Republik Of Mancunia Archives for January 2015

David James makes more strange comments about De Gea

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Earlier this month, David James was guilty of making some very strange comments about David de Gea. He argued that our number one should be dropped in favour of Sergio Romero.

"When he plays, Manchester United do let in quite a few goals," James said. "Romero starts the season and has three clean sheets, with lots of people questioning why De Gea wasn't playing.

PICTURE: Pardew the last time Palace beat United

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Manchester United take on Crystal Palace tomorrow but the last time they beat us in the league was in the 1990-91 season. Andrei Kanchelskis made his debut in this 3-0 away defeat, with Mal Donaghy, Neil Webb and Mark Robins also playing for United.

United have played Palace in the league 14 since then, winning 12 of them and drawing the other two.

Scholes could have chosen his words better – “riddled with foreigners”

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Without any context, if you were to see a headline which was referring to something negative with "absolutely riddled with foreigners", you would presume it was some dim-witted right-wing article, someone blathering on about inaccuracies relating to immigration.

However, it was Paul Scholes who made these remarks, after Manchester City became the first team this season to not name a single Englishman in their starting XI in Wednesday's League Cup game against Crystal Palace.

STATS: United’s alarming passing and shooting figures

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Stats published on Sky Sports make horrible reading for Manchester United fans. We have more possession than any other team in the league, we pass the ball backwards more often than anyone in the league, and we have more passes per shots or chances created than any team in the league. Grim.

LvG: If Scholes has a problem, he should talk to Giggs

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Paul Scholes was basically a mute when he played for Manchester United, but since retiring, he is more than happy to speak to the press.

His career started with him writing a blog for Paddy Power, with every post accompanied with a picture of him shouting in to a Paddy Power megaphone. He's since been a pundit for ITV, Sky Sports and BT Sport, as well as having his own column in The Independent.

Fabio: It was hard leaving Rafael at United when I was sold

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Fabio Da Silva left Manchester United in January 2014 for Cardiff, much to the disappointment of the supporters. Two and a half years earlier, Fabio had been chosen in United's starting team in the Champions League final against Barcelona and there had been the hope he would still be able to prove himself.

Di Maria confirms what we already knew about United signing

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Angel Di Maria has confirmed what we already knew, in that he never wanted to leave Real Madrid, and when he was told he was being sold, he wanted to join PSG. The French club were unable to sign him though after breaching FFP rules, meaning Di Maria had little choice to sign for United, the only other club prepared to meet the asking price.

Fabio: Fergie couldn’t tell the difference between me and Rafael

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Fabio Da Silva has talked about life at Manchester United and how manager Sir Alex Ferguson couldn't tell the difference between the Da Silva twins.

He used to get us mixed up, but everyone did. We were there six years but still some of the staff couldn't tell us apart. Sir Alex came in half time once and started given me a row but it was meant for my brother.

PICTURE: Rooney laser investigated by FA

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Wayne Rooney was the first Manchester United player to take a penalty in the shoot-out against Middlesbrough on Wednesday night. He missed, as he has done all too often when taking penalties for United, but replays showed that a laser was being shone on his face as he prepared to strike the ball.

The FA have confirmed they will be investigating the incident.

Fabio: I could have stayed at United if I wanted

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Fabio Da Silva has revealed that he wasn't sold against his will by David Moyes, but that he made the decision to leave Manchester United after getting such limited playing time.

I had a chance to stay at United but I wasn't going to play so what was the point of staying there just to keep with my brother but not play football?

Scholes: I wouldn’t enjoy playing for LvG

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Paul Scholes, who has been very vocal since retiring from playing football, has yet again criticised Louis van Gaal's playing style at Manchester United.

There's a lack of creativity and risk. It's a team now you wouldn't want to play against because they're tightly organised. But it seems he (Van Gaal) doesn't want players to beat men and it's probably not a team I'd have enjoyed playing in.

RoM Reads

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Scott writes for The Metro about LvG's regrets at changing the team too much last night.

The Mirror reports on how Rio Ferdinand could have cost us our 2008 CL final.

The Guardian insists Rooney needs to be dropped.

The Independent discusses Scholes' claims that he wouldn't want to play for LvG.

Herrera: I feel at home at United

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Ander Herrera is a huge fan of football and that is why, he says, he loves playing in the Premier League so much. He believes that the fans are given more consideration here than what he is used to, and reflects on United's game against Cambridge in the FA Cup last season to explain this.

I feel at home at Manchester United.

LvG: Playing youth has always been my philosophy

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Manchester United started Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira and James Wilson in the defeat against Middlesbrough in the League Cup yesterday. The former two gave a good account of themselves, while Wilson was replaced by Wayne Rooney at half-time because of injury.

When it came to the penalty shoot out, Pereira was the only United player to score, with England internationals Rooney, Michael Carrick and Ashley Young all missing.

RoM Reads

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Scott writes for uMAXit about why we did well to avoid Jose Mourinho.

ESPN reports on Xavi's advice for Rooney.

talkSPORT has an interview with Renee Meulensteen about Rooney.

The Mirror has a video on the Class of '92 vs Salford in a training session.

Henry: Scholes is the greatest ever Premier League player

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Thierry Henry has claimed that Paul Scholes is the greatest player the Premier League has ever seen, but that he doesn't get the plaudits he deserves.

I would have to go Paul Scholes. I don't think people have given him the credit he deserves. (He's) one of the best, if not the best, I've played against, he could do anything.

Pereira: I hope I get the chance to score again tonight

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In the last round of the Capital One Cup, Andreas Hereira scored his first Manchester United goal with a fantastic freekick against Ipswich.

Ahead of United's game against Ipswich this evening, Pereira is hoping that Louis van Gaal will give him another opportunity to show what he can do.

If a free-kick appears and you've been practising, you sometimes have a feeling you will score.

Jones: Tonight will be a massive game for Boro

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Ahead of Manchester United's Capital One Cup game against Middlesbrough tonight, Phil Jones has acknowledged the players are wary, as the match will be a massive one for the opposition.

Middlesbrough are a good Championship team, they have played well this season and it will be a different game for us.

