RoM's Best Articles

Contributing Writer

TOP FIVE: Reasons for Manchester United Fans to Watch Euro 2016

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The summer is here, and for a healthy chunk of the Manchester United faithful the idea that football can exist without the Red Devils is a tough sell. "Pah, international football isn't the real thing" cry those who can't wait for the season to start up again in August, and plan to spend the intervening months refreshing Twitter hoping for new transfer news.

What football is all about

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Twenty-six years ago I sat down with my dad to watch Manchester United play Crystal Palace in an FA Cup final.

We drew 3-3 on that day, a thrilling match that was like water and light to the seeds of support for this club that my dad had sown over the preceding eight years.

United's eventual victory, after a replay -for which I came home early from a cycling proficiency lesson and the sight of that team lifting the FA Cup, sparked my lifelong love for this club and, indeed, the game itself.

Light at the end of the tunnel

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It is impossible to escape the air of despondency that has engulfed Manchester United over the last three years. A quarter of a century in the making under Sir Alex Ferguson, the spirit and self-belief he fostered in players and fans alike has been entirely sapped.

That last title win of the Ferguson era seems like a lifetime ago and there is no telling when the next triumph will come.

TOP FIVE Reasons Juan Mata should not have been sent off against West Brom

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After getting into the side and actually being quite good for a bit, Juan Mata—apparently realising he was in danger of prolonging Louis van Gaal's Manchester United career—decided to take matters into his own hands and get himself sent off against West Bromwich Albion.

He has kept up the charade that he didn't mean to do it, saying on his blog (Mata has a blog, you know), "I have the feeling that both decisions were rigorous; that, in many occasions, we see more serious fouls that are not penalised in such a way, but at the same time I could have avoided them and I take responsibility.

Remember when… Scholes scored that late header against City?

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"You can have too much of a good thing": a lie frequently propagated by joyless authority to limit the pleasure of kids having a better time than them. We knew it then, we sure as fuck know it now, and we also know it because of 2009/10.

Back in those days United were boring and shit, going for a fourth title in a row.

Remember when… Welbeck scored at the Bernabeu?

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To mark the 10th anniversary of RoM today, there will be several articles remembering some of the best moments for Manchester United fans over the past decade. Paul Ansorge has spoken about one of his favourite memories.

Hindsight is famously meant to be 20/20, though given the filter of nostalgia and self justification we often apply to our past experiences, that is perhaps not particularly accurate.

Remember when… Van Persie scored that volley against Villa?

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To mark the 10th anniversary of RoM, there will be several articles remembering some of the best moments for Manchester United fans over the past decade. Andrew Kirby has spoken about one of his favourite memories.

The media love-in with the fairy-story of 5000-1 outsiders Leicester City reached a potentially premature climax in early February when Jamie Vardy scored a searing goal against Liverpool which had most commentators creaming themselves.

Remember when… Solskajer returned?

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To mark the 10th anniversary of RoM, there will be several articles remembering some of the best moments for Manchester United fans over the past decade. Alex Shaw, the General Editor at ESPN, has spoken about one of his favourite memories.

The 2006-07 title winning season ranks as one of the best in Manchester United's Premier League history.

Eusebio, We Say Kiddo

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Having watched Tottenham's enthralling Premier league victory over Manchester City the other day on television, I caught sight of City's assistant manager Brian Kidd at the end of the match. He was ruefully shaking the hand of the victorious Spurs manager and an oddly trivial memory popped into my mind.

Manchester United 2015 review – The attack

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Juan Mata @mango_carrot

In 2015, Juan Mata's form and fortunes have mirrored those of the team, there's a visible downward trajectory and has been since "those three games" in the 14/15 season, which for Mata, peaked with a goal against Liverpool that will forever be remembered by the United faithful (and the scousers).

Mourinho might be the right man, but is it the right time?

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Over two years after Sir Alex Ferguson's departure, Manchester United remain in uncharted territory. Louis van Gaal has steadied the ship after nine disastrous months under David Moyes, but the Dutchman now appears to be lost at sea, unable to plan a route to success for his team.

Having got knocked out of the Champions League in calamitous fashion, United proceeded to lose back-to-back games against newly promoted sides, showing their mental solidity and attacking intent are directly proportional to each other.

Why Mourinho SHOULD be United’s next boss

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The day after Jose Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea, before we had lost to Norwich, I wrote 600 or so words on the precisely contrary headline to the above for my regular gig over at Bleacher Report.

For those wanting to save 10 minutes and just read this article instead, my three primary arguments against United signing up Jose to replace Louis van Gaal are, in essence:

- Tendency towards miserable anti-football

- Doesn't play kids or think long-term

- Is loads of aggro off the pitch.

United have improved under LvG but something has to give now

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Three weeks ago, as news broke that Paul O'Connell's rugby World Cup and test career with Ireland had come to an end after a serious injury, a famous clip of the former Munster captain reappeared across social media.

In the video, filmed before a Test match against France, O'Connell rallies his team mates in the dressing room, demanding they deliver "manic aggression" for "every minute of the game" and exhorting them to lay down a marker from kick-off.

