New Thread as per request!
New Thread as per request!
Last edited by melvin; 26th May 2008 at 11:52 AM.
Next season new boys will be WBA, Stoke City and Hull City!
This is the third promotion for Hull City in 5yrs! Dun play play!
Will they be here just for a season or will they be here for long!
Europe: The stats
We take a look back on the statistics that matter from United's successful European campaign...
First goal: Cristiano Ronaldo v Sporting Lisbon (19/09/07)
Last goal: Cristiano Ronaldo v Chelsea (21/05/08)
Most goals: Cristiano Ronaldo (8)
Number of goal scorers: 6
First half goals: 11
Second half goals: 9
Goals scored by substitutes: 2
First yellow card: Nani v Sporting Lisbon (19/09/07)
Last yellow card: Carlos Tevez v Chelsea (21/05/08)
Most bookings: Patrice Evra, Owen Hargreaves, Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo (2)
Penalties won: 2
Penalties conceded: 1
Most appearances: 12 – Michael Carrick (11 starts, 1 substitute appearance), Carlos Tevez (6 starts, 6 substitute appearances)
Most minutes on the pitch: Rio Ferdinand (1020 minutes)
Most sub appearances: Carlos Tevez (6)
First substitution: Louis Saha for Wayne Rooney v Sporting Lisbon (19/09/07)
Last substitution: Anderson for Wes Brown v Chelsea (21/05/08)
Number of players used: 26
Biggest win: 4-0 v Dynamo Kyiv (07/11/07)
Biggest home crowd: 75,521 v Olympique Lyonnais (04/03/08)
Biggest away crowd: 95,949 v Barcelona (23/04/08)
Wayne: History drove us on
Wayne Rooney says the club's history played a big part in inspiring United to double glory on Wednesday night.
In the year that marks the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster and 40 years since the the club's first European Cup triumph, it was fitting that the class of 2008 ran out victorious in Moscow.
"We weren’t really thinking about it [the history] during the game because you’re so focused on doing well in the match. But we thought about it before kick-off and, of course, afterwards," Rooney told ManUtd.com.
"We all know about the great history of this club and to win it 50 years after Munich and 40 years after ’68 is brilliant for everyone connected to the club, especially for the players and their families who were involved in both.
"It’s an unbelievable feeling to have won it. I feel very proud personally, but it’s about the team.
"We’ve all worked very hard over the last two or three seasons and I think we deserve it."
Vida eyes repeat triumph
Fresh from picking up his second winners' medal in 10 days, Nemanja Vidic is already thinking about adding to his collection next season.
The Serbian was a tower of strength in the Reds' backline alongside Rio Ferdinand as United kept Chelsea at bay in the Champions League final in Moscow.
And having experienced the elation of helping the club to their third European Cup triumph, Vidic says the squad are determined to defend their title.
"When you pick up the trophy and you celebrate with your team-mates and the fans it makes you want to do it all over again because the feeling is so good," he told ManUtd.com.
"It's something I'll always remember and I hope I get the chance to experience it again.
"We will try our best to do that and we already have a big motivation to win it again next season."
Interview: Edwin's Euro joy
Thirteen years after his first Champions League triumph, Edwin van der Sar was United's hero as the Reds claimed European glory against Chelsea...
Edwin, how does it feel to have picked up your second Champions League winners' medal?
Of course, nights like Wednesday's are what you dream of. It’s been 13 years – a long time – since I won it and it feels fantastic, especially in the way we won it. It was the last penalty – saving it - I don't have any words for it. What can I say? It's great.
What was that feeling like when you dived one way and saw John Terry's penalty go wide in the other direction?
I felt very relieved! When he stepped up I knew I had to save it or it would be all over. I went to the right and I was very lucky to see him slip and send the ball wide. Little moments in a game can change things dramatically as you saw tonight – we had the luck.
What went through your mind after you'd saved Anelka's penalty?
You see it coming, you save it and then you get up and you know the game's over. You have two, three or four seconds on your own, arms in the air and everything goes through your mind. You see your team-mates coming and it's just happiness; one of the greatest feelings you can ever have.
How do you stay calm in the pressure cooker that is a penalty shoot-out?
You just do what you can to try and save as many as you can. Of course, there is a lot of tension and pressure on you. The lads expect you to save one or two and you want to do that, both for them and yourself. I lost a shoot-out in 1996 [for Ajax to Juventus] and it’s very hard to take and I was desperate not to experience that again.
A lot was made of the pitch before the game - what did you think of it and did it cause you to slip for Chelsea's goal?
