Republik Of Mancunia Archives for January 2015

RoM Reads

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Scott has written for The Metro about Angel di Maria.

The Guardian reports on Rooney's backing for Di Maria.

The Telegraph says Van Gaal needs to show faith in Mata.

The Mirror looks at James Wilson.

Mainline are running a competition which will see the winner receive a year's worth of Adidas trainers.

FA Cup flag night against Arsenal

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A week today Manchester United take on Arsenal in the FA Cup quarter-final and Stretford End flags are encouraging fans to recreate something like the picture above.

For fans attending the game, bring your bar scarf and make a simple 2 metre (W) by 1 metre (H) flag or banner. These can be homemade using a bed sheet & paint, or a flag made of cloth or PVC.

STATS: Are United in trouble with tough games ahead?

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In the games that remain, much has been made that United have tougher fixtures than the teams around them. But is that such a bad thing?

When looking at our results against the top teams in the league, United have faired pretty well this season.

Chelsea
Drew 1-1 (h)

City
Lost 1-0 (a)

Arsenal
Won 2-1 (a)

Liverpool
Won 3-0 (h)

Southampton
Won 2-1 (a)
Lost 1-0 (h)

Out of the 18 points available from games against teams in the top six, United have picked up 10, meaning we've claimed 56% of the points available.

Herrera: I want to win trophies with United

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Ander Herrera has claimed that he has come to Manchester United to win trophies but is prepared to play his part in the squad, even if that means not starting all the time.

They remember the Europa League games! We played very, very well. But now I think they respect me because I want to work, I want to play for United as much as possible.

RoM Reads

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The Telegraph discusses Di Maria's crisis in confidence.

The Mirror reports on Van Gaal's desire to sign a contract extension.

Goal reports on Rooney's defence of Brown.

RoM newsletter going out today. Sign up here.

Buy a copy of the excellent Made in Manchester e-book.

Five key thoughts following United 2-0 Sunderland – Van Gaal’s men get the job done after controversial Brown red card

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Manchester United recorded their 11th win in 14 Premier League home games with a 2-0 victory over relegation threatened Sunderland at Old Trafford. Wayne Rooney scored twice as the Red Devils moved up to third position in the table, ahead of top four rivals' Arsenal and Liverpool's games on Sunday.

A Premier League record for Wayne Rooney

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With his two goals against Sunderland today, Wayne Rooney has become the first player in Premier League history to score at least 10 goals a season for 11 years running.

“Januzaj was terrific!”

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Adnan Januzaj probably put in his best performance of the season so far after replacing the disappointing Angel di Maria at half-time. United went on to score two goals in the second half, with Januzaj's shot leading to Wayne Rooney's second, which has earned him praise from Ashley Young.

He was terrific.

STATS: Di Maria vs Januzaj

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You could probably see for yourself that Adnan Januzaj completely outperformed Angel di Maria in today's match, justifying Louis van Gaal's decision to make the half-time substitution.

Shots
Di Maria 2 (0 on target)
Januzaj 4 (2 on target)

Passes
Di Maria 16/22 (73%)
Januzaj 23/25 (92%)

Attacking third passes
Di Maria 11/16 (69%)
Januzaj 13/15 (87%)

Chances created
Di Maria 2
Januzaj 3

VIDEO: United’s most popular chant at the moment

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Oh what a night
Late in May in 1999
Ole scored a goal in injury time
What a feeling
What a night

VIDEO: Rooney’s goals vs Sunderland

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LvG: We were better after Di Maria sub

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Angel di Maria endured a dreadful 45 minutes for Manchester United this afternoon in our 2-1 win over Sunderland. Bereft of confidence, the Argentinean couldn't get much of anything right, apart from a couple of decent crosses in to the box.

Di Maria was replaced at half-time by Adnan Januzaj, who went to put in a much better shift.

LIVE BLOG: Manchester United v Sunderland

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Good afternoon comrades, and welcome to Republik of Mancunia's Live Blog coverage of Manchester United v Sunderland at Old Trafford. On paper, this is one of the kinder fixtures left to play this season, but with the pressure on to secure a top four place, will the reds be able to hold their nerve?

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: United vs Sunderland

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De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Evans, Rojo, Blind, Herrera, Young, Di Maria, Rooney, Falcao.

Subs: Lindegaard, McNair, Carrick, Fellaini, Mata, Januzaj, Wilson.

LvG: United told me I had to bring through youth players

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After the contract extension of Tyler Blackett this week, Louis van Gaal has claimed that the club told him he had to continue the traditions of the club in bringing through players from the academy.

Yes, it is the strategy of the club. When I came here there they told me that they wanted to have more youth academy players in the first team.