Bombs and bungs: The story of Andrei Kanchelskis’ United exit

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Andrei Kanchelskis is a Manchester United cult hero. The Ukrainian winger played a huge part in United's marvellous mid nineties team – Ferguson's first great United side. Alongside Giggs, Cantona, Hughes, Ince and the rest, Kanchelskis lightening quick, direct performances down the right flank ensured his place in United folklore.

Depay destined to become a red

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It's February 7th, PSV 1 – 0 FC Utrecht, the 51st minute of the game. Memphis Depay, who only minutes earlier pre-assisted the opener in a tough fixture for the Eindhovenaren, receives the ball on the edge of his own half. A pass to Luuk de Jong, on to Georginio Wijnaldum, who attempts a through ball that just falls short of the waiting Luciano Narsingh.

Darmian – United’s new dynamic defender

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The heat was fierce and the humidity strong, but Matteo Darmian just kept on coming. Claudio Marchisio and Mario Balotelli were the goal scorers as Italy ran out 2-1 winners against England in the pair's opening game of the 2014 World Cup in Manaus, but the marauding full-back was arguably the man who made the biggest difference.

A beautiful mind and a wand of a left foot

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The transfer window prior to the 2015-16 season has been an unusually fruitful one for Manchester United fans.A club that professes to be the biggest in the world has rarely gone about addressing its weaknesses with such undoubted pedigree. The likes of Depay, Schweinsteiger, Schneiderlin and Darmian are the calibre of player that the fans have always deserved.

Nicky Butt – A scrapper not a fighter

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Watching football, and United in particular, is a visceral experience, a sharp, intense mess of bodies, noise and smells. So it's not surprising that the majority of fan favourites are linked by a single trait: they are men with whom it is deeply unwise to fuck. In my own lifetime, that includes Remi Moses, Bryan Robson, Norman Whiteside, Mark Hughes, Paul Ince, Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, Jaap Stam, Wes Brown, Ruud van Nistelrooy – sadly, in theory only Nemanja Vidic, and though, Rojo shows promise, none of the current ponces.

Manchester United’s Player of the Year: Ander Herrera

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Although the season has seen a marked improvement in league performance, there's no doubt that it's been a long way from a perfect season. We ought to have challenged for the title and didn't. We ought to have finished ahead of Arsenal and didn't. We ought to have seen the best of players like Angel di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, and we didn't.

David Beckham will always be “one of us”

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The rise of David Beckham through the Manchester United youth system was, in some ways, a curiosity. He was not one of the fiercely humble local lads that have come to symbolise the famous Class of 92 of which he was a member. He was a Londoner, a little bit flash even then with his sculpted hair, among the no-nonsense crew dominated by Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers.

De Gea insight II: “He misses Hernandez and is torn over Real Madrid move”

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Reports in most newspapers at the moment claim that Manchester United are lining up a deal with Real Madrid that would see David de Gea leave the club with Gareth Bale signing for us.

Adam Crafton, who is a journalist for The Daily Mail, has written several articles on De Gea and has a good insight to player's past, as well as his potential future, and has answered a few questions on the player.

De Gea insight I: “He is very, very happy in Manchester, but Atleti fans wouldn’t begrudge Real move”

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Reports in most newspapers at the moment claim that Manchester United are lining up a deal with Real Madrid that would see David de Gea leave the club with Gareth Bale signing for us.

Adam Crafton, who is a journalist for The Daily Mail, has written several articles on De Gea and has a good insight to player's past, as well as his potential future, and has answered a few questions on the player.

Sandy Turnbull’s story III: The opening of Old Trafford and more controversy

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February 19th 1910 saw the curtain rise on the new Old Trafford home, a venue considered the most modern in the land, with tip up seats and a playing surface akin to a billiard table. The setting was perfect. The result was certainly not.

As on the previous Saturday, United shared seven goals with their opponents, but on this occasion they could only manage the lesser amount, their first-footers, Liverpool, failing to be the perfect guests, notching four.

Sandy Turnbull’s story II: United’s first ever FA Cup

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So, A. Turnbull was now on the Manchester United pay-role, making his debut in red, along with his former blue team mates, against, ironically enough – Aston Villa and he ran out behind captain Charlie Roberts to a rapturous welcome from around forty thousand supporters. The pitch, however, wasn't as welcoming as the fans, as it was in very poor condition with large patches of mud and even larger pools of water scattered across it.

Sandy Turnbull’s story: From City to United

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The noise was deafening, incessant, vibrating through his whole body, making the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end, creating a nervous tension, a feeling surpassing all others. But this wasn't a familiar arena such as Hyde Road or Ewood Park, nor was it the more familiar, much loved environs of the depleted Clayton and the ultra-modern Old Trafford.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Hugo Borst on Van Gaal’s aim at United, almost joining Liverpool and English football

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Print journalists, radio presenters, biographers, TV personalities, pundits; there are a lot of jobs in football, even if you are not a former professional. Hugo Borst has done it all though. Starting out as a journalist for esteemed Dutch football magazine Voetbal International, Borst made his strides through journalism before ending up at Algemeen Dagblad, Esquire, Unibet and Panorama among others.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Hugo Borst on Van Gaal’s history in Holland, Verheijen’s criticism and influence on Guardiola

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Print journalists, radio presenters, biographers, TV personalities, pundits; there are a lot of jobs in football, even if you are not a former professional. Hugo Borst has done it all though. Starting out as a journalist for esteemed Dutch football magazine Voetbal International, Borst made his strides through journalism before ending up at Algemeen Dagblad, Esquire, Unibet and Panorama among others.