The pitch wasn’t the best to be fair. You could see for their that I slipped and that happened quite a lot during the match. I know Moscow worked very hard for the final and organised everything very well, but next time I think UEFA must choose a stadium where there is a normal pitch.
Does this win make up for losing to Chelsea in last season's FA Cup final?
This is a much bigger occasion. As well as winning it, it means you’ll play in the European Super Cup and the Intercontinental Cup in Tokyo. It opens so many doors for United once again. It’s nine years since the club last won it and 13 since I did, so it’s a great feeling.
Anyone buying Man U cap or champ jersey?
waiting for the DVD to come out
Evra: I had to believe
Patrice Evra wasn't prepared to contemplate a second Champions League final defeat but admits he was scared it would become reality during the dramatic penalty shoot-out against Chelsea.
With Cristiano Ronaldo missing his spot-kick to allow the blues to take the lead, Evra feared he would experience a repeat of Monaco’s final loss against FC Porto in 2004.
Inspired to succeed by the disappointment of that loss, the Reds left-back remained confident that United would turn it around, although now he finally has a winners’ medal it is taking time to sink in.
“I can’t believe I am a champion,” a delighted Evra told MUTV. “I never stopped believing we would win this competition, but I was scared a little bit when Ronny missed his penalty.
“The experience with Monaco helped me a lot. I said to myself that I couldn’t lose a second final. If we had lost the match I would have asked the boss not to play me in the Champions League next year. To lose two finals would have been hard to take.”
Fortunately Evra won’t be having that conversation with the boss. Instead he said the team were inspired to win by the manager’s dedication to United for over 20 years.
“I am very happy, the atmosphere in the dressing room was great and it was a big present for Sir Alex Ferguson because he deserves it for working so hard for United,” he said.
“It is unbelievable, but I think we deserve it. We have the squad, talent and spirit in this team.”
Having won the Premier League and Champions League in only his second full season at Old Trafford, Evra is now eyeing another double - a new United contract and success with France this summer.
Quotes attributed to Patrice in the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph read:
"Negotiations over an extension to my contract have dragged on a bit. We will have another meeting on May 29 but the ball is in the club's court. They know what has already been agreed so we will see what happens. A lot of clubs are interested in me."
As for his chances of playing for France at Euro 2008, Evra says:
"I'm not going to expect a place in the starting XI just because I'm a European (club) champion.
"I've come here with more confidence and I'm going to show that. But I don't feel like an international. I don't even have 10 caps, I've only got nine. An international is someone who has had a great tournament."
Rio: Follow Giggsy's lead
Rio Ferdinand has urged every United player to follow the example set by Ryan Giggs by aiming for sustained success.
Giggs’ career is built on dedication to achieving repeated glory and Ferdinand says he feels inspired to pursue the same path as United’s all-time appearances record holder.
“This is a great feeling to be victorious, but this is a bunch of players that are going to do it again,” Ferdinand told MUTV. “We’re not going to rest on our laurels. We’ll enjoy this moment. But we’ll be thinking about next season in the not-too-distant future because we want to be successful and the players are hungry for more success.
“Players like Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville who have won trophy after trophy still have the ambition to come in every day and try and win more. We’ve got to follow that example.”
Giggs notched a staggering 759th appearance for the Reds and slotted away United’s sixth goal in the 6-5 penalty shoot-out win in Moscow. For Rio, it was a truly proud moment lifting the trophy alongside one of United’s greats.
“Lifting the cup with Giggsy was a great moment for me,” Rio added. “He’s a living legend, someone who probably isn’t appreciated as much as he should be. Sometimes you felt it was [written in the script]. But you always think in the back of your mind that it is going to be shattered. Losing on penalties is a bad way to lose, but it’s a fantastic feeling to win.”
Watch behind-the-scenes footage from the team plane and coach in MUTV's special programme Kings of Europe at 18:30 and 23:00 BST on Friday.
Carlos deserves great credit
Sir Alex Ferguson has paid tribute to his assistant Carlos Queiroz for his excellent work throughout the season and prior to the Champions League final.
The Reds' boss believes Queiroz's work was key to United's dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Chelsea in Moscow.
Queiroz has been linked with a number of managerial positions since his return to Old Trafford after a brief stint at Real Madrid's helm. But Sir Alex fully expects his right-hand man to be part of United's future successes for many years to come.
"The Portugal job would be a big attraction [for Carlos], but I feel that he's at his club," declared Sir Alex.
"He's well respected and the job he did in terms of preparation for the final was absolutely fantastic. He's improving a lot of things at the club.
"I've realised that progress needs to be made in different areas which I'm not an expert on, for instance the medical side.
