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Thread: Manchester United VIII - King of Europe/Double Champions!!!

  1. #921
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United VIII - King of Europe/Double Champions!!!

    Rafael's only way is up

    Rafael is likely to be handed right-back duties on Tuesday night against Villarreal, but Sir Alex Ferguson has no qualms about resting responsibility on such young shoulders.

    The 18-year-old Brazilian has already proved a dab hand at making the transition from relative obscurity to playing for the English and European champions look like a far simpler step than it would for most.

    He is already tipped for a very bright future for the Reds from his team-mates, and has reignited Sir Alex's belief that young players can make such a huge stride forward in their career with enthusiasm and no shortage of ability.

    "He is one of the players that excites us," said the boss. "He gives us renewed faith that young players, no matter what age they are, can come into the Manchester United first team and excel.

    "In every game he has played in this season, there has been evidence of great improvement in the boy. Even in training, the older players marvel at his enthusiasm and ability to play."

    Nemanja Vidic is one such player who will gladly go into battle flanked by this Brazilian bundle of energy.

    "First of all he has shown great character," says the steely Serbian. "He is very young and he has been with us for less than a year, but he is improving every day and I think he has a great future for Manchester United. He has the potential to be a great player."

    Rafael was handed a surprise start for the Reds against Aalborg, but with another outing looming against Villarreal, this looks like just another of many appearances in the United first-team.

  2. #922
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United VIII - King of Europe/Double Champions!!!

    Sir Alex stands by Ron

    It seems anyone, given the chance, likes to have a pop at Cristiano Ronaldo. But Sir Alex Ferguson believes Ronny can overcome any obstacles in his way.

    Ronaldo came in for a barrage of abuse from Aston Villa fans at the weekend, following sustained heckling from Stoke City supporters at Old Trafford a week earlier. But we've been here before, notably after England’s exit from the 2006 World Cup finals. And the United boss says Ronaldo responds in the only way he knows how.

    “On Saturday he showed that moral courage of always wanting the ball, as he always does,” said the Reds boss. “He was tackled many times – most of the time fairly – but there were a few occasions where he didn’t get the right decisions.”

    Being targeted, physically or vocally, is nothing new for the Portuguese winger. “That’s a mantle you carry when you’re a great player,” said Sir Alex. “He knows that, and he knows that you have to get on with it.

    “There was some criticism of him that he couldn’t take it on Saturday. Tell me someone who likes getting abuse. Please point him out to me," said the boss. "He’s a great player and it’s not a problem.”

    Journalists at the press conference pushed Sir Alex on whether he thinks treatment of the 23-year-old is getting worse, citing ankle straps as a potential indication of the need for protection. “A lot of players wear bandages on their ankles,” he responded. “It’s changed over the last few years. Today players look for more strength to their ankles. I wouldn’t have worn them in my day. But he got a lot of knocks to his ankles on Saturday. There were a few cuts and bruises, but it’s nothing serious.”

    Nevertheless, Sir Alex is considering whether to leave Ronny out of Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Villarreal at the Madrigal Stadium. But if there is one thing we have learned about Ronaldo, it's that he gets straight back up, dusts himself down and hits teams, players or supporters where it hurts.

  3. #923
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United VIII - King of Europe/Double Champions!!!

    Papers: Ronny's a dead cert

    It's a Ron-horse race
    Fernando Torres claims Cristiano Ronaldo has turned the FIFA World Player of the Year award into a one-horse race. The Liverpool striker is on a shortlist of 23 for the prestigious trophy — along with five of his Euro 2008-winning Spanish team-mates. But Manchester United’s Portuguese star Ronaldo is hot favourite. Torres said: “No one can rival him, he is in a class of his own. I have never seen a comparable player. What he did last season was incredible. He’s a machine.”
    Staff reporter, The Sun

    Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed Ronaldo has every right to react to taunts and abuse from rival fans - because United's star player is only human.

    In other news, The Sun runs quotes from MUTV's exclusive interview with the United boss, during which he reveals how he stood up his hero Frank Sinatra. Sir Alex had a London dinner date with Ol’ Blue Eyes himself, but cancelled after seeing his Reds crash to a shock defeat against Charlton in April 1989.