Schneiderlin: I hope we win the League Cup

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Morgan Schneiderlin is hoping that the Capital One Cup can be the first piece of silverware he wins as a Manchester United player.

Our chances of winning the competition were boosted by the exit of Chelsea and Arsenal last night.

The cup is something that allows every player to get an opportunity.

Pereira: United have given me everything

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Andreas Pereira started his career at PSV but agreed to join Manchester United when he was 15 after Sir Alex Ferguson went to see him, turning down offers from Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal.

Now, as a 19-year-old, Pereira has reflected on what United have done for him.

PSV helped me a lot when I was young and United have helped make me the player I am today.

RoM Reads

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Scott discusses Rooney's situation for ESPN.

The Guardian sings the praises of Chris Smalling.

uMAXit says it's time to drop Rooney.

The Mirror discusses United's playing style under LvG.

Rooney’s statement about testimonial match

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It has been confirmed that Wayne Rooney will have a testimonial next summer to mark the 12 years he has been at the club. All the of the proceeds will be donated to four charities. NSPCC, who Rooney is an ambassador for, Alder Hey Childrens' Hospital, Claire House Hospice, where Coleen's younger sister was cared for before she passed away, and the Manchester United Foundation.

Jones: Smalling is a great leader

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Phil Jones has sung the praises of his defensive partner, Chris Smalling, and hopes that the pair can get more playing time together.

I hope there is the potential for a partnership between us. Every time I play with Chris, we're comfortable. I think he's a great leader and we complement each other well.

Valdes wants to stay in the Premier League

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Victor Valdes has had a dreadful time at Manchester United since joining on a free last January. He didn't play until the end of last season when David de Gea picked up an injury and was expected to become the number one this season when De Gea left for Real Madrid.

However, before it was confirmed that De Gea was staying at the club, Valdes and Louis van Gaal fell out, meaning Sergio Romero was used in the opening fixtures of this season when De Gea's future was still up in the air, with Valdes being left out of the squad.

Jones: What the ****?!

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Phil Jones has only started two games this season after developing a blood clot in one of his calves shortly after arriving back from our pre-season tour of the United States.

Jones has revealed his reaction to being told that he had a problem and would be unable to play for over a month.

I thought: ‘what the f***?

Rooney: Martial is probably the quickest player in the league

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Wayne Rooney has sung the praises of his teammate, Anthony Martial, after settling so quickly in England and making such a big impact on the pitch.

I think he has been incredible, how he has come over to Manchester and started the way he has. Let's not forget he is still a very young lad as well.

Rooney: Smalling is one of the best in the world

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The transformation of Chris Smalling over the past year has been immense, with him going from a liability at the back to our most dependable defender.

Wayne Rooney has sung the praises of his teammate, claiming he is one of the top three in the world for his position.

He has been incredible and for me he is right up there in world football in terms of centre-halves.

Rio: City fans appeared from nowhere after the takeover

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Rio Ferdinand has poked fun at Manchester City's glory supporters who were nowhere to be found before the money. Noel Gallagher hadn't gone near a City game for God knows how long until they won the league, leaving Ferdinand to ask where all these 'City fans' were before.

The whole dynamic changed after the takeover when the money started coming into City, the intensity and rivalry went to a whole different level.

Mata: Our fans deserved derby day victory

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Juan Mata has updated his blog with thoughts on yesterday's 0-0 draw with Manchester City.

Hi everyone, today I'm writing from home, a few hours after our derby against City. Obviously, all of us were expecting something more from this game, both in football and in the score. Honestly, because we pushed more in the second half I think we were closer to the victory than City, but at the end it was one point for each team and both remain up there in the table.

Was De Bruyne playing today? Ask Marcos Rojo

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In the seven games before the derby, Kevin De Bruyne had scored five goals, as well as two in two for Belgium during the international break.

With every passing week, the decision to make him the most expensive player in the Premier League looks all the more warranted, while Jose Mourinho's decision to sell him to Wolfsburg for £10m less than Chelsea spent on Juan Cuadrado looks all the more bonkers.

LvG: I’m proud of my players today

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Following the 0-0 draw against Manchester City this afternoon, in a game we dominated, Louis van Gaal has claimed he is proud of how his players performed.

I am very proud of my players because I think we played 90 minutes of a tough game. Both sides played a very tactical game.

Smalling: City were hanging on for a point

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Chris Smalling had another good game for Manchester United in our 0-0 draw with Manchester City. Our defender believes we were the better team and deserved the win but he is happy with the clean sheet.

I think we probably edged it overall with the chances we had in the second half.

LvG: The fans applauded us off the pitch today because we controlled City

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Louis van Gaal believes that there is hope for Manchester United's future following the way we controlled the game against Manchester City this afternoon.

When you see this game, I think the fans were also very proud of the players because, when I go back to the dressing room, they were applauding us.

STATS: Wayne Rooney’s derby day in numbers

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Passing
Completed: 17 (the same number as Joe Hart and less than David de Gea)
Accuracy: 55%
Completed in final third: 3 (the same number as Vincent Kompany and Chris Smalling)
Final third accuracy: 27%

Shots
On target: 0
Off target: 1

Chances created
0

Crosses
Attempted: 4
Completed: 0

Possession losses
5 (more than any player on the pitch)

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: United vs City

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De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Rojo; Schweinsteiger, Schneiderlin, Herrera; Mata, Rooney, Martial.

Subs: Romero, Blind, Darmian, Carrick, Lingard, Memphis, Fellaini.

City: Hart, Sagna, Kompany (C), Otamendi, Kolarov, Fernando, Fernandinho, Toure, Sterling, De Bruyne, Bony.

City subs: Caballero, Zabaleta, Demichelis, Mangala, Roberts, Navas, Iheanacho.

Di Maria failing to impress in Paris

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"When will it click?"

It's disappointing to hear that Angel Di Maria is a flop in France too...

Jones: We want our fans to have the bragging rights

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Ahead of the derby this afternoon, Phil Jones insists that he is looking for Manchester United fans being able to go in to work on Monday morning with the bragging rights.

They're great players but City can also bring great players into the squad as well. It can be a bonus [if they don't play] but they've got terrific players throughout, which is why they're up there and have been for the last two years.

