Manchester United

What would Stuart Holden make of Evans’ SIX match ban?

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On March 19th 2011, Manchester United took on Bolton at Old Trafford, with just nine games of the Premie League season remaining.

We were three points clear of Arsenal, but they had a game in hand, so this match was a must win. Ideally, we could have done with quite a few goals too because our goal difference was superior only by three.

Have United sold their soul?

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If you hadn't heard already, United have dissolved the academy and now intend to break the transfer record with every new signing.

Like Chelsea and Manchester City, we don't play any of the players we have produced ourselves, we don't nurture top division quality talent, and are just attempting to buy success.

David Moyes’ embarrassing PR exercise

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Initially, there was almost unanimous support for David Moyes when the wheels started to come off during his time as Manchester United manager. Whilst there had been huge concerns over his appointment, given he hadn't won a thing during his managerial career, fans were sympathetic and wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Glazers and Woodward risk leading club in to decline

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Manchester United finished last season as the 7th best team and have since lost several key players. Nemanja Vidic, the captain, Patrice Evra, the vice-captain, as well as two of the most experienced players in the squad, Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand. When you consider that takes away three of our back four, as well as last season's only cover for left-back, Alexander Buttner, United would need to buy five players just to break even.

Reaction to Rooney captaincy

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I used to love Wayne Rooney. I knew he joined the club as an Everton fan but he seemed to really get what playing for United was all about.

Rooney would repeatedly talk about how he wanted to spend his entire career here, how he wanted to be viewed by the fans in the same way Giggs was, and how much he hated Liverpool.

Should Moyes have had more time?

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Had David Moyes showed signs of progress during his first season as Manchester United manager it is likely that the board and fans would have shown more patience.

The club were determined not to become a "sacking club" so persevered with Moyes longer than any club would. To drop six places after spending £60m is an awful return and despite Moyes' claims today that the squad needed "fundamental rebuilding", these players were good enough to win the league weeks before the end of the season last year.

Moyes refuses to accept responsibility for dreadful season

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Following his sacking yesterday, David Moyes has given a statement which has been released by the League Managers Association, which reads: "To have been appointed as manager of Manchester United, one of the biggest football clubs in the world, was and remains something of which I will always be incredibly proud.

Moyes: United look comfortable at this level…

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David Moyes has often been criticised this season for having the wrong mentality to be the Manchester United manager. Maybe it was when, ahead of Newcastle's trip to Old Trafford, he vowed we would make it as difficult for them as we possibly could, that did it. Or maybe it was, after getting thrashed by City, his assertion that we were striving to be as good as them.

Spurs in danger of putting us in Europa League

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Yet another dreadful result for Tottenham Hotspur today, showing that some clubs even manage to be worse than us in the big games this season, but they still remain above us in the league.

They've played against Arsenal on three occasions and have lost all three of them. They lost 4-0 to Chelsea, 6-0 to City away, 5-1 to City at home, 5-0 to Liverpool at home and today, 4-0 to Liverpool today.

Would Moyes get more time at another club?

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Manchester United fans stuck with David Moyes for longer than they probably should for fear of "doing a Chelsea". The west London club have regularly sacked their manager and this has been widely criticised. I wrote at length about this at the beginning of the month, pointing to the fact Chelsea have hardly struggled for success over the past decade, despite getting rid of the manager at least every couple of years.

Where it all started to go wrong for Moyes

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When Manchester United appointed David Moyes as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor, most supporters were fairly surprised, given that the former Everton manager hadn't won a single trophy and had never managed a side in the Champions League.

Whilst finding a manager with a CV that matched Ferguson's was impossible, the difference in quality between the two men was incredible, despite claims from some sections of the press that they were "cut from the same cloth".

Was Van Persie wrong to celebrate after Arsenal goal?

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Robin van Persie gave the best years of his career to Arsenal, his boyhood club, but even when he was the Premier League's top scorer, winner of PFA and Football Writer of the Year awards, he had no medal to show for it.

The only trophy he won in his time with the North London club was the FA Cup at the end of his first season when he came on as a sub when United were robbed at Cardiff.

The Month: The Possible Job

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You hear it a lot, and will probably hear it a lot more, but managing Manchester United is not the "impossible job". It's a difficult one, of course, exclusive to those who have learned, then earned. It's the pinnacle for a lot of people, but, it's only the pinnacle, only something to work to because, well, it's not impossible.