    Round up by Gemma Thompson

  4. #924
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United VIII - King of Europe/Double Champions!!!

    O'Shea hopes for goals

    John O'Shea hopes United can finally break their duck against Villarreal on Tuesday as they look to seal top spot in Group E.

    The pair have played out three goalless draws in as many meetings since first locking horns in September 2005.

    Victory for United in Tuesday's Champions League clash will see them qualify for the knock-out stages as group winners with a game to spare.

    O'Shea is expecting another tight encounter with the Spaniards, but, as he told ManUtd.com, he's confident the Reds can finally get themselves on the scoresheet.

    "With the amount of attacking quality in both teams it shows how good the defenders have been!" he joked in reference to the 0-0 treble. "It’s strange, sometimes you get little runs like this against certain teams.

    "Both sides respect each other so much and the last three matches have been like a chess game. They’re difficult to play against – they always do well in La Liga, so it’ll be tricky.

    "We’re almost guaranteed qualification, but we’re not counting our chickens just yet. With the quality we have we should be able to score a few goals and hopefully get the win we want."

  5. #925
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United VIII - King of Europe/Double Champions!!!

    Better than after 99

    Sir Alex believes his side are better equipped to win the Champions League again than the Reds were in 1999.

    United’s Treble season brought unparalleled success to Old Trafford, but the English and European Double last term puts the Reds in a similar position this season.

    "The year after 1999 we were very naïve," admitted the boss. "Teams sussed us out tactically; teams like Ajax and Anderlecht played counter-attack on their own grounds which caught us by surprise. We should have changed, but we didn’t and we suffered. We didn’t do well that year.

    "This season I think I have a better squad so we can make changes tactically and we have improved that side of our game. Our players have grown up in European football. They’ve become familiar in the way the games can change in Europe."

    United’s task of winning the Champions League is made harder this season by the precedent of no team winning back-to-back titles since the competition’s reformatting in 1992.

    "Milan should have won it twice in a row recently, but the main reason that it’s so difficult to win it two years running is that it’s so competitive. You have the best four teams from Spain, Italy and England – it’s a very tough competition. That’s the main reason why a team hasn’t won it twice in a row in its current format."

    Sir Alex puts Barcelona in with the other three English sides as the teams most likely to contest United’s European crown.

    "Barcelona will be a big threat to everyone," he said. "Our experience of playing against them last season was that they are a very difficult team to play against. This season under their new coach Josep Guardiola, they have brought in Daniel Alves and one of my former players, Gerard Pique.

    "They’ve changed the format of their team around and their goals against record this season is much better than it was last season. I think the natural threat to us is Barcelona. But I’ve said in the last two or three years, the English sides have established themselves as a consistent threat to all the other teams."

    However, before attentions can turn to winning the competition, the Reds must first get past the hurdle of Group E. Standing in the way on Tuesday night is Villarreal, a team Sir Alex has huge respect for. Chilean coach Manuel Pellegrini has been likened to Sir Alex for the way he has gradually built a team with El Submarino Amarillo (the yellow submarines).

    "He’s not as good looking as me," Sir Alex joked with the Spanish press. “The man himself is an example of how a coach can build a team with very little resources. He has created his own identity with his team. You get that with managers like Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, Brian Clough did it at Nottingham Forest and I’ve tried to do it with United. Pellegrini has established himself in this team."

    It’s surprising, then, that given the attacking talent on show for both sides that three meetings in recent seasons have all ended in 0-0 draws.

    "I don’t think there is any particular reason," adds the boss. "I think that Villarreal have shown what a tremendous side they are over the years. They’ve been second in La Liga twice in the last few years. To do that with a team from a small town, certainly without the resources of Barcelona, Real Madrid or Valencia, has been fantastic. They’re fantastically consistent and we know that we are playing a well-organised side on Tuesday night."

  6. #926
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United VIII - King of Europe/Double Champions!!!

    Focus On... Fletcher

    When United meet Europe’s big guns, Sir Alex’s welcoming party inevitably includes Darren Fletcher.