Rooney: We want to win today for local pride

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Wayne Rooney has scored more goals in the Manchester derby than any other player, but has played down the idea that this game will decide who wins the title.

Winning is top of our agenda, but you can't say whichever team wins will go on to win the title. There is a lot of local pride, we want to win and it's important that we go into the game confident.

PICTURES: Derby day moments over the years

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United fans in the crowd in 1926 when we faced City in the FA Cup semi-final at Bramhall Lane.

George Best scoring against City at Old Trafford in 1968.

United fans invading the pitch on derby day in 1974 in a failed attempt to get the game abandoned and avoid relegation.

Eric Cantona equalising and celebrating with Lee Sharpe at Maine Road in 1993.

Jones: My favourite derby was when RvP scored a late winner

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Phil Jones has reflected on his favourite derby, which was in December 2012, when Robin van Persie scored an injury time winner.

I'd go for the one when Robin scored the winner when we were 2-0 up. They came back to 2-2 and then Robin curled one in late on. It was a great day.

There is no other feeling like it, especially against City, your local rivals.

Manchester United v Manchester City

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Schweinsteiger: Cantona is my idol

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What music motivates @BSchweinsteiger? #BPM has the answer ⚽️ #MUNMCI https://t.co/imfIkANhg6

- Beats By Dre UK (@beatsbydreUK) October 23, 2015


Pork knuckle or fish and chips?

POLL: Do you think Smalling is captain material?

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"Wayne Rooney is the captain and so you don't have worry and then (vice-captain) Michael Carrick, but when they are gone then Chris Smalling can do that, so I push him also in that situation," Louis van Gaal said of Smalling.

Herrera: Liverpool game bigger than City game

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Ander Herrera has acknowledged that Manchester United vs Liverpool is a bigger game than the Manchester derby, but insists that Sunday's game against City is still very important.

I have the experience of last year, when we beat them at home, and I think it was the best atmosphere of the season.

Herrera: We have the best away fans in the league

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Ander Herrera has spoken fondly of Manchester United away supporters, reflecting on a moment earlier this season away to Southampton when he wished he was in the away end with the fans.

I feel it. I feel the fans support and I have to say thank you to everyone. The only way I can say thank you and show my appreciation is to keep doing my best and keep fighting for the club.

Manchester United v Manchester City Preview [Infographics]

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Manchester United will host their local rivals Manchester City in the weekend Premier League fixture scheduled between the two sides at Old Trafford. The derby clash between the two Manchester clubs has been exciting one to watch in recent years, especially after the Citizens were taken over by Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan bin Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, commonly known as Sheikh Mansour.

STATS: Rooney’s top goalscorer before 30

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Herrera: I’m living the dream playing for United

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Ander Herrera is happy with the development that he's made so far at Manchester United but is still hoping to get better.

I am ambitious, I want to play better and better. I am improving, when you love football you are always thinking about getting better. I can improve a lot. My aim is to try to play as many games as possible and to help the team.

PICTURE: Nazi doll in Schweinsteiger’s image

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A toy company from China has been selling Nazi dolls that bear a striking resemblance to Bastian Schweinsteiger. The dolls are also called "Bastian" but Patrick Chan, a representative from the company, says it's just a coincidence.

We offer no figures based on the football. The resemblance is purely coincidental.

Schweinsteiger: I’m excited about making a rare derby appearance

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Bastian Schweinsteiger doesn't have much experience of playing in local derbies, with 1860 Munich spending the past decade in the second tier of German football. Bayern Munich faced their locals rivals on just three occasions, as a result, Schweinsteiger is looking forward to getting some derby day action on Sunday against Manchester City.

RoM Reads

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Scott discusses the derby for ESPN.

The Guardian has an article on United, Liverpool and the 1990s.

The Mirror has 30 facts about Wayne Rooney.

The Express reports on the criticism Angel di Maria is facing in France.

Campo Retro have shirts from £20, with free name printing and free delivery.

LvG: Manchester has more United fans than City fans

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Ahead of the derby on Sunday, Louis van Gaal has acknowledged that this match is the talk of the town, and that he hopes United can repeat the performance against them at Old Trafford last season, when we won 4-2.

In Manchester people are talking of the match. I can imagine that because Manchester City have a lot of fans, but Manchester United has more fans so it shall be a battle.

Schneiderlin: We want to make a statement in front of our fans

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Morgan Schneiderlin scored his first goal for Manchester United last weekend, when we beat Everton 3-0 at Goodison Park. As a result, our midfielder is going in to Sunday's game against Manchester City full of confidence.

I always say, for me, it's not the most important thing for me to score a goal.

VIDEO: Martial goal vs CSKA Moscow

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Anthony Martial makes it five goals in nine appearances for Manchester United in our 1-1 draw with CSKA Moscow.

STATS: Wayne Rooney’s goalscoring record

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Rooney: I’ll treasure my medal from Moscow forever

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Ahead of Manchester United's Champions League game against CSKA Moscow, Wayne Rooney has reflected on when he was here in 2008 when we beat Chelsea in the final.

Whatever football you play, whether it's club or international, you always want to be successful, so we winning the Champions League is the pinnacle of your club career.

RoM Reads

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Scott writes for uMAXit about whether Jesse Lingard's time has come.

The Telegraph reports on LvG's defence of Rojo after being ridiculed by Russian journalists.

The Guardian talks about Solskjaer's return to Molde.

The Express reports on Calderon's fears that Ronaldo is going to return to United.

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: CSKA Moscow vs United

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De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Rojo, Schweinsteiger, Schneiderlin, Lingard, Herrera, Martial, Rooney

Lahm: I knew it was Schweinsteiger’s dream to go to United

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Philipp Lahm has reflected on when Bastian Schweinsteiger left Bayern Munich in the summer, and insists that Manchester United are lucky to have him.

It was sad when Basti left because we had this rich history together. We came up through the ranks and won the Champions League, world championship.

RoM Reads

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Scott writes for ESPN about the sad decline of RvP.

Scott has the player ratings for ESPN from United's win over Everton.