Manchester United

Adrian Doherty – Like Bob Dylan in a no 7 shirt

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Adrian Doherty was from Strabane in Northern Ireland and played for Manchester United's youth team during the 1990's, although his name isn't one you will have heard mentioned too often. Despite once boasting talent equal to or surpassing that of Ryan Giggs', a cruciate injury ended his career days before he was set to make his debut for the first team, and he tragically died a few years later after falling away from football.

Why didn’t journalists challenge Van Gaal’s bizarre claim?

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Ahead of Manchester United's game against Leicester City, Louis van Gaal attended the press conference in a very defensive mood.

Leicester could win the league if they beat United on Sunday, which prompted a journalist, Nick Collins from The Telegraph, to ask Van Gaal whether this was a strange position for our club to be in, given our players are so used to winning titles.

DANIEL TAYLOR ON… The truth about Fergie’s ‘hairdryer’, Roy Keane crying and Moyes’ fear of Old Trafford,

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To mark the 10th anniversary of RoM, there will be several articles remembering some of the best moments for Manchester United fans over the past decade. Daniel Taylor, Chief football writer for The Guardian, who has just won journalist of the year and brought out the excellent book I Believe In Miracles, has shared some memories from the past decade from reporting on United.

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.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Louis Saha on Moyes’ failure and plans to become a manager

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Louis Saha joined Everton in the summer of 2008 after struggling to maintain his fitness at Manchester United. As he was injured at the time of signing, Saha offered to train for free at Everton until he was available to play.

In an exclusive interview with The Republik of Mancunia on behalf of 888Sport.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Louis Saha on replacing Van Nistelrooy in League Cup final and Falcao injury advice

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Ruud van Nistelrooy was one of the greatest strikers Manchester United has ever seen but left the club in the summer of 2006 after a falling out with Sir Alex Ferguson.

After being the top scorer in the competition, Louis Saha was chosen ahead of the Dutchman when United took on Wigan in the League Cup final.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Louis Saha on Cantona, United fans and injuries

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Louis Saha signed for Manchester United halfway through the 2003-04 season after scoring 15 goals in 22 games for Fulham.

He quickly became a fans' favourite and probably would have spent several more years at the club if not for the amount of injuries he sustained.

In an exclusive interview with The Republik of Mancunia on behalf of 888Sport.

James Wilson

RoM PLAYER RATINGS: United’s attack

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United scored 62 goals this season, which is our second worst tally in Premier League history, only beaten by the 58 goals we scored in 2014-15. Wayne Rooney is our top goalscorer with 14 goals, which is the lowest record for our highest scorer since Frank Stapleton's 13 goals in 1981-82. All in all, it's safe to assume our attack hasn't done too well this year.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Louis Saha on starting Wilson against Liverpool and O’Shea’s goal at the Kop

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Louis Saha played in six games against Liverpool, including the game at Old Trafford which saw Rio Ferdinand score an injury time winning header, as well as when John O'Shea scored at the death in front of the Kop, which put United nine points clear at the top of the table.

In an exclusive interview with The Republik of Mancunia on behalf of 888Sport.

The Rest

Remember when… we beat Barcelona at Old Trafford?

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I remember walking in to the ground full of nerves on the night we played Barcelona. We were so close to our first Champions League final since 1999 and it felt long overdue.

While the immediate stress came from having to beat Barcelona, it was also very prevalent in my thoughts that if we did manage to beat the Spaniards, we'd have to overcome Liverpool or Chelsea in the final to lift our third European Cup.

Why Mourinho should NOT be United’s next boss

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Rumour has it that Louis van Gaal has got one game to save his career and, if he is sacked, Jose Mourinho might end up getting the job he has always wanted.

Before looking at the reasons why he shouldn't get the job, read about why Mourinho should get the job.

Style of play

Three weeks ago, Manchester United were one point off the top of the table, yet our fans weren't happy.

RoM PLAYER RATINGS: United’s midfield

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Yesterday, the defenders were rated for their performances in the 2014-15 season, and now it's the midfielders' turn.

After years of frustration at Sir Alex Ferguson's refusal to buy new midfielders and improve this area on the park, we finally now have a half decent midfield. In fact, the midfield is now our strongest position.

RoM PLAYER RATINGS: United’s defence

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RoM will be rating the performances of our players a position at a time, starting today with the defenders. For all the criticism they have received this season, it's worth pointing out that only Chelsea (32), Southampton (33), and Arsenal (36) conceded fewer goals than United (37) this season.

However, when you consider that David de Gea has proven himself to be one of the best, if not the best, goalkeeper in the world this season, the defence has certainly had a helping hand.