Republik Of Mancunia Archives for January 2017

RoM Reads

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Scott writes for ESPN about winning the cup and Ibrahimovic.

Scott has written for uMAXit about the value of Jesse Lingard.

The Mirror reports on how Ibrahimovic is missing out on money by not having a boot deal.

The Guardian reports on Wayne Rooney's potential return to Everton.

Ibrahimovic might not be the new Cantona, but he doesn’t have to be

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On Sunday, once the dust had settled on the first trophy of the Jose Mourinho era at Manchester United, a number of talking points remained. Chief among them was whether Zlatan Ibrahimovic can have the same impact on the current side Eric Cantona had when he crossed the Pennines in November 1992.

From the moment he arrived at United, Ibrahimovic's arrogance and swagger coupled with his exquisite technique triggered memories of Cantona and, in the last few days, pundits have fallen over themselves to either vocally support or swiftly dismiss the notion that the Swede can emulate his French predecessor.

Herrera: Mourinho has made us winners again

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Following Manchester United's 3-2 win over Southampton in the League Cup final, Ander Herrera says we deserved the win, particularly after all the points we've dropped against teams we've battered this season.

Southampton played very well but we have been looking for this the whole season.

Ibra: I signed for United because my kids wanted me to

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Following the two goals he scored for Manchester United in our 3-2 win over Southampton in the League Cup, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has discussed his future at the club, as well as why he decided to move to Old Trafford in the first place.

We have another two months of the season to go.

Thoughts On EFL Cup Final – Cometh The Hour, Cometh The Zlatan

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Silverware touched Manchester Unitedonce again on Sunday Night, as a stunning and seesawing contest between the Redsand Southampton resulted in a 3-2 win for the Red Devils at Wembley. They were led by the brilliant Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who led from the front in style and made crucial clearances at the other end.

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: United vs Southampton 

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PICTURE: United’s journey to the final

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Giggs: It won’t be easy but I hope we win

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Ahead of the League Cup final between Manchester United and Southampton, Ryan Giggs has spoken about the importance of winning a trophy.

I think it is always important to win a trophy.

This was the first trophy I won and it was the first trophy that I think Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo won, so it does give players that feeling of what it is like to win something with Manchester United.

Cantona: United will win more than one trophy this year

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Ahead of the League Cup final between Manchester United and Southampton, Eric Cantona believes that we will win more than one trophy.

After the League Cup final today, United are still in the FA Cup and Europa League, with the possibility of reaching the final.

I think they will win more than one trophy this season and the first one will be this one.

Mourinho: I don’t care if Rooney lifts trophy as long as we win

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Ahead of the League Cup final between Manchester United and Southampton, Jose Mourinho has discussed who would lift the trophy if we win today.

Mourinho acknowledges that Rooney is the club captain, whether he plays today or not, and doesn't care whether he is the one to lift the trophy today, as long it's a player in red.

Mata WILL play in final despite not travelling with the squad

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Juan Mata was in Spain today for the funeral of his grandfather but is still expected to play in Sunday's League Cup final against Southampton.

Having not travelled down with the squad, there were concerns over whether he was injured or unwell. However, sources in Spain claim he was with his family in Asturias today and has already travelled to London.

Mata not in Final squad?

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The Manchester United squad left for London today, leaving from Stockport station, but Juan Mata was not pictured with the rest of the team.

This has lead to reports claiming that he is not in the matchday squad for the final against Southampton on Sunday.

However, Henrikh Mkhitaryan was present and we know that he has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.

Nevilles skived school to go to 1990 Cup Final

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Ahead of Sunday's League Cup final between Manchester United and Southampton, Phil Neville has revealed that his father allowed him to skive school in 1990 to take him and Gary to London to watch the FA Cup final replay against Crystal Palace.

Thursday came, dad sneaks into school, gets me and my brother out, drives down to London.

Valencia: You give 100% when wearing the United shirt

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Ahead of Sunday's League Cup final between Manchester United and Southampton, Antonio Valencia has claimed he will give everything he has to lift the trophy for the team

I'm 100 per cent up for it! You can never be just at 30 per cent. When you pull on the United shirt you have to be 100 per cent focused and ready.

Mourinho: I can’t wait for the final

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Manchester United take on Southampton on Sunday in the League Cup final. This will be the 13th cup final of Jose Mourinho's career and he's said he doesn't feel nerves, just excitement.

I just want to play, I can't wait. I'm not nervous. I've had many years in football, many finals I want to play.

A Year Of Marcus Rashford

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The despair felt around Old Trafford when we learnt that Anthony Martial had injured himself in the warm up was palpable.