The Guardian reports on Neymar's father's claims that we tried to sign him.

The Mirror shows Adidas' new "Stretford" trainers.

The Premier League site confirms Rooney is now the second highest scorer in Premier League history.

Lingard: My family came to watch me at Goodison Park

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Jesse Lingard had a good 45 minutes for Manchester United yesterday, after replacing Juan Mata at half-time in our 3-0 win over Everton at Goodison.

The youngster has revealed that when he had been named on the bench he organised for his family members to come to the ground just in case he got on the pitch, so was delighted to get some playing time.

Muller: There are no guarantees I’ll stay at Bayern Munich

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Manchester United put in a huge bid for Thomas Muller this summer but club president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told the press that their striker would never. He also told Ed Woodward to stop e-mailing him offers.

Muller has revealed he liked the faith Rummenigge showed in him but concedes that you never know what will happen in football.

Herrera: I love fans chanting my name with Cantona’s

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Ander Herrera has been a favourite among the fans since he joined the club from Athletic Bilbao, with him giving everything on the pitch and regularly praising the supporters for sticking by the team. He has his own chant and Herrera has revealed that he loves hearing the fans singing his name.

When I hear them chant my own name I feel really, really proud.

Muller: There’s logic behind everything LvG does

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One of the new rules put in place by Louis van Gaal at Manchester United is that the players all have to eat together at the training ground. None of the players can dig in until the manager gives the signal. Thomas Muller has revealed it was the same at Bayern Munich when Van Gaal was the manager there, but there is a very good reason for it.

Herrera: I want to go to a game with our unbelievable away fans

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Ander Herrera scored one and assisted another in Manchester United's 3-0 win against Everton at Goodison Park. The away end was, typically, vocal all game, much to the delight of Herrera.

I am enjoying the best league in the world. I think it has the best organisation, the best stadiums, the best atmosphere.

Lingard: On a different day, I would have scored!

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Jesse Lingard was brought on at half-time against Everton yesterday and had a good 45 minutes for the first team. Lingard had two good chances to score, but pulled one shot wide, while he struggled to get the other one out from under his feet.

Louis van Gaal confirmed after the match that the decision to replace Juan Mata with Lingard was a tactical one, and the winger has revealed what the manager told him to do.

PICTURE: LvG celebrates United win

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LvG: Great to see Rooney score against former club

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Louis van Gaal has sung the praises of Wayne Rooney after scoring Manchester United's third in our 3-0 win over Everton today.

I am not interested who is scoring the goals, the team has to score and we have scored three times as a team, and we could have scored five times I think.

Herrera: Rooney is our leader

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Wayne Rooney scored his first goal against Everton since our 4-2 win over them in 2007, to ensure that we took all three points home today.

Ander Herrera has sung the praises of Rooney, who has been poor so far this season, hailing his importance.

He did great work for us.

LvG: I’m very happy with Lingard

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Louis van Gaal chose to replace Juan Mata with Jesse Lingard at half-time this afternoon, in Manchester United's 3-0 win over Everton.

Mata struggled to have an impact on the game and Everton's attack had the most success down the the Spaniard's side of the pitch. The manager has confirmed the decision to substitute Mata was a tactical one and sung the praises of the youngster.

Herrera: I thanked Rojo for my goal!

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Morgan Schneiderlin put Manchester United 1-0 up after 18 minutes at Goodison Park this afternoon, before Ander Herrera made it 2-0 four minutes later.

Marcos Rojo, playing his first 90 minutes of the season, played in a perfect cross to Herrera to head past Tim Howard.

It was a fantastic cross, I said thank you to him!

Herrera: We are here to fight for everything

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Ander Herrera scored one and assisted another in Manchester United's 3-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park today. The Spaniard was particularly impressed with the performance, showing that United aren't just going to roll over following the battering by Arsenal before the international break.

If we keep playing like this we can beat everybody.

VIDEO: Schneiderlin, Herrera and Rooney goals vs Everton

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CONFIRMED LINE-UP: Everton vs United

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De Gea, Darmian, Smalling, Jones, Rojo, Schweinsteiger, Schneiderlin, Mata, Herrera, Rooney, Martial.

Bench: Johnstone, Blind, Carrick, Lingard, Pereira, Fellaini, Memphis.

Everton Preview – Five Keys to Victory

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After a fairly promising, albeit unspectacular opening to the Premier League campaign, which had led to Louis van Gaal leading the club to the top flight's summit for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson's final game, United were sent crashing down to earth in their last outing.

The crushing defeat demolition suffered at the Emirates had little time to resonate with the players before once again whisked off to all corners for another drab, unwanted international break.

Mata: The stats don’t lie, Mourinho

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Juan Mata was very happy at Chelsea before Jose Mourinho was appointed manager. He had been voted as player of the season for the previous two seasons.

Mourinho wasn't a fan though and regularly put him on the bench, publicly insisted that Oscar was the better player.

Mata has been asked about this criticism and happily pointed out that he's matched his goal scored for Chelsea, but in much fewer games.

PICTURE: Beckham signing his first contract with United

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"I was in one of the corporate boxes with the manager," Beckham said. "We'd had a nice dinner and then we went in to his office and I remember having a blazer on with gold buttons and I'd been given a Man United tie. It was actually my birthday, so we'd had a cake. There's actually a picture of me and the manager signing my papers.

RoM Reads

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Scott has written for uMAXit about Robin van Persie.

The Guardian has an update on Victor Valdes' future.

The Mirror discusses who United should be playing in midfield.

Squakwa looks at Diego Forlan's praise of Paul Scholes.

Soccerlens reports on the genius of Paul Scholes.

Fergie: We gave City the title

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Towards the end of the 2011-12 season, Manchester United were in good shape to win the title. But in the final few weeks of the season, they lost to Wigan, drew with Everton and were then beaten by Manchester City.

Sir Alex Ferguson has spoken to ESPN about what that moment was like and talked about the impact this had on United breezing their way to the title the following season.

Fergie: Youth development is at the foundation of United

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Upon becoming manager of Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson made it a priority to follow in the footsteps of Sir Matt Busby and put youth development at the heart of the club again.