"Carlos has increased the medical side of things to a different level which is fantastic and I don't think there is anyone better in the world than us [in that area] - that's all down to Carlos' vision for the future, I must admits I wouldn't have had that vision."
When asked whether or not Queiroz may eventually succeed him, Sir Alex insisted: "That is not my domain. But, listen, there is absolutely no doubt that Carlos will be here for a long time, I'm sure of that. As long as me anyway!"
Carlos Queiroz to take over SAF when he retires no wonder he come back from RM!
Boss chasing more Euro glory
Sir Alex Ferguson says United's third European Cup triumph has given the Reds the belief and inspiration to go on and do it all over again.
The Reds overcame Chelsea in a dramatic penalty shoot-out in Moscow on Wednesday evening to secure Champions League glory.
John Terry had the chance to win it for Avram Grant's men, but slipped at the vital moment and saw his spot-kick bounce wide off the post. Ryan Giggs converted United's sixth penalty before Edwin van der Sar confirmed United as kings of Europe by parrying Nicolas Anelka's effort.
Sir Alex, who admitted he thought it was all over when Terry stepped up, says the satisfaction of winning another Champions League title is second to none and he wants his players to kick on and repeat the feat.
"To win the European Cup is a special occasion and you treasure these things. That's what you hope happens to your career," he told reporters at Carrington on Friday.
"I've watched European ties over the years and some of them have been absolutely boring. The tension and pressure gets to even the best teams and players but that wasn't the case on Wednesday night and I thought it was an open game.
"Yes [I thought we'd lost]. With the last one [penalty], you're saying to yourself 'Well..'. I don't know if Terry would have been one of the first five if Didier Drogba was still on the pitch.
"It just shows you anything can happen. After that, I fancied us. I thought particularly after
Anderson's penalty kick when he blasted the ball back into the net and it got the fans up for it. I thought it was a wee bit of an advantage for us.
"I watched the game again when I got home [on Thursday night] - it was great. When Edwin van der Sar went to save the penalty, halfway across, he knew he'd won the cup and you could actually see him smile!
"The satisfaction of winning it is fantastic," he added. "We had to wait nine years to do it again and I suppose it proves it's not an easy tournament to win. I've said before we should have won it more times and three wins has a far better ring to it. Hopefully we can build on that."
Young duo leave OT
Up-and-coming United stars Tom Heaton and Kieran Lee will ply their trade elsewhere next season.
Goalkeeper Heaton will spend the 2008/09 season on loan at Cardiff City, while Lee has signed a permanent deal with Oldham Athletic.
FA Cup finalists Cardiff confirmed 22-year-old Heaton will be at Ninian Park next season, with manager Dave Jones admitting he’s had an eye on the stopper for some time.
“We’re really pleased to be securing the services of an England U21 goalkeeper,” Jones told the Bluebirds’ official website.
“I’m grateful to Sir Alex for allowing him to come to us and it shows we are building relationships with the best team in Europe.”
Meanwhile, Lee, a key figure for United's Reserves in recent years, has joined League One outfit Oldham Athletic on a free transfer. After spending the second half of the 2007/08 campaign on loan at Queens Park Rangers, 19-year-old Lee signed a two-year deal while the Reds were in Moscow.
“The club took a lot of the young lads to Moscow to see the Champions League final,” Lee told Oldham’s website, “but I came here to sign instead. It was definitely one of my aims to join a local team and when Oldham came along it was perfect for me.
“Hopefully I can get plenty of games. I’m certainly happy with everything I’ve seen so far.”
Lee played three times for United’s first team, memorably scoring an extra-time winner against Crewe Alexandra in the 2006/07 Carling Cup.
SAF let Heaton go meaning he will get a new keeper next season?
Reds to retain Ryan for life?
Ryan Giggs could stay at Old Trafford beyond his playing days, according to Sir Alex Ferguson.
The record-breaking winger claimed his second Champions League winners' medal on Wednesday night, ten days after scooping his tenth Premier League title.
He's now the holder of United's all-time appearance record having surpassed Sir Bobby Charlton's tally in Moscow and Sir Alex believes the 34-year-old still has a few good years left in him yet.
"Ryan could play until his 38 and it would definitely be here. I think he'll be here for a long time," he said.
"He's taking his coaching badges and we like the structure of our former players remaining part of the club like Bryan Robson and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who are both ambassadors for the club.
"The model of that is, without question, Bayern Munich and I've been saying for years to the people at our club that our former players, who have been such a credit to United, should always be included in the future. I'm sure Ryan will be part of that."
Ferguson to step down at United before 2012
Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed he will quit Manchester United in the next three years.
The Old Trafford boss has been loath to set a date for his Old Trafford departure after reneging on his original plan to retire six years ago.
