match-goer is 41.

Meanwhile, ticket price increases mean that teenagers, whether they are on their own or as part of a group, struggle to afford to attend matches as they have in the past.

RoM Reads

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Scott writes for Bleacher Report about unlikely transfer targets.

BBC Football looks at Ronaldo's journey from Manchester.

The Guardian looks back at when Sir Matt Busby retired.

The Independent talks about the dip in share prices at United.

Ronaldo: I love United and considered return

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Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or for the second time last night, becoming only the second person (after the Brazilian Ronaldo) to win the award twice with as much as a five year gap.

In the lead up to the awards there were lots of reports on Rio Ferdinand trying to convince Ronaldo to return to Manchester.

Fletch: Reports about Moyes make us angry

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During United's awful form over the past few weeks, losing three games on the trot in three different competitions, reports emerged in the papers that David Moyes had lost the dressing room.

Darren Fletcher has spoken of his frustration about these claims and insists that the team in united.

PICTURE: Ando says goodbye

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Whilst there has been no official confirmation yet, it appears as though Anderson will be joining Fiorentina. He took to Instragram this evening to post a picture of himself in a United shirt.

Welbz: I’m a United fan, not just a United player

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Danny Welbeck joined United when he was just a lad and has supported the club his whole life. He grew up playing football on his street with Wes and Reece Brown and always dreamed of one day playing for the club.

Whilst none of our players will be enjoying our position this season, Welbeck concedes it hurts him more than most.

Evertonians on Moyes

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As for most privileged Reds of Generation X and Z, Fergie is all I've ever really known. Whilst in the deepest recesses of my subconscious rests Big Ron, Fergie is the only footballing face of authority I've ever really recognized. This has rendered a significant number of younger United fans extremely anxious, constantly questioning and treating this new person at the helm with caution, suspicion even.

Fletch: Moyes’ tactics changed things against Swansea

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After a few early chances yesterday, United looked absolutely dreadful for the majority of the first half. They were slow, they were pressed by Swansea whenever in possession but didn't put the away side under anything like the same pressure, their passing was poor, when they got in to the final third they didn't know what to do, amongst a whole host of other things.

Reactions To Victory Over Swansea

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1. Having lost three games in a row, with the papers telling us we have to go back to 1961 to find the last time United lost four consecutive games, the pressure was on yesterday. The players and manager keep talking about how the results are unacceptable, but very little seemed to be changing. It was so important for us to win today and it's funny how a dreadful season can make victories at home against midtable opposition feel like bloody fantastic achievements.

Confirmed interest in Ando

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This morning's papers were filled with claims that Anderson was one of the players David Moyes was hoping to offload this transfer window.

He will be pleased to hear then that Fiorentina's sporting director, Daniele Prade, has confirmed the club's interest in signing Ando.

Having only started two games this season, it is clear that he is not wanted or needed by the club, but it has been reported the Brazilian would be loaned out, with a view to a permanent deal.

PICTURE: Moyes at Serie A game today

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David Moyes has been spotted today at the Cagliari vs Juventus game. Astori, Vidal and Marchisio are all playing.


Picture from Tancredi Palmeri

Moyes: Januzaj

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David Moyes has sung the praises of Adnan Januzaj following our 2-0 victory over Swansea earlier this evening.

"Everybody can see what a player we have on our hands," said Moyes. "He can play all the positions [up front]. He played behind the striker for most of the game at Sunderland and we thought he was terrific there so we started him there today.

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: United vs Swansea

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De Gea; Rafael, Smalling, Vidic, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Fletcher, Januzaj; Kagawa, Welbeck.

Lindegaard, Büttner, Cleverley, Giggs, Lingard, Zaha, Hernandez

Van Persie out for 6 weeks?

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In David Moyes' press conference yesterday he confirmed that Robin van Persie had returned to Holland to work on his thigh injury.

Last night on Twitter, someone edited a journalists tweet to say that Van Persie could be out until March, and this rumour quickly spread. Some of the papers this morning are now suggesting, similarly, that he could be out for six weeks.

Moyes: I have no problem with Fergie presence

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Following Manchester United's dreadful campaign, there have been some suggestions that David Moyes is struggling under the presence of Sir Alex Ferguson.

With a Sir Alex Ferguson Way around the corner from the ground and a Sir Alex Ferguson stand in the stadium, it's impossible to ignore that our former manager will always be a presence for any manager that follows.