When asked by ESPN whether the opportunities for young players to develop have become limited, Ferguson has claimed United are the only club where that problem isn't relevant.

Fergie: 1999 was what Manchester United is all about

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Now that Sir Alex Ferguson has retired, he is often asked what was his greatest moment as manager of Manchester United. Unsurprisingly, the answer he always gives is us winning the Champions League against Bayern Munich in Barcelona, 1999.

In an exclusive interview with ESPN, Ferguson has discussed why this is the moment he has to pick.

Fergie: I let Ince leave because I had Scholes and Butt

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In the summer of 1995, when Sir Alex Ferguson sold Mark Hughes, Paul Ince and Andrei Kanchelskis, people thought he had lost his mind. Alan Hanson famously claimed that the replacement for these players, the kids, would never win anything.

In an interview with ESPN, Ferguson has reflected on that decision and insisted that his faith in Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt is what allowed him to let Ince leave.

PICTURE: United include Chelsea gear at Adidas kit launch

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At the beginning of the month, Adidas launched their official retro Manchester United kit range, however, one of the models was still wearing his Chelsea tracksuit bottoms when posing with a United jacket.

Evra: It’s still hard to talk about how I left United

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Patrice Evra was a fan favourite at Manchester United and really seemed to love playing for the club. He signed a new contract at United in May 2014 but then was sold to Juventus two months later.

Evra hasn't revealed the full details of what happens but hints that the club did something to force him away from Old Trafford.

Fergie: It’s no surprise that Rooney is United’s captain

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Sir Alex Ferguson has discussed with ESPN the decision of Louis van Gaal to make Wayne Rooney Manchester United captain. The former manager believes it's no surprise that Rooney was given the armband.

Wayne was a typical English player, determined when he came to United, so it's not a surprise that he is the captain.

Jones: United have sold the best dribblers of the ball

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Phil Jones has done a Q&A with the official site about the best players he's played with and again. He cites former Manchester United wingers Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo as the best dribblers of the ball he has played with and against.

Best set-piece taker played with?
"I'd say Wayne Rooney.

Fergie: If we’re near the top at Christmas we can win the league

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In an exclusive interview with ESPN, Sir Alex Ferguson has talked up Manchester United's chances of winning the league this season. He believes that after Louis van Gaal brought in six new players there was always going to be a time for them to settle, and once that happens, the team could be strong enough to win the title.

Darmian: I didn’t think twice about joining United

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Matteo Darmian made a great start to his Manchester United career, although in the past few games has struggled for form, and has been subbed off by manager Louis van Gaal.

However, speaking to Inside United, Darmian has reflected on his how his move to United took place and his determination to play in the best league in the world.

Fergie: Cantona and Ruud had Rooney’s problem

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It's no secret that Sir Alex Ferguson and Wayne Rooney's relationship deteriorated towards the end of the manager's time at Manchester United. Still, despite that, Ferguson backs Rooney to rediscover his form at United, after the striker has suffered plenty of criticism for his performances this season.

PICTURE: Memphis most popular PL player for shirt sales

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KitBag have published statistics today which show that Memphis Depay is the most popular name to have on the back of a Premier League shirt, only bettered in European football by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Bastian Schweinsteiger also features on the list, moving up 27 places and a staggering 795% from the World Cup year that preceded.

De Gea: Eto’o and Chicharito are the best finishers, but Valencia is the fastest

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David de Gea has done a Q&A with the official site where he has discussed players he has played with and against.

Who is the fastest player you've played with?
Antonio Valencia

Fastest player against?
That's a tough one, but I think it's Gareth Bale.

Beckham: My Miami club will be run like Manchester United

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David Beckham has spoken of his plans for his new football club which will be based in Miami. He previously hinted that his team might be called Miami United or Miami Reds, and now he has claimed he wants the club to be run like Manchester United.

We want the club to be run professionally everything needs to be run like a club like Manchester United.

Muller: I’m tempted by United’s money

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Bayern Munich rejected a massive offer from Manchester United for Thomas Muller this summer, but the German striker has conceded that he is tempted by the money on offer in the Premier League.

In the end, we should not forget that playing football is our job. So people should accept that wages will always play a role in a player's decision-making.

RoM Reads

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Scott talks about the season so far for London Evening Standard.

Scott writes for ESPN about why United should hold on to Marcos Rojo.

The Guardian discusses Wayne Rooney's potential return to Everton.

The Mirror reports on Nick Powell's future.

Campo Retro's 75% off sale ends today.

TOP FIVE: Moments of the Manchester United Season So Far

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The season took an ugly turn just before the international break, and there have—rightly—been plenty of physical and digital column inches dedicated to all the things that are wrong at United at the moment.

However, we here at TOP FIVE towers, aim to brighten your day rather than darken it whenever that is possible, so without further ado, we present the TOP FIVE glorious moments of the season so far.

Rooney is on the wane

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Rooney is on the wane. Even at his peak, he was prone to explosive bursts of excellence rather than long term consistency. Now the bursts have gone and we are left with persistent mediocrity. It's no longer a shock when Rooney doesn't play well; it's a shock when he does.

He wouldn't be the first teenage star to explode onto the scene before beginning to fade seemingly before his time.

Mata: I love the atmosphere and music of Manchester

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Juan Mata has spoken about life in Manchester, revealing that he is very happy in the city and that there's still plenty more for him to see and do yet.

The best thing about living in Manchester is that it has a very ‘British' atmosphere, very English. And then there is the music – a lot of really big groups have come out of Manchester.

VIDEO: Schneiderlin vs Lingard – box of balls

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Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin take on new teammate Jesse Lingard in the Swissquote Red Zone ‘Box of Balls' trial which put their decision making, speed and balls skills to the test.

The two players have to battle against the clock and decide how best to release five golden balls from a box of red balls in the quickest possible way.

Deschamps: Martial is silencing his critics

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Plenty of people were critical of Manchester United's decision to spend £36m on teenager Anthnoy Martial in the summer. However, the youngster has made a great start to his United career and has been playing well for the French national team in the Euro qualifiers.

France boss Didier Deschamps has sung the praises of the youngster and is pleased to see him start silencing his critics.