    Remember that glorious April night in 2007 when the Reds lashed seven past AS Roma? Fletcher was there, pulling the strings in the centre of the park. And which midfielder ran the show when AC Milan visited in that season’s semi-final? Gattuso? Pirlo? Seedorf? Think again: it was Darren Fletcher.

    And although he started on the bench when the Reds met Barcelona in last season’s nail-biting semi-final second leg, it was United’s no.24 Sir Alex turned to in the last 15 minutes when limitless energy and a calm head was required to see off the Catalan cavalry.

    Nevertheless, Darren Fletcher is still criminally underrated by many football fans, according to former United star Sammy McIlroy. Now managing Morecambe in League Two, McIlroy claims Fletcher’s talents are often overlooked.

    "Darren’s not about flicks and tricks," McIlroy says. "He’s a player’s player: he gets about the field, gets stuck in and wins the ball. He’ll run for 90 minutes and always give 100 per cent.

    "Football isn’t always about flair and pleasing the crowd. You need players like Darren Fletcher in your side. He’ll often go unnoticed by fans but you can bet his team-mates know exactly how valuable he is."

    Champions League television coverage consistently reveals Fletcher covers more ground in a match than any other United player. And McIlroy’s quick to point out it’s not in vain.

    "His work-rate takes the pressure off some of United’s other midfielders. It gives them space and time to get on the ball. As far as commitment and effort go, there aren’t many better than Darren Fletcher."

    It’s not just his energy levels that have impressed McIlroy. He says Fletcher’s developing into a real attacking threat.

    The Scot has already scored three league goals this season; he also sunk Arsenal in the FA Cup last term with a brace at Old Trafford.

    "He’s scoring the odd goal now as well," McIlroy says, "which is what you want from your midfielders. That’s been great to see and I’m sure he’ll add even more goals to his game this season.

    “He’s improved an awful lot over the last few years and I know I’m not the only one who thinks that. Darren’s just been appointed Scotland captain – average players don’t get those sorts of accolades – and that, coupled with the recent run he’s had in the United side, will only feed his confidence.

    "At one stage, he was a target for criticism from some sections of the crowd. But he came through that and he showed lots of character to keep his head up and consistently turn in high-quality performances.

    "The manager knows he can rely on Fletcher because he’s committed, he’s always up for it and he doesn’t freeze on the big occasions. That’s what being a United player is all about."

  7. #927
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United VIII - King of Europe/Double Champions!!!

    Count down to 3 pts to seal our spot in CL!!!

    Villarreal CF V UNITED

    Wednesday, November 26, 2008 3:45:00 AM

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    Default Re: Manchester United VIII - King of Europe/Double Champions!!!

    Rossi will be facing off against Man Utd, hope Rio can keep him in his pocket. Another tough away game and the squad is wrecked by injuries. A draw will be good enough.

  9. #929
    Senior Member Galdor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United VIII - King of Europe/Double Champions!!!

    Villarreal 0 Utd 0

    United are safely through to the last 16 of the Champions League - but the battle for top spot with fellow qualifiers Villarreal will continue into December after a fourth successive stalemate between the sides.

    The Reds seemed more intent on winning than their cautious Spanish counterparts and will now hope to secure the more favourable draw they deserve by beating Celtic's conquerors Aalborg at Old Trafford on 10 December.

    Sir Alex Ferguson’s line-up at El Madrigal showed five changes from the side that started Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Aston Villa. Nani and Darren Fletcher replaced Ji-sung Park and Ryan Giggs in midfield, and Anderson also came in at the expense of a striker, Carlos Tevez. At the back, Tomasz Kuszczak deputised for Edwin van der Sar and Jonny Evans was given another chance to impress alongside Rio Ferdinand, with Nemanja Vidic rested.
    Eager to mark his recall, Anderson was instrumental in two early attacks that saw United utilise the left flank. First, he fired in a cross-cum-shot which Diego Lopez had to palm away from the Villarreal goal; next he played in Patrice Evra for a low cross that Wayne Rooney tapped home, only to see an official’s flag raised for offside.
    Ex-Reds striker Giuseppe Rossi gave Kuszczak his first save, a simple one low to his right. The keeper's next act was to parry a swerving drive from Santi Cazorla.