Poyet: Players disappear when they leave United

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Gus Poyet, Sunderland's manager, has sung the praises of former Manchester United defender, John O'Shea. The Irishman is the Sunderland captain and Poyet is impressed with what a big player he has become for Sunderland.

A lot of players leave Man United and disappear, but not John.

De Gea: Press lying about Real Madrid link

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Following his fantastic form this season, David de Gea has repeatedly been linked with a move to Real Madrid this summer. With just over a year remaining on his current deal, there is speculation that if he doesn't extend his contract soon, the club will be forced to sell him so they don't lose him on a free next season.

Di Maria: Sometimes you have ups and downs

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Angel di Maria looked to be worth every penny of the British transfer record Manchester United paid for him when he first came to the club. Our fans hadn't been this excited since Cristiano Ronaldo, with Di Maria picking up the ball in our half and terrifying the opposition defence.

Since then, the Argentinean has gone of the boil, but in an interview with MUTV, has insisted that he is working hard to rediscover his top form.

LvG: Maybe Falcao and Wilson will work against Sunderland

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With Robin van Persie ruled out with an ankle injury, Louis van Gaal has claimed that James Wilson may start alongside Radamel Falcao for United's game against Sunderland this afternoon.

It is a process between players. When Falcao is used to playing with van Persie then, when he plays with Wilson, he starts another process.

Jones: Rojo plays in the right way

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Phil Jones has sung the praises of his team mate, Marcos Rojo, after the Argentinean has settled in well after moving to the Premier League from Portugal.

Since Marcos has come he's played the right way and in the way we've wanted to play. It's difficult to come over to a different country and a different league and go straight into the team and hit your form, but he's done well.

Blackett: I’ve grown up going to Old Trafford to watch United

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Tyler Blackett signed a contract extension this week that will keep him at Manchester United until 2017. The young defender has revealed he has grown up going to watch United play and that it's a dream come true to be playing for the first team.

I've always been a United fan and this is the club I've grown up watching.

Sunderland Preview: Five Keys To Victory

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An excruciating defeat at the Liberty Stadium last weekend now leaves Manchester United in a precarious position in their attempts to regain Champions League football at the first time of asking. Having looked relatively sub-standard for some time whilst still grinding out positive results, ironically it was a more improved showing from Louis van Gaal's side which saw them succumb to Garry Monk's Swansea for the second time this season, and just their first defeat in twenty matches.

Blackett: I’ve supported United all my life

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Tyler Blackett has signed a contract extension with United which will see him stay at the club until 2017, with the option of a further year.

I'm thrilled to have signed my new contract. I have supported United all my life and have been here since I was eight years old. To come through the Academy and make my debut this season was a dream come true.

Beckham: Fergie brought me to the club I loved

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David Beckham has claimed there is no long-standing feud with Sir Alex Ferguson, with the former United player insisting he has nothing but respect for the legendary United manager.

We get on. It was made worse than it actually was. He was a father figure for me for so many years.

Fellaini: We laugh at De Gea’s music in the dressing room

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Marouane Fellaini has given an interview with the official site where he discusses what United's dressing room is like.

Who do you sit next to in the dressing room?
I sit with Willo [James Wilson] and Antonio [Valencia] too. They are both good lads. We joke a lot and talk a lot.

Herrera: I feel lucky to play for United

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Ander Herrera has played nowhere near as many games as he should have done since signing for United, but the midfielder insists he's happy to play whenever he gets the opportunity.

I like to help the team. When the manager wants me to play I am going to be ready to play. When the manager wants me to help from the bench, I am going to be ready also.

RoM Reads

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Scott has written for uMAXit sport about the importance of Daley Blind.

The Guardian reports on the Swansea director who has slagged off Van Gaal on the telly.

The Mirror reports on Real Madrid's new deal for Casillas.

The Independent talks to Berbatov ahead of his game against Arsenal.

Herrera: I want to be as important as Scholes to the fans

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In an interview with the Evening News, Ander Herrera was made aware that Paul Scholes was the last midfielder to get in double figures for United. In the 2004-05 season Scholes scored 12 goals. Herrera is on five and is keen to emulate Scholes.

Paul Scholes is maybe the biggest midfielder in the United history.

Tevez: Scholes is better than Pirlo

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Carlos Tevez has spoken about players he admired when he was younger and has claimed that, whilst it's great getting to play with Andrea Pirlo at Juventus, Paul Scholes is the best player he's played with.

When I was a child I used to play with pebbles. I never collected figurines of players, because I was very poor and I couldn't afford them.

Blind: I love living in Manchester

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Daley Blind has been one of Louis van Gaal's more successful signings since joining Manchester United just before the summer transfer window closed. The midfielder has claimed that he is enjoying living in the city centre after his mum and girlfriend found somewhere for him to live.

"I like it," he told Inside United.