United fans might make it impossible for Moyes to succeed

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I have spent my life as a football fan, bathing in a river of negativity... Self imposed, I might add. Every match that I attend, I put myself through an excruciating ritual of superstitious nonsense, purely so United will not lose. What doesn't help is I have convinced myself over this thirty year period of being a Red, that it makes a difference.

More Rooney PR in The Mirror

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Last month The Mirror served as a mouthpiece for Wayne Rooney in his "transfer saga" with him looking for a move away from Manchester United again. With a few weeks having gone by and United rejecting an offer from Chelsea, Paul Stretford has been a busy bee and has briefed the newspaper yet again.

The Mirror Doing Their Best To Make Rooney The Victim

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A couple of months ago stories started circulating in the papers that Wayne Rooney wanted to leave Manchester United. The claim was he was fed up with being subbed off and not starting every game. You had to laugh, given that the last time Rooney wanted to leave it was because he didn't think the squad was good enough.

Wayne Rooney

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.

STATS: United, corners and Phil Jones

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Last season, United averaged 5.7 corners per game and this season it is 5.4. 15% of the corners we took last season lead to chances, and this year it is 13%. Just 1.4% of our corners last season resulted in goals and this year, so far, it is 2.5%.

In real terms, that means this season we've scored 3 times from 119 corners this season, which is pretty shocking.

How did Wilshere get away with it?

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With an hour left to play yesterday, Arsenal should have gone down to 10 men after Jack Wilshere tried to headbutt Marouane Fellaini.

Standing at just 5 foot 7, Wilshere's forehead could only reach Fellaini's chest, but obviously the height difference between players isn't mention in FIFA's laws of the game when giving criteria for red cards.

PICTURE: What did Guardiola want Rooney to do?

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With just minutes to go in in last night's 1-1 draw against Bayern Munich, Bastian Schweinsteiger was sent off for a second yellow card for a foul on Wayne Rooney.

Pep Guardiola immediately made a 'diving' gesture on the touchlines but this didn't stop the referee from sending off the German's goalscorer.

Suck it up, Wazza

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

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

Time to increase Rooney’s salary again?

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Judging on his performances so far this season, Wayne Rooney has justified the club's decision to keep hold of him in the summer after some interest from Chelsea and Arsenal. Both Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho confirmed their desire to sign the player but in the end the most either club were prepared to offer was £24m.

Should United offer Rooney a new deal?

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When Wayne Rooney confirmed that he was not prepared to sign a contract extension in 2010 it appeared as though there was no way back for him at United. Whilst some fans don't want to believe it, Rooney, through the work of his agent Paul Stretford, had been in talks with Manchester City and planned to sign the biggest contract of his career with them.

What to make of Wayne Rooney’s transfer request

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When Wayne Rooney released a statement last week denying the story that he had changed his Twitter bio to omit "Manchester United player", you knew he wanted to leave. That week the press had also reported that Rooney had met with Sir Alex a fortnight ago to tell him he wanted to leave, but Rooney made no comment to deny that.

RoM's Best Articles

Are United fans making a fuss over nothing where transfers are concerned?

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For the first time since 2010, the anti-Glazer movement has begun to take shape again, with fans becoming frustrated with the lack of investment.

Under the leadership of Sir Alex Ferguson, who repeatedly worked miracles with our players, many fans have grown apathetic to the Glazer ownership.

RoM Reaction To The Transfer Window

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Most transfer windows have been fairly disappointing occasions for United fans since the Glazers bought the club and we have become used to this. More often than not, if we do dip in to the transfer market, we buy the sensible player. A player that makes sense and has the potential to be good enough but who doesn't get you too excited.

David Moyes

Quest for a ‘classy’ United

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The word ‘classy' appears in football prattle with increasing regularity, now considered the acme of all behaviour; gestures, non-gestures, tweets, messages of support, banners, all of that. Truth is, one of the things that's so compelling about football is the opportunity to ignore a goodly chunk of these precise mores and pressures, because, after all, it's only football.

Please sack him – now

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I genuinely wanted to support whoever replaced Sir Alex Ferguson until the bitter end. I've always enjoyed the siege mentality that our former manager instilled in us and was ready to back his replacement.