    Cristiano Ronaldo's resolve, having shrugged off a knock to start, was twice tested under
    the referee's nose in the first half. Italian official Roberto Rossetti had a word with the United winger and the defender who seemed to claw at his neck - later he showed Javi Venta the yellow card for a foul on Ronaldo, whose resulting free-kick was saved comfortably by Lopez. The next booking was for United's Patrice Evra, after he brought down Ariel Ibagaza.

    Lopez had to make three more saves as the game approached half-time - one straightforward from Fletcher after Rooney chested down Nani's cross, and two athletic efforts to deny Ronaldo. The first of these was a stunning finger-tip save to push an equally excellent shot onto the crossbar, again teed up by Rooney; the final stop demonstrated good reactions as he saw Ronaldo's free-kick late but still managed to smuggle it wide. Sebastian Eguren saw yellow for the foul leading to the setpiece.

    Villarreal were forced into a change at the break, bringing Bruno on for Marcos Senna – the scorer of a free-kick against Celtic in an earlier group game. Bruno’s first telling contribution, a left-wing cross aimed for Rossi, was decisively headed away by Evra.
    Ronaldo resumed his duel with Diego Lopez when he drove in a menacing shot that bounced just before the keeper saved it. When Rooney went for the rebound and fell in the area, there were appeals from both sides – from Ronaldo for a penalty and from Villarreal’s defenders for a booking to punish what they saw as a dive. The referee made neither call but did produce a card for Ronaldo moments later, apparently for dissent after a separate incident. Fuentes joined Ronaldo in the book for a foul on Rooney; play was waved on to allow Fletcher a shot that he dragged wide.
    With the game opening up around the hour mark, Anderson twice hit low shots straight at the keeper and Rooney chipped one wide – both players benefiting from Fletcher’s neat approach play. Another Rooney shot, on the turn following Carrick's penetrative pass, found a familiar fate - well saved by Lopez.

    The Reds enjoyed some luck when Santi Cazorla bent a glorious cross in behind the defence and only just failed to get a connection from Rossi and his cohorts. And Villarreal were also fortunate when Rooney's centre from the left, deflected off a defender, was headed out from under his own crossbar by the quick-thinking Capdevila. Villarreal's hero became the villain moments later, however, when he lunged at Ronaldo and was shown the red card to the chagrin of a cacophonic home faithful.

    Despite this assault, Ronaldo remained on the field while Fletcher, Nani and Carrick were replaced during the last ten by Gibson, Park and Tevez.

    Villarreal: Lopez; Venta, Rodriguez, Fuentes, Capdevila; Santi Cazorla, Senna (Bruno, 46), Eguren, Pires (Fernandez, 65); Ibagaza, Rossi (Franco, 79). Subs not used: Viera, Edmilson, Cygan, Lopez. Booked: Venta, Eguren, Fuentes. Sent off: Capdevila.

    United: Kuszczak; O'Shea, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Ronaldo, Fletcher (Gibson, 80), Anderson, Carrick (Tevez, 86), Nani (Park, 84); Rooney. Subs not used: Foster, Giggs, Vidic, Rafael. Booked: Evra, Ronaldo.
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    Senior Member Galdor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United VIII - King of Europe/Double Champions!!!

    Boss: We deserved better

    Sir Alex Ferguson will feel United won 'on points' after slugging out a fourth 0-0 draw with Villarreal to reach the knockout phase of the Champions League.

    The European champions certainly came the closest to landing a fatal blow when Cristiano Ronaldo's first-half rocket was brilliantly tipped onto the crossbar by goalkeeper Diego Lopez. And with Wayne Rooney also going close to scoring that elusive 100th goal in club football (Manchester derby anyone?) it was hard to argue with Sir Alex's assertion.

    "We deserved better," the United manager told ITV Sport. "I think we were the better team while Villarreal were happy to get the draw.

    "In the second half we improved our possession of the ball, we just couldn't find the net. Their goalkeeper made some decent saves of course.

    "I was satisified with the performance. We controlled the game and this result takes us to the next stage. That's the name of the game."