Mata: I thought we were going to beat Swansea

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Writing in his weekly blog, Juan Mata has expressed his disappointment over losing at Swansea, where he came on as a second half sub. With United pressing for a second goal, Mata believed that United were going to leave with all three points, but ended up with nothing.

I honestly think we were close to bringing home the three points, especially because the feelings on the pitch at the start of the second half were good.

VIDEO: Nani’s wonder goal that lead to tears

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Nani scored a fantastic goal for Sporting Lisbon at the weekend and broke down in to tears when celebrating.

Blind: I’m so grateful to United fans at home and away

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Daley Blind has become a fairly popular player amongst the United support, thanks to his no nonsense approach to the game. Speaking with Inside United, he has thanked the fans and claimed he wants to repay the faith they have shown in him.

Things feel great. I definitely feel their trust and their faith in me and I hope I can pay them back in every game.

PICTURE: Nani breaks down after scoring Sporting goal

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Nani scored a fantastic goal to put Sporting Lisbon 2-0 up against Gil Vicente and then burst in to tears when celebrating.

It was a goal like any other. I received the ball, saw the goal, shot and I was lucky. I thought about myself and everything that I have gone through. It's personal stuff, that nobody knows about.

Gazza: I wonder what I’d have won if I signed for United

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Paul Gascoigne was going to sign for Manchester United in the summer of 1988, having just been crowned PFA Player of the Year at Newcastle. He promised Sir Alex Ferguson he would join them, just before the United manager went on holiday to Malta. When he returned, Gazza had signed for Spurs instead.

Mourinho: LvG will win titles with United

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Jose Mourinho has leapt to the defence of his friend and rival manager, Louis van Gaal, claiming that the Dutchman will come good at United.

He is a fantastic coach and it's easy for me to say as I know him so well and he is a fantastic person. But he has been in so many years of his career before he came to England.

Five key thoughts following Swansea City 2-1 Manchester United

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Manchester United were defeated 2-1 by Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Despite dominating for large periods, Louis van Gaal's side were on the wrong end of the score-line for only the second time in their last 20 matches. It was the first defeat United have suffered outside of Manchester since the catastrophic 5-3 collapse at Leicester back in September.

PICTURE: Van Persie left Swansea stadium on crutches

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After a disappointing performance in United's 2-1 defeat against Swansea, Robin van Persie left the ground on crutches.

Van Persie had 7 attempts on goal this afternoon but just one of them hit the target.

VIDEO: Herrera’s goal vs Swansea

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LvG: We forgot to score

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Louis van Gaal feels that United were unlucky against Swansea today, after dominating the game but losing 2-1.

Of course you can say we dominated the game but the only thing we could have done more was score more out of the chances we created. Today we were the unlucky team. I think we created enough chances.

Rooney: We deserved to beat Swansea

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Following Manchester United's 2-1 defeat against Swansea, captain Wayne Rooney claims that United deserved all three points.

It is disappointing to go in front and then lose the game. I thought the performance was good, we dominated the game, particularly in the second half. Swansea were struggling to get out of their area but we couldn't get that second goal.

LIVE BLOG: Swansea City v Manchester United

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CONFIRMED LINE-UP: Swansea vs United

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De Gea, McNair, Jones, Rojo, Shaw, Blind, Fellaini, Herrera, Di Maria, Rooney, van Persie.

Bench: Valdes, Smalling, Januzaj, Mata, Valencia, Young, Falcao

Swansea: Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Williams (C), Taylor, Cork, Shelvey, Ki, Sigurdsson, Routledge, Gomis.

Swansea bench: Tremmel, Rangel, Amat, Britton, Montero, Emnes, Oliveira.

Swansea Preview: Five Keys to Victory

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A somewhat improved –albeit not spectacular – performance over Preston North End see's United through to the Quarter-Final of the FA Cup where a tricky home tie with Arsenal lies in waiting. Focus instead shifts back to the Premier League this weekend, with a trip to South Wales in an attempt to tie down Champions League qualification.

Wayne Rooney: Di Maria is fastest and Young is funniest

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Wayne Rooney has done a 60 second Q&A for fans on his Facebook page.

Favourite food?
Chow mein

Favourite word?
Goal

Toughest defender you've played against?
John Terry

Favourite holiday?
Barbados

Funniest United player?
Ashley Young

Best player you've played against?

GNev: Time for United fans to get over Fergie and embrace LvG

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In Gary Neville's latest column for The Telegraph, he has insisted that United need to get over Sir Alex Ferguson, and the football we used to play, and accept Louis van Gaal for what he is.

The time has come for Manchester United fans – me included – to let go of the Sir Alex Ferguson reign and stop judging this new era by former glories.

POLL: What do you think of United’s shirt for next season?

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These two pictures, in various forms, have been doing the rounds on the internet over the past week or so, with it looking increasingly likely that these will be our first shirts by Adidas.