Somehow Manchester United had managed to lose 2-1 to Midtjylland away from home so lots still needed to be done to secure our place in the next round of the Europa League.

PICTURES: Rashford’s first year

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One year ago today, Marcus Rashford played his first game for Manchester United and scored twice.

LIVE BLOG: Mourinho’s League Cup final press conference

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Who are FC Rostov?

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There are worse draws Manchester United could have had than FC Rostov in the Europa League round of 16 draw, in terms of strength of opposition at least, but in terms of distance to travel, it's a nightmare.

United will have to travel over 2000 miles back to Manchester just days before facing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup.

Premier League top spenders – City’s spending overshadows all

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Over the past 10 years, Manchester United have been the Premier League's biggest spenders on two occasions. City have been the biggest spenders on five occasions and Chelsea on three.

In total, over the past 10 years, United have spent a total of £726.9m and have a net spend of £399.7m. City have spent a total of £1095m and have a net spend of £817.

Giggs: United fans love Rashford because he came through the ranks

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A year has gone by since Marcus Rashford made his debut for Manchester United against FC Midtjylland and scored two goals. Days later, he played against Arsenal, and again scored two goals to give us a 3-2 win.

Ryan Giggs was United's assistant manager at the time and has discussed how he watched Rashford play days before making his debut.

Has Chris Smalling forgotten what happened last time he was at Wembley?

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Ahead of Sunday's League Cup final between Manchester United and Southampton, Chris Smalling has said that he hopes the experience United players have of playing in the national stadium will give them an advantage.

United have played there three times in the past 10 months, as well as on several other occasions, which Smalling believes will settle the nerves of the players more.

LIVE FOOTAGE: Europa League Draw

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Who will @ManUtd get in the #UEL last 16 draw? https://t.co/yBT6EG2Dmb

- BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) February 24, 2017

The Europa League round of 16 draw takes place on Friday afternoon. Watch the draw live here.

Europa League Draw: United will face Russian side FC Rostov

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Having beaten St Etienne 4-0 on aggregate in the last round, Manchester United have been drawn against in the round of 16.

Celta Vigo v Krasnodar
Apoel Nicosia vs Anderlecht
Schalke vs Borussia Monchengladbach
Lyon vs Roma
FC Rostov vs Manchester United
Olympiakos v Besiktas
Gent v Genk
FC Copenhagen v Ajax

The games will be played on March 9th and 16th.

RoM Reads

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Scott has written for ESPN about listening to Eric Cantona.

The Guardian reckons that Wayne Rooney is done despite not moving to China.

The Mirror reports on Chelsea target Franck Kessie's dream of joining United.

BBC Sport has Juan Mata's guide to Manchester.

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Rooney Confirms He Is Not Moving To China

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Wayne Rooney has released a statement this evening to confirm that he will not be moving to China before the transfer window closes, despite his agent Paul Stretford travelling over to the country to discuss possibilities.

Despite the interest which has been shown from other clubs, for which I'm grateful, I want to end recent speculation and say that I am staying at Manchester United.

Rooney’s body is older than you think

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Wayne Rooney has been linked with a move to China this week, with the transfer window still open and the player reportedly unhappy with the marginal role he has played in recent months.

Some have implored Rooney to stay put, reminding everyone that Rooney is just 31 years old and still has plenty of years ahead.

TRANSCRIPT: An Evening With Cantona Part II – Talking to Fergie, Looking For Eric and Missing Football

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Following on from Part I, which documents Eric Cantona's thoughts on joining Manchester United, kicking the hooligan, his best goal, among other things, part II looks at our hero's life post-football.

Q: Do you miss football?

E: I don't miss it. When I retired, I wanted to do something else.

Thoughts On St. Etienne Game – United Progress… At A Cost

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Manchester United got to play on a Wednesday Night in Europe again.. in the Europa League. Nevertheless, they progressed through to the next round after a 4-0 aggregate win over French side St. Etienne amidst a 1-0 second leg victory. Unfortunately the win came at great cost, with Eric Bailly sent off and Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Michael Carrick picking up injuries.

TRANSCRIPT: An Evening With Cantona Part I – Hooligans, beating Liverpool and managing United

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On Thursday evening, I was lucky enough to be part of the crowd that listened to Eric Cantona speak. The event had been slated that morning following what happened in Bournemouth, an odd location for such an occasion, where Cantona was only on stage for 45 minutes and a stand up comedian/auction dominated the evening.

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: St Etienne vs United

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Romero, Young, Bailly, Smalling, Blind, Carrick, Pogba, Fellaini, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Ibrahimovic.

POLL: What do you think Rooney should do?

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Borthwick-Jackson to play for United U-23s despite Wolves loan

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Cameron Borthwick-Jackson was loaned out to Wolves this season with the hopes of giving the young Manchester United defender some needed game time.