    Sir Alex was also happy that names were taken by Italian referee Roberto Rosetti for a series of fouls on Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese winger bravely wanted to play despite taking a knock or two against Aston Villa just 72 hours or so earlier and he was in the wars again in Spain, by frequently stretching the Villarreal defence.

    "Ronaldo got the protection we asked for," said Sir Alex, after Rosetti booked three Villarreal players and showed an instant red to left-back Joan Capdevila for a nasty lunge.

    "A very strong referee is always an advantage in football today."
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  11. #931
    Senior Member Galdor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United VIII - King of Europe/Double Champions!!!

    Europe: Celtic out

    Celtic were dumped out of Europe after Aalborg came from behind to win their Champions League encounter 2-1 in Denmark.

    With United and Villarreal progressing from Group E, Celtic were looking to win to keep alive their hopes of claiming the third-place UEFA Cup spot ahead of their opponents.
    Barry Robson's powerful 53rd-minute header put the Scots into the lead, but Caca's deflected long-range effort and a late Gary Caldwell own goal left Gordon Strachan's men out of European competition for another season.

    Arsenal progressed from Group G as Nicklas Bendtner's late strike gave them a 1-0 home victory over Dynamo Kiev. The Gunners were joined in the last 16 by Porto, who won 2-1 at Fenerbahce.
    Juventus and Real Madrid qualified from Group H after a goalless draw at Zenit St Petersburg and 1-0 win at BATE Borisov respectively.

    In Group F, Lyon made it through with a 2-1 win at Fiorentina and Bayern Munich also booked their place in the knockout stages with a comfortable 3-0 home win over Steaua Bucharest.
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  12. #932
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United VIII - King of Europe/Double Champions!!!

    Rossi still loves United

    Giuseppe Rossi loved every minute of his reunification with his former United team-mates, and admits he still has a soft spot for the Reds.

    The striker, who impressed on his first international start for Italy recently, has carved out a good career with Villarreal since leaving Old Trafford. He couldn’t score in his first game against his former club, but a 0-0 draw ensured both sides qualified for the last 16.

    “I really enjoyed it,” he told MUTV. “It was a tough because we were playing a team of real quality. But the result was good. The main focus for us was to get through.”

    Rossi, who excelled in United’s Reserves but didn’t quite make inroads into the Reds first team before Villarreal made their move, loved playing against his former club.

    “It was really special for me. I spent three great years with United and now I'm playing for Villarreal I’m enjoying that too. We’re doing well in La Liga, we’re third, and now we’re doing it in the Champions League as well.

    “I’m enjoying life here in Spain. I like the set-up, the lifestyle and the football we’re playing, of course. I’m just getting used to it. I still look out for United’s results, always. I left some great friends back in Manchester and some great team-mates, too. I wish United the best.”

    Rossi might admit to having a soft spot for the Reds, but his sights are set firmly on European success with Villarreal. He knows, however, that it won't be easy.

    “It’s tough playing in the Champions League because you’re playing some of the toughest teams in the world,” he said. “We’re going to take each game a step at a time and try to go as far as possible.”
    Hahaha ...no wonder he tio sub! Once a always a

  13. #933
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United VIII - King of Europe/Double Champions!!!

    Saving goals for City

    Wayne Rooney hopes United will rediscover the goalscoring touch against Manchester City on Sunday.

    The Reds secured a 0-0 draw against Villarreal on Tuesday night – a second goalless stalemate in a row for the Reds after Saturday’s result against Aston Villa. But Rooney isn’t concerned by his, or United’s, lack of goals.

    “It’s not worrying [that we’ve drawn 0-0 again],” he told MUTV. “Although we didn’t win the game we’re still pleased because we’re through. I hope we’re saving the goals for Manchester City. The Derby at the weekend is a big game for us and we’re all looking forward to it.

    “I’m not quite sure the draw with Villarreal was one for the spectators, but we were probably the better team and we created lots of chances. We just couldn’t take them. The main thing is we’re through to the knockout round. We’ve got one game left against Aalborg and if we win that we will finish top of the group. This result could be good for us in the end.

    “I don’t know why we keeping drawing 0-0. In most of the games we’ve been the better team. They defended well and they’re not all that enthusiastic to win the game, so that makes it more difficult for us.”