When David de Gea replaced Edwin Van der Sar, the press ate him up for breakfast. That first game against City in the Charity Shield was a nightmare.

Mentally soft? Don’t do it Dave!

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Following United's dismal 2-2 draw with Fulham, yet another occasion when points have been dropped against one of the worst teams in the league, David Moyes claimed they were mentally soft.

"Today was as bad as it gets," he said. "How we didn't win, I have no idea. It's goals that count.


Racist bins off Liverpool after dragging their name through the dirt

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Luis Suarez has left Liverpool for Barcelona just six months after signing a new 5-year-deal with the Merseyside club.

"I am delighted to have agreed a new deal with Liverpool and have my future secured for the long term," said Suarez at the time. "I believe I can achieve the ambitions of winning trophies and playing at the very highest level with Liverpool.

Would sacking Moyes make us another Chelsea?

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Manchester United fans rightly don't want the reputation of being an unsupportive club that sacks the manager at the drop of a hat. One of the arguments that is regularly put forward for keeping hold of David Moyes is that "we don't want to become like Chelsea". Whilst I'd argue that Chelsea's policy of sacking the manager hasn't prevented them from being successful, with them winning plenty of trophies with the eight different managers they've had in the past six years, it certainly has limited their success.

Is Arsenal manager right about refereeing decisions?

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Having waited for Sir Alex Ferguson to retire first, Arsene Wenger has claimed that our former manager influenced the referees to give us favourable decisions. It would be ridiculous to argue that United don't get the rub of the green at times but that is a luxury all clubs at the top tend to enjoy.

Mourinho’s “young eggs” – don’t believe the hype

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Just after Chelsea had fallen behind to Basle in the Champions League last night, the Sky Sports commentator asked whether Chelsea's youngsters truly had it in them to drag themselves back into the game.

I thought it seemed a fairly astonishing thing to say given the experience within the Stamford Bridge team's first x11, and it is an obvious example of the media swallowing whatever baloney their beloved ‘Special One' tosses out to them in his press conferences, hook, line, and sinker.


RoM’s CoM – March

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I had a number of versions of this written and ready to publish but wasn't sure which one would be most entertaining or enjoyable for the average Republik of Mancunia reader. I did, in fact, send two of these versions to Scott and if you're reading this one (Version 2) he has decided that Version 1 didn't deserve a place on his website.

PICTURE: Should Diego López Have Been Sent Off Too?

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FIFA Law 12: "Reckless" means that the player has acted with complete disregard of the danger to, or consequences for, his opponent. A player who plays in a reckless manner shall be cautioned.

This seems to sum up fairly well the two incidents above. Both Diego López and Nani were trying to win the ball but both of them went in without considering the consequences for their opponent.

The Rest

Media Making too Much Meal Out of a Match?

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Here's an interesting interview between John Motson and Brian Clough; the former, a news pundit, and the latter, one of the best managers in the history of English Football. The discussion revolves around the issue of over-emphasis of the media that overshadows the actual game.

Pre-match and the post-match discussions and hypes are integral parts to the game of football.

Groan’s rants: Enjoying football’s moments, managing injuries and incompetent referees

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Morning all.

After one of the most tense matches in our recent history, Arsenal are in the FA Cup Final. Sounds good, doesn't it? However laborious the match was, however close we came to being added to Wigan's long list of cup scalps, we became the first team in two years to knock them out, and as a result find ourselves up against Hull in our first return to the annual showpiece since Vieira's spot kick won us the trophy in 2005 (or started our trophy drought, depending on who you listen to).

Why are the press linking Cantona masks to fan’s death?

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This morning, ahead of United's game against Crystal Palace, Phil Neville posted a picture of Eric Cantona on Instagram. What's the link? Cantona attacked a Palace fan who verbally abused him, calling him a "motherfucker" and telling him to "fuck off back to France".

Turns out Simmons had been on BNP and National Front rallies, and had attacked Sri Lankan-born Lewis Rajanayagam with a three-foot spanner.

PICTURE: Zaha has a pop at Moyes on Instagram

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Ding Dong – Why we should not observe minute’s silence

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"The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses." – Malcolm X.

We're witnessing the sort of sanctimonious, manipulative whitewash that occurred after the death of Princess Diana.