Under Louis van Gaal, it appeared as though Borthwick-Jackson was the next in line to the left-back spot after Luke Shaw.

However, Shaw is well out of favour with Jose Mourinho, meaning United have played Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian and Marcos Rojo at left-back, with all three of them failing to impress.

Larsson: Manchester United take care of their players

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Henrik Larsson spent two months on loan at Manchester United during the 2006-07 season and helped us win the league.

The Swede has claimed in an interview with FourFourTwo that only staying for a short time and not staying until the end of the season, and another one after that, is the only thing he regrets about his career.

Falcao – once a red, always a red

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Radamel Falcao returned to Manchester this evening after his disappointing season on loan at Manchester United in 2014-15.

His Monaco side took on Manchester City at the Etihad and he scored the equalising goal for the French team before they scored a second away goal.

"I want to thank Manchester United and all its fans of every word and gesture of support they gave me in every match," he said when he loan ended.

Mourinho: Rooney might play in the final

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Wayne Rooney has missed Manchester United's last four games with injury and Jose Mourinho has confirmed the captain will not return for tomorrow's game against St Etienne.

While Rooney will certainly miss the Europa League fixture, Mourinho has said it is yet unknown whether he will recover in time to play in the League Cup final against Southampton on Sunday.

Mourinho: Shaw needs to follow Mkhitaryan’s example

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It appears as though Luke Shaw is still out of favour with Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho. The left-back has not travelled to France for the game against St Etienne despite not being injured.

Mourinho has claimed that if Shaw wants to play, he needs to work harder, and follow the example of Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Martial: I love Manchester United and I love the fans

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Ahead of Manchester United's second leg game against St Etienne, Anthony Martial attended the press conference and spoke in French to the media.

It is just because last year I played a lot, I had the possibility to play back-to-back games. Now I enjoy playing and we have to wait.

The Day I Met Paul Scholes

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They say you should never meet your heroes, for therein lies only disappointment. Sage advice, no doubt. So, when I was asked to go and interview Paul Scholes for Republik of Mancunia, did I heed it? No. I cleared my diary and told everyone I knew, and even a few people I didn't know.

The way you feel about some footballers can be difficult to put into words.

FA CUP: Chelsea vs United

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Manchester United have been drawn against Chelsea away in the quarter final of the FA Cup.

SCHOLES EXCLUSIVE: I loved walking out at Old Trafford as a coach

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Paul Scholes had a reputation of shying away from the camera when he was a Manchester United player. Following Scholes' 500th game for United, where he scored in our 2-0 win over Liverpool, Sir Alex Ferguson laughed when he was asked whether Scholes would be following him for an interview.

Since retiring, Scholes has become a pundit for BT Sport and has beenvery critical of the managers that have followed Ferguson, particularly Louis van Gaal.

Bailly: Mourinho has given me support like no other

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Eric Bailly has looked a great signing for Manchester United since joining in the summer. While injury and the African Cup of Nations has kept him out of the team more often than we would like, it is clear he has the makings of a world class defender.

Ahead of our game against St Etienne, which Jose Mourinho has confirmed Bailly will start in, our young defender has sung the praises of the manager and coaches for helping him settle so quickly in to the club.

Who should Manchester United keep or let go this summer?

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Even though Manchester United are currently sixth in the EPL most fans will agree that the team has improved this season. After a sluggish start the team has built up a head of steam and if they can keep it up until the end of the campaign they have a great chance of qualifying for the champions league.

SCHOLES EXCLUSIVE: We’re not Arsenal – I want trophies not just finishing fourth

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Manchester United take on St Etienne in the Europa League this evening with the hope of getting ourselves in a good position for the return leg, to boost our chances of reaching the round of 16.

While this competition clearly has never been the priority of anyone at United, it is a way in to the Champions League and it is a trophy that we've never won before.

EXCLUSIVE PAUL SCHOLES INTERVIEW: Signing Ronaldinho, his greatest teammate and playing against Vieira

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In the summer of 2003, Ronaldinho was set to sign for Manchester United from PSG. The Brazilian was tipped to be the best player in the world so to lose out on him was hugely disappointing. The blow was softened by us signing Cristiano Ronaldo although at the time we obviously didn't know what sort of player he was going to develop in to.

Price per goal for season ticket holders at United

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Manchester United have just announced they are freezing season tickets for a sixth successive season. Those interested in football betting odds may not have fancied the Glazer family to sanction such a move when they first bought the club and ticket prices rose dramatically.

TOP FIVE: Worries about Jose Mourinho which won’t quite go away.