    Rooney went close on numerous occasions to win the game for United, as did Cristiano Ronaldo, who was again involved in the most headline-worthy incidents of the game. Joan Capdevilla’s foul on the Portuguese earned a red car, while the opposition supporters baited the United winger – an increasingly regular occurrence.

    “He’s a high-profile player and wherever he goes he is always going to get this kind of treatment,” said Wayne. “But he’s big enough to deal with it.”
    Savings? Hope he dun discount or even dried up!

  14. #934
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United VIII - King of Europe/Double Champions!!!

    Papers: Ronny's a target

    They're kicking Ronaldo out of the game!
    Sir Alex Ferguson last night claimed Manchester United’s winger Cristiano Ronaldo is the victim of a systematic campaign to kick him out of European and domestic football. Ferguson saw his United team draw 0-0 at Villarreal last night to reach the last 16 of the Champions League with a game to spare. But it was another rough night for Ronaldo as two Spanish players were booked for challenges on the 23-year-old and another, Joan Capdevila, was sent off for a late lunge that left studmarks on the United player’s knee.
    Ian Ladyman, Daily Mail

    Many of the tabloids carry similar stories, including The Guardian, The Daily Star and The Times.

    Meanwhile, The Mirror claim the United boss will lend his support to England's 2018 World Cup bid. John Cross writes: "Andy Anson, who worked with Fergie as United's former commercial director, is planning to call the Old Trafford supremo and is confident of getting his backing."

    The Guardian carry comments from the manager's post-match interview, where Sir Alex admitted Wayne Rooney had apologised for diving in an attempt to earn a penalty in the second half.

    Round up by Nick Coppack


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    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United VIII - King of Europe/Double Champions!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by afbug View Post
    Rossi will be facing off against Man Utd, hope Rio can keep him in his pocket. Another tough away game and the squad is wrecked by injuries. A draw will be good enough.
    We got the best defence till now only 1 goal conceded! Hope it will be like that all the way!

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    Senior Member afbug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United VIII - King of Europe/Double Champions!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by melvin View Post
    We got the best defence till now only 1 goal conceded! Hope it will be like that all the way!
    I tot Man Utd had many chances to win the game but either their goalie is damn good or Man Utd players hate him so much that they all shoot straight at him.

    2 consec nil nil draws, not really the Man Utd style. But the squad is really struggling at the moment. 1st choice midfielders Scholes and Hargreaves out. Left Carrick, Fletcher and Anderson to pick up the pieces. All 3 are good but really, non of them is like Scholes. Till now, Fergie still have not replace Scholes and that is a little worrying.

    Think Scholes is a little underrated these days. He is still very impt to Man Utd.

  17. #937
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United VIII - King of Europe/Double Champions!!!

    Papers: We're the Kings

    We're the Kings of Manchester
    Wayne Rooney plans to show who the real Kings of Manchester are. Manchester United face rivals City on Sunday in a massive clash between the title chasers and the world’s richest club. Yet for all the Blue talk of global domination, Rooney believes there is a huge wake-up call waiting at Eastlands this weekend. Especially with United desperate to claim revenge after losing both derby clashes last season. Rooney, 23, said: “Sunday is a massive game. We owe the fans a derby win, even though we did win two trophies last season. “Losing both games last season was extremely disappointing. It is a massive game, especially after what has happened at City with the takeover. It will be nice to show them who the Kings of Manchester are.” Rooney is revved up for Sunday having missed both derby defeats last season through injury and suspension. He said: “That was really frustrating, having to watch when you cannot do anything. It is different to any other game. The atmosphere at City is a really good one. The players always get up for it. If we can win the game, and I am sure we can, it will be a great result for us.”
    Neil Custis, The Sun

    Ahead of their Thursday night UEFA Cup clash with Schalke, Manchester City have left Brazilian superstar Robinho behind to ensure he will be fit for Sunday's derby.“We have to know how to deal with the opposition without him," says manager Mark Hughes.

    Elsewhere in the UEFA Cup, ahead of a likely start against NEC Nijmegen, on-loan United striker Fraizer Campbell has told Tottenham that his main aim is to return to Old Trafford, saying: "I would love to be the first localborn striker to make the grade with United under Sir Alex Ferguson. I do see my long-term future there."