Fergie: Moyes was unfortunate but LvG has right experience 

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In an exclusive interview with ESPN, Sir Alex Ferguson bas spoken about the two Manchester United managers who have followed him at Old Trafford.

It's difficult, I think, replacing a guy who's been there 27 years. In terms of my philosophy and how I did things, all the staff were mine.

Fergie: We kept progessing so didn’t have Arsenal’s problems

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Arsenal last won the title in 2004, when the likes of Martin Keown, Patrick Vieira, and Thierry Henry were still playing. Since Arsenal were last champions, United have won the league five times and won the Champions League.

In an exclusive interview on ESPN, Sir Alex Ferguson has looked at the 11 year title drought and claimed the same could have happened to him, if he had stagnated and not built on the success of the double winning team in 1994 or Treble winning team in 1999.

VIDEO: Martial assist for Benzema’s France goal

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Great assist by Anthony Martial for Benzema #MUFC pic.twitter.com/MFryradZU2 vine

- Manchester United (@MUFC_today) October 9, 2015

Anthony Martial zijn dribbels heerlijk om naar te kijken


Martial: Great welcome from United fans thanks to goal against the big enemy

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Anthony Martial has reflected on his start to life at Manchester United and his goal against the "big enemy" Liverpool.

It is going well so far. I have had a great welcome from the fans. I don't think about my price on the pitch. The goal against Liverpool, the big enemy of the club, allowed the fans to get to know me a bit better.

Smalling: I couldn’t turn down Ferguson

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Chris Smalling has reflected on when he made his move from Fulham to Manchester United, not long after he had been playing non-league football.

It happened so fast. I was getting settled at Fulham, then to have that interest so quickly was a dream. To know that Sir Alex Ferguson wanted you to play for him was an opportunity that was too hard to refuse.

Schneiderlin: I’m not at Southampton – I can’t expect to play every game

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Morgan Schneiderlin was left out of Manchester United's team when we lost 3-0 to Arsenal last weekend. Not playing Schneiderlin seemed an odd decision from Louis van Gaal, given the midfielder is great at breaking up play, and the team were made to pay for his omission.

Schneiderlin has acknowledged that his situation at United is different to when he was at Southampton.

Mata: I don’t want to get involved in Valdes and LvG row

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Louis van Gaal's falling out with Victor Valdes has meant that the Spanish goalkeeper hasn't played for the club since the final game of last season. Valdes reportedly claimed that he didn't need to play in any more U-21 games for fitness purposes, which lead to a row with the manager, and after a summer transfer move away broke down, the goalkeeper isn't allowed to even attend the training ground at Carrington when the rest of his team mates are there.

De Gea: I’ve put Real Madrid behind me

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David de Gea has spoken about how he has put the transfer saga with Real Madrid behind him and is grateful to Manchester United for supporting him through the more difficult times once the season had started and he was left out of the squad.

I am a guy who likes to put the bad things and difficult times behind me.

Mata: LvG will always say it to your face

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In Spain's version of Spitting Image, Louis van Gaal is portrayed with a stack of bricks as his head and shouting at everyone. Juan Mata has explained what the Manchester United manager is really like.

"He is a bit different, physically," Mata said, laughing. "He is the way you see him in the press conferences.

Herrera: Spanish players have found their place at Manchester United

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Ander Herrera has spoken to Manchester United about being one of the Three Amigos, with Juan Mata, and also David de Gea, having a similar outlook on life and football.

I think we are very similar. We understand football and life in a similar way. We love football but we also love a lot of other things, like the cinema and to read.

VIDEO: When Mata got Herrera sent off in Spain

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When Ander Herrera and Juan Mata played against each other in La Liga in the 2010-11 season, Herrera was sent off after making a challenge on Mata. His red card was later rescinded.

The pair have given an interview about the incident (seen in the video above at 2.34) on MUTV.

Mata: You know we used to play against each other in Spain and it was not that nice!

Xavi: I’d pick United over Liverpool, City, Arsenal and Chelsea

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Sir Alex Ferguson tried to sign Xavi from Barcelona in the past but the Spanish side were too keen to keep hold of him, and Xavi was too keen to stay.

However, Xavi has today revealed that if he had to play for one club in the Premier League, it would be Manchester United.

As I've always been a Barcelona person, I never had to think about it.

Herrera: It’s important for players here to understand United’s history

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Juan Mata and Ander Herrera have given an interview with MUTV where they have discussed their lives in Manchester. Herrera has stressed the importance of learning about the history of Manchester United.

We like to know about the place where we are. Of course we have to try to enjoy a private life and focus on football, but we also have time to get to know the English culture and people from Manchester.

Mata: Herrera is crazy about football

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Juan Mata and Ander Herrera have given an interview with MUTV where they talk about how obsessed Herrera is with football, to the point where sometimes he is close to sending Mata to sleep with his opinion on the subject.

Mata: I was just going to say that! As a player everyone can see how well he did for us last season.

VIDEO: Interview with Cantona’s biographer on his United love affair

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Eric Cantona's biographer, Philippe Auclair, has given an interview where he discusses Cantona's idiosyncrasies and eccentricities, the French media perceptions (and misconceptions) of Eric throughout his stories career, the process of compiling a comprehensive and compelling chronicle on the captivating Cantona, the intimate sources drawn upon to do so, his love affair with Manchester United, and his seemingly premature exit from the beautiful game.

PICTURE: McNair celebrates Euro qualification

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Northern Ireland secured their place at Euro 2016, their first international tournament in 30 years, after their 3-1 win over Greece on Thursday night.

Paddy McNair was in the starting line-up for the game, as was former red Corry Evans, while his brother Jonny Evans was injured.

PICTURE: Wayne Rooney’s golden boot

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Wayne Rooney will miss England's game on Friday night against Estonia at Wembley Stadium. But he will be honoured with the golden boot after becoming England's all-time top scorer, after scoring a penalty against Switzerland last month, overtaking Sir Bobby Charlton's 47-year record.

Blind: My dad shouldn’t be sacked

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Holland are relying on the results of other teams to qualify for Euro 2016, following a significant decline in their performances since Louis van Gaal left the team to take charge of Manchester United.