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As regular TOP FIVE readers will know, I am an optimistic sort, much more inclined to be cheery about Manchester United and their fortunes than miserable. And ultimately, that optimism extends to Jose Mourinho bringing his substantial managerial nous to bear on United over the coming years.

There has been plenty of evidence that things are moving in the right direction—big wins and big moments, the arrival of some of the world's best players and a substantial improvement in some of the squad players, particularly defenders.

Thoughts On Watford Game – Martial Leads United To Easy Win

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Anthony Martial returned to the starting XIas Manchester United tore Watford to shreds on Saturday afternoon.United controlled proceedings from start to finish, as the midfield dominated play and the attack was mostly fluid without despite some inefficient attacking play.

If they were more clinical, it would have been a riot.

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: United vs Watford

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De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Blind; Herrera, Pogba, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Martial; Ibrahimovic.

Subs: Romero, Darmian, Carrick, Fellaini, Lingard, Rashford, Rooney

Mata: I want to win the title with United

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Juan Mata has spoken about his desire to win the Premier League with Manchester United, having won so many other trophies since moving to England from Valencia.

I would love to win it. I have been lucky enough to win so many trophies already. But I've been in England six seasons now and haven't won it yet.

Valencia: My improved form is thanks to Mourinho

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Antonio Valencia has sung the praises of Jose Mourinho following what has been a great season for Manchester United's #25. The manager recently called Valencia the best right-back in the world and the player has credited Mourinho for that.

I think, when you are playing with confidence, you do things differently.

Herrera: I’m playing for the biggest and greatest club in England

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Ander Herrera has given a Q&A with United Review where he's discussed players he admires, his feelings for Manchester United and his beliefs about safe standing.

What is the best goal you have ever seen?
I don't know if it's the best but the most important for my country was when Andres Iniesta scored against Holland [2010 World Cup final].

Mkhitaryan’s pace could unlock United of old

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Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored another important goal for Manchester United last weekend when he broke the deadlock against Leicester in our3-0 win. With Arsenal and Liverpool both losing, wehad to win, and the Armenian played a crucial role in that.

Aside from his fantastic solo effort, he also provided the assist for Juan Mata's goal minutes in to the second half, which killed off any hopes of a Leicester come back.

VIDEO: Pereira scores fantastic goal for Granada

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Andreas Pereira scored a fantastic goal for Granada last night to win the match against Las Palmas.

RoM Reads

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Scott writes for uMAXit about what would be classed as a successful season.

Scott has written for FourFourTwo about why people hate Manchester City.

The Mirror has pictures of the memorial service for the Busby Babes at Old Trafford earlier today.

The Guardian reports on David Beckham's hacked e-mails.

Thoughts On Leicester City Game – United Thrash Hapless Foxes

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Victory! That winning feeling returned for Manchester United in a superb 3-0 demolition of a poor Leicester City side now seriously flirting with relegation, as Henrikh Mkhitaryan led the destruction of the Premier League Champion Foxes.

Goals from Mkhitaryan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Juan Mata put Leicester away, and United were vastly improved from some recently poor performances.

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: Leicester vs United

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De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Smalling, Rojo; Herrera, Pogba, Mata, Mkhitaryan; Rashford, Ibrahimovic.

Evra: I was very close to coming back to United 

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When Patrice Evra was linked with a return to Manchester United in the January transfer window, the supporters could hardly believe it. While the left-back had been past his best before he left the club, and clearly would be even slower now, he was so well loved by the fans they didn't care.

The football betting news might have been against it, with the belief that Jose Mourinho wasn't interested, but Evra had confirmed the manager talked to him about the transfer, only for someone else, possibly Ed Woodward, getting in the way.

Tuanzebe: I’ve always been a Red

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It was confirmed today that Manchester United youngster Axel Tuanzebe has extended his current contract with the club until 2020. Tuanzebe has been at the club since he was eight and is obviously delighted to have committed his future to United.

I have always been a Manchester United supporter so I am naturally delighted to have signed a new contract.

Thoughts On Hull City Game – Hey, Another Draw…

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0-0. The all too familiar scoreline struck Manchester United again as they were held to another frustrating draw with Hull City, as they yet again failed to take their chance to gain points on their rivals. As the season heads into it's final stretch, United are bit by bit losing their chance to catch up.

CONFIRMED LINE-UP: United vs Hull

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Reserves Weekly – Debuts, Departures, & Defeat

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Tuanzebe & Pereira debuts

Warren Joyce may not have been pleased with the result but he would have been proud to see Mourinho's first academy debuts coming against Wigan on Sunday. Axel Tuanzebe was never in doubt to be his first protege at United as he has spoken highly of him within weeks of arriving at the club.