Rojo: I’ve immersed myself in United’s history

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Marcos Rojo has spoken to MUTV about his start to life at Manchester United, claiming that he is happy with how quickly he has settled in.

From the moment I arrived I've been immersed in the club, the history and the way the manager wants us to play. It's my first season here and I think I've fitted in well.

LvG: My almost fit squad understands my philosophy

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Louis van Gaal has claimed that his squad of players fully understand his philosophy now, having been at the club for six months, and that is shown in the results United have earned on the pitch. Over the past 15 games, no team in the league has picked up more points than United, with the club losing just one in 19.

Louis van Gaal has at least put Manchester United back on track

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The last eighteen months have been like an unconventional roller-coaster ride for Manchester United fans. Unconventional in that, for a while after Sir Alex Ferguson retired, it felt as if someone had tampered with the breaks and removed a part of the track, leaving us screaming, hurtling through space in a sickening downward spiral for which none of us had been remotely prepared.

RoM Reads

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Scott writes for The Metro about the 70th anniversary of Sir Matt Busby's appointment.

Scott writes for ESPN about whether Louis van Gaal has been a success or failure so far.

The Guardian reports on the warning Van Gaal received from the FA.

The Telegraph reckons Rooney should take midfield role as a compliment.

United’s teenage signing: It’s like a dream

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Belgian newspaper, HLN, has claimed that 16-year-old Indy Boonen has joined United on a three-year contract.

"It's like in a dream," said Boonen. "The training sessions are hard but I don't feel the tiredness when I realise I have signed for Manchester United."

The midfielder played for Genk but impressed coaches at United when he was invited for a trial after being scouted in a friendly in 2013.

Made in Manchester

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70 years ago today Sir Matt Busby was given the job as Manchester United manager and the history of our football club was changed forever. His dedication to giving young, local players a chance set him apart from all other managers at the time.

To mark the anniversary, RoM has brought out a PDF which looks at some of the greatest players who have graduated from our academy.

VIDEO: Van Persie beats Valencia at table football

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PICTURE: Mata visits Northern Quarter

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Juan Mata has spent his afternoon in the Northern Quarter in town and has uploaded a picture to his Instagram account.

Lindegaard: Rooney, Van Persie, Mata and Carrick in my ideal 5-a-side team

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Anders Lindegaard has answered questions for the club's official site about training at United.

Which part of training do you enjoy the most?
When we get to play small, high-intensity games, that's one of the best parts of training. When we had a lot of games over Christmas, for example, much of training is very tactically-focused but we also get some time to play some high-intensity games.

RoM Reads

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The AndersRed blog looks at the transfer fees United owe to other clubs.

The Guardian reports on Fergie and Keane being on the same plane last night.

Scott writes for The Metro about Van Gaal's midfield claims.

The Independent talks about Anderson's half an hour appearance before needing oxygen.

Young: Team spirit at United is great

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Ashley Young made a positive contribution to Manchester United's winning FA Cup game on Monday night after being brought on in the second half.

The winger, who has been used as a wing-back in most of his appearances this season, has praised the team spirit in the squad.

The club has always had great spirit – I've seen that since I've been here.

Herrera: United’s support is fantastic

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Ander Herrera, who scored United's first goal in their 3-1 win over Preston, has sung the praises of United's travelling support.

The support is always fantastic and it means a lot to us. Today here in Preston's stadium they were fantastic. They supported us at a tough moment and we are grateful for that.

Was ref right to award Rooney a penalty?

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With United 2-1 up against Preston last night, Phil Dowd awarded a penalty after Wayne Rooney went to ground in the box.

A penalty is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following offences in the penalty area in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:

kicks or attempts to kick an opponent
trips or attempts to trip an opponent
jumps at an opponent
charges an opponent
strikes or attempts to strike an opponent
pushes an opponent
tackles an opponent
holds an opponent
spits at an opponent
handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his own penalty area)

Thorsten Stuckmann got nowhere near the ball and if Rooney hadn't jumped out of the way, he would have been clattered.

Five key thoughts following Preston North End 1-3 United – Herrera, Fellaini and Rooney set up FA Cup quarter final against Arsenal

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Manchester United came from behind to defeat Preston North End on Monday night to set-up a mouth-watering clash with Arsenal at Old Trafford in the FA Cup quarter-final. Goals from Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini and a Wayne Rooney penalty turned the game on its head after a deflected Scott Laird strike had put the home side ahead.

VIDEO: Herrera, Fellaini and Rooney’s goals vs Preston

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LIVE BLOG: Preston North End vs United

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FA CUP DRAW: United to play Arsenal in quarter-final if they beat Preston

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Manchester United will play in the quarter-finals

Liverpool vs Blackburn Rovers
Bradford City vs Reading
Manchester United vs Arsenal

LIVE: FA Cup quarter-final draw

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Live from 7.30pm.