INTERVIEW: Danny Higginbotham – On The Cliff, Fergie, Class of ’92 and being a red

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Danny Higginbotham is one of many former United academy players who, despite not establishing himself in the first team at Old Trafford, went on to have a successful Premier League career.

During his time at United, when loaned out to Belgian side Royal Antwerp, he was banned from playing for four months after attacking a referee, although received support from Sir Alex Ferguson during this time.

GNev: Eikrem will do well with Solskjaer

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Gary Neville has spoken about his former team mate, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has just taken up the position of manager at Cardiff, under their controversial owen, Vincent Tan.

"He was the kind of player that would write down all the training sessions when he was coming towards the end of his career," said Neville.

POLL: Who do you think is most to blame for our current situation?

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online poll by Opinion Stage



Confirmed line-up: Sunderland vs United

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De Gea; Rafael, Vidic, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Cleverley, Giggs, Januzaj; Welbeck.

Subs: Lindegaard, Smalling, Hernandez, Fletcher, Kagawa, Buttner, Zaha.

LIVE BLOG: Sunderland vs United

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Moyes need to prove he can weather the storm

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The supporters of Manchester United are not enjoying themselves much at the moment. Defeat to Swansea in the FA Cup has left Old Trafford a sombre place. Nobody can disguise the poor quality of United's performances or results and a glance at the league table speaks volumes. Whilst the current situation is not David Moyes's fault, he may not be the solution to it either.

There’s only one Ronaldo!

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When Cristiano Ronaldo first came to United it was apparent to all who watched him on a weekly basis that he was one day going to be a superstar. I don't suppose even his biggest fan could have predicted exactly how good he would become though.

"There's only one Ronaldo!" our fans used to chant in jest, with our skinny teenager, who this country labelled a 'one trick pony' hardly comparable with the Brazilian Ronaldo, who had just been named the best player in the world.

Fletch: We let down the manager and the fans

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Darren Fletcher has spoken about the players' disappointment after losing 2-1 to Swansea at Old Trafford and being knocked out of the FA Cup.

"It's a really disappointed dressing room in there," said Fletcher. "It's a massive blow, let's not kid ourselves, this is a bad result.

VIDEO: Chicharito’s goal vs Swansea

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Manchester United vs Swansea City 1-2 All Goals by Oleeh-1

LIVE BLOG: United vs Swansea

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CONFIRMED LINE-UP: United vs Swansea (FA CUP)

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Lindegaard; Smalling, Evans, Ferdinand, Buttner; Valencia, Fletcher, Cleverley, Kagawa; Welbeck, Hernandez

What went on with “suicidal” De Rossi?

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As the transfer window drew to a close, Manchester United reportedly put in a £12m offer for Daniele De Rossi. Ed Woodward had promised us a world class talent and De Rossi seemed to fit the bill. He was 30-years-old, so obviously older that we had probably wanted, but he ticked all the other boxes.

FA CUP 4TH ROUND: Manchester United

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If Manchester United beat Swansea today, they will play against in the 4th round of the FA Cup.

Suck it up, Wazza

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In October 2010, Wayne Rooney claimed that he would not be staying at the club because he feared that it didn't match his ambition. Have just missed out on the title but one point the season before, following three successive Premier League crowns, he sounded more than a little foolish.

By the end of the season, United were champions again and Rooney even scored a goal in the Champion League final, again illustrating how premature he had been to write the club off.

Evra: It’s an honour to captain United

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Patrice Evra's form has been hit and miss for some time, which would usually lead fans to get on a player's back and discuss their exit from the club. It's different with Evra though because of how he has taken the club to his heart. Like Eric before him, he's a Frenchman who really understands what it means to play for United.

Jim Wilson – United’s striking hope for the future

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Although Manchester United have, by far, the best record for playing home grown talent since the last World War, the 2 positions we have struggled to make a breakthrough in the last 25 years has been Goalkeeper and a Striker. Why that is I really cannot figure out as we have done really well in every other position on the pitch.

What is Solskjaer thinking about?

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has gone from strength to strength since retiring from playing football, firstly when in charge of our Reserve team and then as manager of Molde. The Norwegian side had never won the league before his appointment, a stretch going back 100 years, but they won it in both of his first two seasons at the club.

VIDEO: Welbeck’s goal vs Spurs

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Welbeck by goalsandmore

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: United vs Spurs

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De Gea; Smalling, Evans, Vidic, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Cleverley, Januzaj; Rooney, Welbeck