Guus Hiddink replaced our manager, with the agreement he would take on the position until after the Euros, but left the post 10 months in to the job.

RoM reads

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Scott writes for uMAXit about LvG's mistakes against Arsenal.

Scott has written for The Metro about why it's a good job Jose Mourinho didn't replace Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Guardian talks about how LvG treated Victor Valdes.

The Telegraph reports on Harry Kane replacing Wayne Rooney for England.

“Martial has taken bull by the horns at United”

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The France national coach, Didier Deschamps, has sung the praises of Anthony Martial ahead of their friendlies against Armenia and Denmark.

With all the racket that there was before and after his arrival, many have realised that he has the quality. His start to the season, his effectiveness, these are all good signs.

Blind: Holland aren’t giving up

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Holland have had a terrible time since Louis van Gaal gave up the position of manager following the 2014 World Cup. Guus Hiddink replaced our manager and agreed to take up the position until Euro 2016 but left the position 10 months later after a disappointing second stint in charge.

Danny Blind, who had been working as Hiddink's assistant, stepped up, but has an equally poor record.

Collina: Moreno should have been punished for Shaw leg break tackle

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Uefa referees' chief Pierluigi Collina has insisted that referee Nicola Rizzoli should have sent off PSV Eindoven's Hector Moreno for his tackle on Luke Shaw last month. Moreno won the ball while also breaking Shaw's leg, which meant the referee didn't even award a foul. Collina has confirmed it should have been a penalty and Moreno, who went on to score PSV's equalising goal, should have been sent off.

Brendan Rodgers’ best bits

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It has been confirmed that Brendan Rodgers has been sacked as Liverpool manager, much to the disappointment of Manchester United. In Jurgen Klopp, Carlo Ancelotti (or Jose Mourinho?!), they might bring in a manager who is actually good.

You'll never walk alone, Brendan, and here is my tribute to you, as your quest to fight with your life for the people of the city of Liverpool comes to an end.

LvG: That’s as bad as United have been since I took charge

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Louis van Gaal was asked after Manchester United's defeat against Arsenal whether the first half performance was the worst he had seen since he took over the club.

"Yes, I think so, because we were not able to give a normal performance, which we always do," Van Gaal said. "Arsenal were much better, were more aggressive than us, and you'll always lose.

LvG: I don’t know what went wrong but I’m emotional about that performance

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Following Manchester United's 3-0 defeat against Arsenal, Louis van Gaal has expressed his frustration at the game essentially being lost within the first five minutes.

"When you start like that, you can never win a game," he said. "We lost every dual, every second ball, we were not tight on their midfielders, and they can play.

LvG: There was nothing I could have done to save United from early meltdown

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Manchester United went 2-0 down within the first six minutes at the Emirates against Arsenal on Sunday afternoon. Louis van Gaal made two substitutions at half-time, bringing on Marouane Fellaini and Antonio Valencia, but insists there was nothing he could have done to stop United's early collapse.

STATS: Arsenal United

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Both Manchester United and Arsenal had five shots on target this afternoon, but the home side scored three of their attempts, and United couldn't put one away.

Over the 90 minutes, United had 62% possession and completed 547 passes to Arsenal's 313. Michael Carrick completed more passes than anyone on the field, 93, with a 90% success rate.

United V Arsenal

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[not available]

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: Arsenal vs United

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De Gea, Young, Smalling, Blind, Darmian, Carrick, Schweinsteiger, Mata, Rooney, Memphis, Martial.

Bench: Romero, Jones, McNair, Schneiderlin, Valencia, Fellaini, Wilson.

Arsenal: Čech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Monreal; Coquelin, Cazorla; Ramsey, Ozil, Sánchez; Walcott.

Arsenal bench: Ospina, Debuchy, Chambers, Gibbs, Chamberlain, Campbell, Giroud.

PICTURE: Fans united ahead of Arsenal game

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Ahead of Manchester United's match against Arsenal, the fans were united in protest outside of the Emirates. The Football Supporters Federation launched the "£20′s plenty" campaign in January 2013 and this weekend fans at away groups up and down the country have arrived with banners to get the message across.

De Gea: Arsenal goalkeeper is one of the best in the world

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Ahead of Manchester United's game against Arsenal, David de Gea has sung the praises of Petr Cech, who joined the north London club from Chelsea this summer.

Arsenal lost their second Champions League game earlier this week, as Olympiacos won their first game on British soil in their 3-2 win at the Emirates.

Rooney: There are no easy games

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Ahead of Manchester United's game against Arsenal at the Emirates, Wayne Rooney has talked about the improved competitiveness of the Premier League.

Six or seven years ago, there were games you knew you would win but now every team has progressed. You see teams at the bottom of the league buying players for a lot of money.

“United should drop De Gea for Romero”

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When Manchester United started the season with Sergio Romero in goal, with David de Gea and Victor Valdes watching from the stands, the fans couldn't believe it.

In the opening three games, United kept three clean sheets, but Romero wasn't tested. When his team went to Swansea, he let in two soft goals, and United lost 2-1.

Becks: Playing against Arsenal used to be a highlight of the season for United

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Ahead of Manchester United's game against Arsenal on Sunday, David Beckham has reflected on his playing days, when the games against Arsenal were one of the highlights of the season.

It's a big game. These games are always the ones you look forward to as a player. When you get the schedule at the start of the season you always look for the City game, the Liverpool game, the Arsenal game.

Becks: I hope we can beat Arsenal on Sunday

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Ahead of Manchester United's game against Arsenal on Sunday, David Beckham has spoken of the "togetherness" in this current squad and hopes that we can get a result at the Emirates.

I think it's exciting at the moment because there are a lot of young players who have come into the team.

Darmian: United are like Real Madrid and Barcelona

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Matteo Darmian, who joined Manchester United in the summer, has spoken about the size of his new club, comparing United to Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona.

United are the top, like Real Madrid and Barcelona. The strength of English clubs lies in their organisation. But I found an environment where professionalism goes hand in hand with human depth.