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: Preston vs United

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De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Shaw, Blind, Herrera, Rooney, Fellaini, Di Maria, Falcao.

Bench: Valdes, Evans, McNair, Januzaj, Mata, Young, Wilson.

RoM Reads

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Scott writes for The Metro about United winning the FA Cup.

ESPN reports on Wenger's approval of Van Gaal's tactics.

Squawka looks at Preston's captain who supports Liverpool.

The Evening News talks about safe standing at Old Trafford.

The Mirror shows three PNE players to look out for tonight.

Media twist LvG’s transfer priorities?

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In his press conference ahead of our game against Preston, Louis van Gaal was asked about what his transfer priorities were for the summer.

You would think a central defender or two would be the focus, or a right-back, but apparently the Dutchman is after a midfielder.

I am looking for balance and I need balance in midfield.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Preston Midfielder & Former United Trainee Josh Brownhill on his Old Trafford release, rejecting City, James Wilson and tonight’s FA Cup tie at Deepdale

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It can be taxing work being a young footballer. While clubs like Manchester United can give trainees the best possible platform and highest tuition for them to make a success of their career, the players themselves are required to work effortlessly to prove they offer more than just potential.

On some occasions – perhaps at Manchester United more so than most other clubs – players are given opportunities to fulfil on their promise and establish themselves as a key first team figure.

Mata: We want to lift the FA Cup

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In his usual Monday blog, Juan Mata has spoken about the desire at the club to win the FA Cup this season, but won't underestimate Preston this evening.

All of us in the club are very aware of the good chance we have to achieve something great in this competition, and we will try to lift the trophy.

LvG: Rooney is happy in midfield

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In the summer of 2013, Wayne Rooney wanted to leave Manchester United and Chelsea were the favourites to sign him. Having been played out of position on a number of occasions under Sir Alex Ferguson, who had since retired, Rooney later voiced his unhappiness in being used as a midfielder instead of a striker.

VIDEO: David Beckham in his Preston days

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David Beckham is arguably the most high profile footballer in the world after playing for the biggest clubs in several countries and two continents. Manchester United in England, Real Madrid in Spain, AC Milan in Italy, PSG in France and LA Galaxy in USA.

However, long before he was a household name, Beckham spent a month on loan at Preston North End in the 1994-95 season.

Preston Preview: Five Keys To Victory

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As we begin to enter the business end of the season, with important games coming thick and fast, it's important for United to kick into next gear, starting with a tricky FA Cup fifth round away tie at Deepdale.

In truth, things are nowhere near as depressing for United as most would have you believe, as the Reds have picked up 34 Premier League points from their last fifteen matches, more than any other side in the division.

LvG: Rooney is my best striker

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Wayne Rooney appears to be wasted in midfield at the moment. He struggles to have the same impact on the game as he does when he plays up front, and his inclusion in the centre of the park means that superior midfielders, like Ander Herrera, miss out.

Louis van Gaal has claimed that Rooney is the best striker in the squad, including Marouane Fellaini in that group of players, but that he has to factor in the likes of Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie to see who can make the biggest contribution collectively.

Young: Wes Brown is the toughest defender I’ve ever faced

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Ashley Young has answered questions from the fans for the official site.

How has playing for United shaped you as a person and a footballer?
When you come to the biggest club in the world as soon as you walk through the door you can see the size of the club. Over the years I think I've grown as a player and grown as a man.

Paul Scholes vs Louis van Gaal

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Louis van Gaal has come under plenty of criticism under recent weeks for the style of football Manchester United are playing. The results haven't been too bad, with United currently sitting third in the league and in the next round of the FA Cup, but the football hasn't been exciting to watch.

Paul Scholes, in his column in The Independent, has spoken about the expectations on players when he was in the team, and his feelings on the football that United are currently playing.

PICTURE: Barcelona want to sign Mata

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Mundo Deportivo claim that Barcelona were interested in signing Juan Mata in 2010 and 2014, and now they're interested in him again.

The paper claims that the interest has been confirmed by several sources at the club but, thanks to FIFA's transfer ban, he wouldn't be able to sign for them until January 2016 at the earliest.

Van Gaal: I want to win FA Cup for the fans

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Ahead of United's FA Cup game against Preston on Monday, Louis van Gaal has claimed he hopes he can win the trophy for the fans.

It's always the same because you know the world is for the underdog and we have to play away under the same circumstances as at Cambridge or Yeovil, so it shall be very difficult.

STATS: Goals per game for PL midfielders aged 23

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Cristiano Ronaldo had the best goals per game ratio when he was aged 23, with his birthday falling in 2008. This is followed by Christian Erikson, then Eden Hazard, then Paul Scholes.

Stats from @klausegelund.