But in the wake of United's Champions League final victory, the 66-year-old said: 'I won't be managing here any more than three years at the very, very most. Without question. I can assure you of that.'
Ferguson is already the most successful manager in the history of the English game, having won 20 major trophies in his time at Old Trafford.
But he is already beginning to ponder life after football, saying: 'You have to think about time for yourself.
'I think my wife deserves a bit of my time, too.
'The older you get, the more you feel guilty about it.
'My wife, Cathy, was the one who talked me out of retiring last time but she wouldn't do that now.'
But Ferguson, who has been United manager for more than 21 years, insists he has no immediate plans to step down.
'I know I would find it hard to give up managing United,' he said.
'I can't do it, not at the moment anyway.'
Meanwhile, Manchester United chief executive David Gill believes Carlos Queiroz is 'very much in the frame' to succeed Ferguson at Old Trafford.
Ferguson revealed he will finally quit as United boss within the next three years. And although Gill insists he has not been told that by Ferguson himself, he conceded United could follow in Liverpool's example with an internal appointment when the Scot does step down.
'We haven't discussed that,' Gill told the BBC.
'I think his guiding principle over whether he stays is whether he is healthy and still has the desire, which I'm sure he will have.
'It's still three and a half years away, we will look at it at that time.'
Asked about planning for Ferguson's successor, Gill added: 'We are making sure our squad is continually reviewed and improved as necessary and the age of the squad is right so that, when Alex does decide to retire, anyone taking over has a fantastic squad with the right age profile.
'We also have an assistant manager who will be very much in the frame in Carlos Queiroz.
'He's clearly a key part of our success. If you look at what Liverpool achieved in their very successful years during the `70s and `80s (that) was through internal appointments.
'Carlos is a key factor in all the success we've achieved over the last couple of seasons.'
Ferguson has already gone back on one promise to retire but insisted he will not be managing at Old Trafford by the time he reaches 70 in December 2011.
'I won't be managing here any more than three years at the very, very most. Without question. I can assure you of that,' the 66-year-old said.
'You have to think about time for yourself. I think my wife deserves a bit of my time, too.
'The older you get, the more you feel guilty about it.
'My wife, Cathy, was the one who talked me out of retiring last time but she wouldn't do that now.'
Manucho confident of Manchester United future
Angola striker Manucho Goncalves is confident Manchester United will hold onto him next season after a three-month loan at Panathinaikos.
Manucho scored only one goal in eight appearances at his spell with the Greek giants, but is still focused on making the grade at Old Trafford.
The 25-year-old was offered a three-year contract by United last December after a trial with the newly-crowned European champions, but struggled to obtain a work permit as he had not played in 75% of Angola's games over the previous two years.
Manucho, currently in Angola with the national team, said: 'The club is dealing with the work-permit process. I have been asked to turn up on July 1 for pre-season.
'Since the end of the Greek league, I have been in contact with (United assistant manager Carlos) Queiroz and I know that things are going well.
'I am not thinking about wearing a shirt other than that of United. I am just thinking about playing in the Champions League next season.'
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson revealed in February the club was keen to hang on to Manucho after he impressed at the African Nations Cup, scoring four goals.
Ferguson said: 'Given that he played for Angola and did so well at the Africa Cup of Nations, we will reapply for his work permit in the summer and hopefully next year he could play for us.'
Manucho also claimed Panathinaikos would have got more out of him had he been given more regular run-outs.
He added: 'It was a good experience (in Greece). Had I played more games, I believe I could have scored more goals and silenced those who still doubt my qualities.
'Overall, it was a positive experience. English and Greek football have different styles though.'
Duo to manage young charges
United will have two coaches to guide the Reds' young charges in the Reserves league next season with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Warren Joyce, who joins from Royal Antwerp, teaming up together.
Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed the pair will manage United's second string, as well as monitoring the progress of those youngsters farmed out on loan.
"The two of them will combine to manage the players out on loan and the coaching side of things with the Reserves," revealed Sir Alex.
"It's a difficult job to manage in Reserve football nowadays because you don't have a consistent squad of players - it changes every week.
"It's really a slight advancement of youth football in that very few teams play experienced players, it's all young lads that are involved. That's one of the reasons why we started loaning players out three or four years ago in numbers, rather than just one or two.
"Half a dozen go out on loan every season for us and we have to manage that.
"That can be tricky because the players are in different environments and at different levels when they're on loan which are not the Manchester United environment. But I'm confident Ole and Warren will do a good job."
Raughing Benitez hinted that EPL is not a top priority becos he thinks his squad is not strong enough. So implies that he is aiming for 4th spot and CL Final ?