    Round up by Steve Bartram

  18. #938
    Senior Member melvin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manchester United VIII - King of Europe/Double Champions!!!

    Blues don't bother the boss

    Manchester City may have access to more funds than any other club in world football, but Sir Alex Ferguson says he doesn't feel threatened by the Blues.

    Speaking ahead of Sunday’s Manchester derby at Eastlands, the United boss said results – not bank balances – really count.

    “At the moment our main threats are still Chelsea and Liverpool because they’re sitting above us in the league,” he said. “Money can certainly help a club. We saw it with Chelsea, when Roman Abramovich came in and bought all those players and they went on to win the league the next two seasons.

    “That had an immediate impact and posed us a new challenge. We had to accept that challenge and do something about it or we’d be second forever more.

    “We responded to that challenge by winning the league for the last two years.”

    Sir Alex accepted City’s newfound wealth might raise expectations in the Blue half of Manchester but insisted that wasn’t his concern.

    “There might be a different focus on the derby this time considering all the prospects and money available to Mark Hughes. But that doesn’t change our side of it or how we approach the match. It should be an interesting game.

    “We were unlucky in the derbies last season. You always hope in the big games that you have a shade of luck and we didn’t have that last year. Perhaps that will come on Sunday.”

    The boss also said it was too early to tell whether the cash injection at City would bring sustained success.

    “In the case of Chelsea, the money did work,” he said. “They’ve built up a very strong set of players, they have some very experienced internationals and they’ve coped with the situation very well. They had a lot of big players arrive at the club at once. In some cases that doesn’t work.”

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    Default Re: Manchester United VIII - King of Europe/Double Champions!!!

    Stopper sent out on loan

    Northampton Town have signed young Manchester United goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler on loan until the January transfer window.

    The 19-year-old began his career with FC Cologne – his home-town club – in Germany, before joining the Reds in the summer of 2005.

    Good in one-on-one situations and an excellent shot-stopper, Ron-Robert played 18 times for United's Academy side in his first season in England.

    Regarded by many at the time of signing as one of Europe's most promising young goalkeepers, he quickly proved the hype was warranted and began progressing through the ranks at Old Trafford.

    Although yet to make a first-team appearance at United, Zieler played 10 times for the Reserves in 2007/08 before travelling to the Czech Republic in the summer to take part in the UEFA U19 European Championships. There, he started every game for the national side, playing a key role in Germany's tournament victory.

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    Default Re: Manchester United VIII - King of Europe/Double Champions!!!

    Harsh lessons for U18s

    Under-18s coach Paul McGuinness says his players learned some “harsh lessons” in the 3-2 FA Youth Cup third round defeat to Chelsea.

    The Reds dominated large periods of the game and had numerous goalscoring opportunities, while Chelsea had four shots on goal and scored three of them.

    “It’s a massive disappointment, particularly as we could have had the game won in the first half,” McGuinness told MUTV. “We should have been three up in the first half and even at the end of the game we had chances to score. We could have scored five or six goals.”

    United started brightly, taking the lead through Ravel Morrison after just eight minutes. But a flurry of opportunities passed the young Reds by, and Chelsea ruthlessly struck twice in three minutes on the stroke of half time.

    Then, just when the Reds came back into the game in the second half, Chelsea hit again and an 89th minute goal from Danny Welbeck proved too little too late for United.

    “It was just a bit too late and we paid for all the missed chances,” added Paul. “I said to our boys that the first team players are paid their money because they don’t miss chances and don’t give other teams chances. They’re cruel lessons, because you want a run in the Youth Cup.”

    But McGuinness isn’t too downbeat. There were promising signs in the performance and the Reds will now kick on in the Premier Academy League.

    “There was some terrific play at times and some great bits of individual skill,” he said. “There are some good things to take out of the game. We’re in good form and I don’t think we played poorly. We could have won by a big margin if we’d taken our chances.

    "We have to pick ourselves up. We’ve got another big match coming up against Manchester City and then we play Liverpool. So we’ve got a chance to finish this half of the season well. We have to bounce back for those games.”

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