Shaw: I hope I can keep my place after red card

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Luke Shaw hasn't had the best starts to life at Manchester United, with injuries meaning he hasn't had a consistent run in the team, and Ashley Young keeping him out when he returned.

Against West Ham, Shaw picked up a second yellow late on, leaving him suspended, but he hopes that he can win his place back in the team now.

Five key thoughts from United 3-1 Burnley as under-par Reds move up to third in the Premier League

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Manchester United defeated Burnley 3-1 to move back up to third place in the Premier League table. An unusual brace from centre back Chris Smalling and a Robin Van Persie penalty sent an extremely under par United above Southampton, who were held to a goalless draw at home to West Ham.

Louis Van Gaal opted to field a similar starting line-up to the one that salvage a late draw at Upton Park last weekend.

CONFIRMED LINE UP vs Burnley

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De Gea, McNair, Jones, Evans, Rojo, Blind, Di Maria, Januzaj, Rooney, van Persie, Falcao.

STATS: Is LvG right about United’s long ball tactics?

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Sports Matrix have produced an infographic which looks at United's build style, following the on-going debate about long balls. If you needed stats to show you that United aren't a long ball team, here they are, showing that, like most teams who are desperate for points at the end of a game, resort to booting the ball up to Marouane Fellaini.

RoM Reads

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Scott writes for ESPN about tonight's game against Burnley.

EuroSport has an interesting article on the long ball claim.

The Guardian is critical of Van Gaal's pamphlet.

The Mirror reports on Paul Scholes' reaction to Van Gaal taking on Allardyce.

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PICTURE: LvG vs Allardyce

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Following United's 1-1 draw with West Ham, Sam Allardyce claimed that his team couldn't cope with United's "long ball" strategy.

In the end, we couldn't cope with the long balls Manchester United kept putting in the box. It was just, thump it forward and see what they could get.

McNair: Playing for United is a dream come true

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Paddy McNair made his debut for United back in September in our 2-1 win over West Ham and has gone on to play 12 games for the club in all competitions.

Yesterday, he signed a contract extension at the club which will see him stay at the club until 2017.

To make my debut for this great club earlier this season was a dream come true.

VIDEO: Janko scores screamer on Bolton debut

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Saidy Janko joined Bolton on loan last month in a deal that saw Andy Kellett join United. With the score at 1-1 against Fulham, Janko scored a screamer to put Bolton 2-1 up with 10 minutes left to play.

Former United academy player, Ryan Tunnicliffe, played for the opposition.

TOP FIVE: Late Manchester United Goals (Not including THAT one)

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Manchester United's best ever late goal is so obvious that it doesn't need to be included in any top five list. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer won us the treble and none of us who were old enough to enjoy it will ever get an experience from following United to top that. However, after Daley Blind kept up his 100% record of scoring late equalisers away to teams whose name start with "West" on Sunday, thoughts naturally turned to United's marvellous habit of leaving the drama until late.

United U-21s climb towards top of the table after win over Chelsea

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Manchester United U-21s beat Chelsea to join the west London club and Southampton with 21 points, although Chelsea currently have a goal difference better by one.

10 minutes in to the second half, Chelsea took the lead after Ashley Young delivered a poor back pass towards Tyler Blackett. 15 minutes later, Andreas Pereira equalised through a deflected freekick.

Five key thoughts following West Ham 1-1 United

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Manchester United snatched a late leveller against West Ham on Sunday to record their sixth away league draw of the season. Cheikhou Kouyate had put the Hammers ahead with a close range deflected effort from a set piece at the start of the second half but Daley Blind volleyed home in stoppage time to salvage what could be a vital point come May.

Mata: Race for top four is now very close

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After dropping points against West Ham at the weekend, Juan Mata has taken to his blog to stress the importance of beating Burnley this week.

We were able to rescue one point thanks to Daley's good volley at the end. We saw all the good work that West Ham are doing this season, and they were a threat to David several times.

Jones: Boss is happy with our spirit

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Phil Jones has spoken of his disappointment at not managing more than one point away to West Ham.

While both Manchester City and Liverpool have lost their this season, United knew that if they won, they would close the gap on 2nd place to just three points.

Now, they are right back in the thick of it again, fighting to stay in the top four.

LvG: My players showed great spirit

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Manchester United went a goal behind against West Ham after Cheikhou Kouyaté's effort was deflected past David de Gea early in the second half.

In injury time, Daley Blind levelled the score, leading Louis van Gaal to praise his players' spirit and determination.

I think we played very badly in the first half and we showed a lot of spirit in the second half, especially after the goal.

Blind: United fans are amazing

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Daley Blind rescued a point for Manchester United yesterday in their 1-1 draw with West Ham. His injury time goal levelled the score after Cheikhou Kouyaté's effort was deflected in.