Becks: Being in Manchester is always special for me

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David Beckham will returned to Old Trafford to take part in a UNICEF charity match in November. Beckham will captain a Great Britain and Ireland line-up that will play against a Rest of the World side led by Zinedine Zidane, with Sir Alex and Carlo Ancelotti managing the teams.

Beckham has spoken about the game and of how much he's looking forward to returning to Manchester.

Blind: I’m ready for Arsenal

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Following a midweek game against Wolfsburg, Daley Blind has dismissed the idea that it's difficult to prepare yourself for a weekend game. Manchester United take on Arsenal on Sunday and Blind says that he's ready.

As a player, you want those games to play. Mentally, I think I'm ready for it.

Wenger: We wanted Martial and were surprised United signed him

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Ahead of Manchester United's game against Arsenal, Arsene Wenger has again spoken of his admiration for Anthony Martial, who joined United from Monaco this summer.

Our new striker scored four and assisted one in his opening five games, but Wenger had previously claimed he hadn't signed Martial because he was a winger, and they had adequate cover.

Becks: Fergie gave me chance to play for club I’d always supported

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David Beckham will returned to Old Trafford to take part in a UNICEF charity match in November. Beckham will captain a Great Britain and Ireland line-up that will play against a Rest of the World side led by Zinedine Zidane, with Sir Alex and Carlo Ancelotti managing the teams.

Beckham has spoken in praise of Ferguson and claimed that he's his favourite manager.

Rooney: I couldn’t turn down chance to play for Fergie

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Wayne Rooney has given an interview on his official website where he talks about his decision to leave his boyhood club Everton for Manchester United, hailing the impact of Sir Alex Ferguson.

I don't think people appreciate how difficult it was for me to make the decision to leave Everton at such an early stage in my career.

RoM Reads

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Scott talks to ESPN about the game against Arsenal.

Gary Neville writes for The Telegraph about Arsenal's weaknesses.

The Mirror shows how many errors each team have made which have lead to goals.

The Guardian reports on LvG's praise for Wenger.

Campo Retro have 65% off and free name/number printing with code PRINT.

Manchester United away tickets

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This season, Manchester United have revealed how many applications they have received for each home game and how many of those applications have been successful.

If you're in the loyalty pot you have an 85%, if you're a season ticket holder you have a 20% chance of success, and if you're an executive club member you have a 46% chance of success.

Arsenal Preview: Five Keys to Victory

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Arsenal Preview: Five Keys to Victory

It has been a superb fornight for Louis van Gaal and Manchester United. Since returning from Eindhoven deflated from both a 2-1 defeat and the long-term loss of Luke Shaw, the Reds have responded in style, notching four consecutive victories and sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League table after seven fixtures.

Monaco: We turned down bigger bid for Martial because Manchester was his dream

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After all the fuss surrounding Anthony Martial and his transfer fee, Monaco's vice president Vadim Vasilye has today revealed that they received a larger offer from another club, but turned it down as the player had his heart set on Manchester United.

There was another club that offered even more than United.

Schweinsteiger: Blind told me to give De Gea captain’s armband

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In Manchester United's 3-0 win over Ipswich, with Wayne Rooney and Chris Smalling both off the pitch, Bastian Schweinsteiger ended up with the captain's armband in his hand, and was unsure of who to give it to. He has revealed that it was Daley Blind who advised him to give it to David de Gea.

Honestly, I didn't know who was the next captain in line so I looked to Daley for direction and he said David.

EXCLUSIVE Pereira interview part III: I wish there was more sun in Manchester!

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Andreas Pereira scored his first goal for Manchester United against Ipswich in the FA Cup, when Juan Mata allowed him to take a freekick, which he blasted in to the back of the net.

Pereira has since come on as a substitute in United's Champions League game against Wolfsburg, as he looks to fill the role vacated by the departing Adnan Januzaj.

EXCLUSIVE Pereira interview part II: I’ll be ready whenever LvG needs me

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Andreas Pereira scored his first goal for Manchester United against Ipswich in the FA Cup, when Juan Mata allowed him to take a freekick, which he blasted in to the back of the net.

Pereira has since come on as a substitute in United's Champions League game against Wolfsburg, as he looks to fill the role vacated by the departing Adnan Januzaj.

LvG: Praise Smalling, not me

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Over the past year, Chris Smalling has proven himself as one of the best defenders in the Premier League, which is something Louis van Gaal has been credited with doing.

Smalling has repeatedly claimed that the manager has helped him improve, but Van Gaal, modestly, insists Smalling deserves all the credit.

LvG: Young thinks about the team above himself

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Ashley Young is one of the players who has thrived since the arrival of Louis van Gaal, going from arguably the most unpopular player at the club, to someone who is applauded by the Stretford End when he is warming up on the touchline.

The manager has praised Young and hailed his importance to the team.

EXCLUSIVE Pereira interview part I: I couldn’t say no to Manchester United

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Andreas Pereira scored his first goal for Manchester United against Ipswich in the FA Cup, when Juan Mata allowed him to take a freekick, which he blasted in to the back of the net.

Pereira has since come on as a substitute in United's Champions League game against Wolfsburg, as he looks to fill the role vacated by the departing Adnan Januzaj.

LvG explains why he’s given players Friday off ahead of Arsenal game

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Louis van Gaal has given the players a day off today ahead of the big game against Arsenal on Sunday.

The solution is recovery, recovery, recovery. That is why it's so difficult to prepare for the match against Arsenal. As a manager, you want to prepare on the pitch and you cannot do it because you need freshness of the players, so then there's also another solution to change your squad.

Mata: I’m top of the manager’s penalty taking list

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Juan Mata took Manchester United's penalty in our 2-1 win over Wolfsburg and has revealed this was a decision made before kick-off.

"The manager makes a list of penalty takers and I'm the first right now so I have confidence."

PICTURE: Manchester United’s 2015-16 squad photo

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Scholes: I don’t care what Twitter says about Rooney

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Following another poor performance from Wayne Rooney for Manchester United, Paul Scholes has defended the striker following a wave of criticism from social media.

"Who cares about social media? I don't," Scholes said. "He didn't have his best night, we all saw that, but we know what Wayne's capable of, if he plays a full season he's going to score 20-25 goals.