The Dutchman has sung the praises of the travelling support who were vocal throughout yesterday's draw.

In the second half we started better and kept up the pressure directly after the break but then they scored an early goal.

Mendes: De Gea’s having contract negotiations with United

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David de Gea's agent, Jorge Mendes, has spoken to Spanish paper AS about the goalkeeper's future.

After reports in Spain claimed that a deal had already been done with Real Madrid, Mendes was insistent that nothing has been agreed and that talks between the player and United are still ongoing.

LIVE BLOG: West Ham vs United

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LvG: Maybe McNair is United’s right-back for next 10 years

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Paddy McNair put in a good shift at right-back for Manchester United against Cambridge in the FA Cup earlier this week. Louis van Gaal has claimed that the youngster could nail down his position in the first team over the next decade.

It is not only Paddy McNair who has impressed with his development, as I have given a lot of chances to younger players.

Is Rooney’s status keeping Herrera out of the team?

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Over the past few months, Manchester United have regularly struggled when it comes to creativity. Only Chelsea and Southampton have a better defensive record than United this season, with the former conceding one less and Southampton five. This comes as a surprise when you consider how harshly criticised the defence is.

STATS: How is Rooney keeping Herrera out of the team?

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Passing success
Juan Mata: 89.6%
Michael Carrick: 89.6%
Daley Blind: 89.6%
Ander Herrera: 87%
Wayne Rooney 84.3%

Inaccurate long balls per game
Rooney: 1.9
Carrick: 1.6
Blind: 1.5
Herrera: 1.2
Mata: 0.

West Ham Preview: Five Keys To Victory

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After Tuesday's victory over Cambridge secured United's passage into the fifth round of the FA Cup – where Louis van Gaal has all but promised success – attention once again turns back to the Premier League and the quest to secure Champions League football for next season.

That victory, albeit at home, saw United score three times for the second game in succession following as close to a convincing performance as we have delivered in some time against bottom of the table, Leicester.

LvG won’t be successful with his appeal

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Louis van Gaal has today revealed that he plans to appeal his recent FA charge, with his aim to maintain an unblemished record.

In 30 years as a trainer-coach I've never been charged. I do not think I said something wrong. I said before the game everything is in favour of the underdog.

PICTURES: United pay tribute to Busby Babes

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Manchester United have paid tribute to the players who lost their lives in the Munich Air Disaster.

Bayern Munich owner Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was also in Manchester to pay his respects.

Marking 57 years since the Munich Air Disaster – re-telling the tragic story of 1958

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On 6th February 1958, Manchester United suffered one of the grimmest fates ever to befall a sports team.Sir Matt Busby, manager of the great team, once said, ‘My life had been spared, though it still hung on only by a thread. I wanted to die.'That is how close ‘The Busby Babes' had become and just how tragic the crash in Munich was.

Utd Way

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Utd Way, a new online United fanzine is to launch on 6th February. The new magazine has 55 pages packed with content, available to read for FREE.

Issue #1 features an interview with Hip-Hop star TQ and United legend Lou Macari exclusively talking about his times at Old Trafford as a player.

‘De Gea will stay in Manchester’

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David de Gea's agent, Jorge Mendes, has confirmed he thinks the goalkeeper will sign a contract extension at Manchester United.

De Gea has been strongly linked with a move to Real Madrid but Mendes insists the Spaniard is happy in Manchester.

He has one year left on his contract and I think that he will stay in Manchester.

Wilson: I have ‘pinch me’ moments in training at United

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James Wilson took his goal very well to put Manchester United 3-0 up against Cambridge in the FA Cup last night.

The youngster has said that he has benefitted from playing alongside Radamel Falcao, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney in training.

I have learned a lot from all three of them, probably different things from each of them.

LIVE BLOG: Manchester United v Cambridge United

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Good evening comrades, and welcome to Republik of Mancunia's Live Blog coverage of Manchester United's FA Cup fourth round replay tie against Cambridge. Shall we do it properly this time then?

PICTURE: United players pay tribute to Anderson

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Ander Herrera, Adnan Januzaj, Anders Lindegaard and Robin van Persie have paid tribute to Anderson on Twitter following his departure from the club.

PICTURE: United players’ tributes to Darren Fletcher

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Adnan Januzaj, Michael Carrick, Rafael da Silva, Ander Herrera and David de Gea have taken to Instagram to say farewell to Darren Fletcher after his free transfer to West Brom.

Fletch: United are a fantastic club

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Darren Fletcher has been with Manchester United since he was 11 and he's 31 now. It was confirmed today that he is moving to West Brom in a bid to get more playing time, having missed out on several years of his career due to an aggressive bowel disease.

Fletcher claims he is leaving the club with a smile on his face though, thanks to all the great memories he's had.

Anderson: Manchester United is truly the best club in the world

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After finalising a deal with Internacional in Brazil, Anderson has taken to Instagram to send a message to Manchester United fans.

Thank you so much to Manchester United It is truly the best club in the world, I love it so much and have enjoyed every year I have spent there. Thank you to all the team who work at United and especially all the boys, I have made some amazing friends, all of whom are great players and will continue to do great things.

Fletch: United didn’t want me to leave

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After completing his free transfer to West Brom, Darren Fletcher has revealed the club didn't want him to leave, but were keen to make sure that he could find the playing time he wanted elsewhere.

I spoke to the manager about not playing as much as I wanted and the club didn't really want me to go but they respected my wishes," he said.

‘Kellett couldn’t believe he was signing for United’

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Just before the transfer window closed, it was confirmed that Manchester United were signing Bolton Wanderers' defender, Andy Kellett, on loan until the end of the season.

The Bolton News has reported on how first team coach Garry Parker broke the news to him.

"Sit down Andy," said Parker.

‘Ronaldo loves United fans’

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Cristiano Ronaldo's agent, Jorge Mendes, has revealed that the player still loves United fans but has ruled out a return to the club.

He loves the Man United supporters, he told me because he was there for six years. But now he is at Real Madrid, he will not leave Real Madrid. Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player ever in the world and the best sportsman ever.

Farewell Fletch

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Manchester United has confirmed that Darren Fletcher has left the club for West Brom on a free transfer.

Last week it looked as though he was set to join West Ham but the deal fell through after the London club changed their mind to wanting him on loan until the end of the season, with the option to buy.

PICTURE: Fletcher’s United career

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Pictures documenting Darren Fletcher's career at Manchester United.

Cambridge Replay: Five Keys To Victory

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Call it what you will, a spirited performance from plucky underdogs Cambridge (if that makes you feel better), or an unacceptable, shambolic Manchester United performance. Either way, the outcome remains the same as United's 0-0 draw with the League Two minnows at the Abbey Stadium brings an FA Cup 4th Round replay at Old Trafford this evening.

PICTURE: Fletcher at team hotel tonight in United gear… before travelling to West Brom

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The Evening News took pictures of Darren Fletcher arriving at the United team hotel ahead of tomorrow's game against Cambridge at Old Trafford.

However, reports suggest that he is now in West Brom having a medical.

Vermijl: Delighted to sign for Wednesday

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Marnick Vermijl has signed for Sheffield Wednesday on a permanent basis today after joining United's youth set up five years ago.

I'm really excited. This is a fantastic place to play your football and now I just want to pull on the shirt on play. We are nine points of the play-offs and there is everything to play for.

Zaha stays at Palace on permanent basis

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Wilf Zaha has signed for Crystal Palace on a permanent deal for a reported £3m. United bought him for £10m two years ago.

The youngster was Sir Alex Ferguson's final signing in January 2013 but spent the remainder of that season on loan with Palace.

Zaha joined the club in the summer, after Ferguson's departure, and didn't do enough to impress David Moyes.

Herrera: I’m ready to play whenever LvG needs me

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Louis van Gaal has persisted with playing Wayne Rooney in the centre of midfield when Ander Herrera is clearly the better option for this position.

With Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao starting up front, Van Gaal must believe he has no choice but to play Rooney in midfield, but as Saturday's 3-1 over Leicester proved, the United and English captain would be better used as a striker.

PICTURE: Anderson at Internacional medical

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Anderson has been pictured at Internacional's training ground, likely having his medical, ahead of his proposed transfer.

In Juan Mata's Monday blog, he said: "I want to wish good luck to my friend Anderson, who is back to football in his native Brazil. All the best, my friend."

(picture from @jacklang).

LvG: Januzaj needs to play well in training

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Adnan Januzaj still didn't quite look like the player of last season, but in United's 3-1 win over Leicester he had probably his best performance since Louis van Gaal took over.

The Dutch manager doesn't doubt his ability but believes the young winger needs to show what he can do more often in matches and in training.

RoM Reads

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Scott gives ESPN player ratings for the weekend's game against Leicester.

Scott writes for The Irish Independent about Darren Fletcher.

Scott writes for The Metro about Michael Carrick's injury.

The Telegraph reports on the attempt armed robbery of Di Maria's house.

Gary Neville discusses our transfer window on Sky Sports.

STATS: Daley Blind outshines Busquets and Matic

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Zaha: Timing of Fergie’s retirement was frustrating

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After signing for Manchester United for a £10m fee from Crystal Palace, Wilf Zaha barely got a look in. He played in just three games before being loaned out to Cardiff in January.

David Moyes obviously didn't rate the winger who had been brought to the club by Sir Alex Ferguson. Maybe this viewpoint is shared by Louis van Gaal, who loaned him out to Palace without even playing a game for United this season.