13 August 2013

2013-2014 season begins!

Manchester United is all set for the 2013-2014 season after seizing their first trophy of the year in the form of the Community Shield.

The 21st league title is the mission and the challenge is wide open with big guns like Chelsea,  Arsenal and Manchester City ready to unleash their talent.

Good luck to Moyes and the entire MUFC squad!

                                                                                       source: manutd.com

17 July 2013

United Chief Ed Woodward returns to Manchester; sparks transfer rumours

TRDS understands that Manchester United's new Chief Executive Ed Woodward is making his way back to Manchester in order to complete some urgent transfer business. What could this mean for the future of Manchester United?

In this blogpost, we present three possibilities which could have encouraged David Gill’s replacement to make an emergency halt to the 2013-14 Manchester United pre-season tour.

TRDS predicts a David Moyes-Marouane Fellaini re-union at OT
         1. Marouane Fellaini
We rate the likelihood of Fellaini’s transfer negotiations to be the highest. The Belgian recently suggested that if given a choice between Arsenal and Manchester United, he would undoubtedly like to join the Red Devils where he would be re-united with his ex-boss David Moyes.  We recently blogged about why Marouane’s case will be a good fit at Old Trafford (Fellaini’s post). Fellaini has a £23.5M release clause in his contract at Everton and Manchester United should easily be able to splash the cash.

The fact Fellaini already owns a house in Manchester further convinces us that he will be playing for Manchester United next season.

2.      Cesc Fabregas
Fabregas to return to Arsenal?
Manchester United recently submitted a bid of around £26M for the ex Gunner Cesc Fabregas which was soon rejected by Barcelona. It is not surprising that Fabregas feels frustrated at his club, Barcelona, due to the fierce competition he faces to feature in the starting XI. Joining Manchester United will be a right step for his career progression with the World Cup 2014 just around the corner. If Cesc can perform well at United next season, he will certainly feature for Spain in the World Cup. This might be a huge incentive for Fabregas, but then Arsenal seems interested in buying back Cesc Fabregas.

We believe Cesc will join Arsenal and the odds of his transfer to United are low.

3.      Wayne Rooney  
TRDS expects Wayne Rooney to apologise again and stay at Old Trafford.
We rate the transfer possibility of the wantaway England striker, Wayne Rooney, to be the lowest. Manchester United today officially rejected Chelsea’s £20m transfer bid for Wayne (source). Wayne is also reluctant to move abroad. Hence, TRDS predicts that Rooney will stay at United for another year. He will simply not be allowed by the club to leave.

All in all, TRDS believes that Ed Woodward’s eratic return to Manchester United signals the signing of a player and we predict that it is of Marouane Fellaini, the ominous Beligian midfielder.

Stay tuned for the updates!

29 June 2013

The curious case of Marouane Fellaini and why he deserves to play for ManUtd

Marouane may be an answer to United's recent midfield woes!

People are questioning the prospect of Fellaini’s transfer to Manchester United. 

This is because there is a strong concern that the young Belgian has no experience in Europe and also his makeshift striker role at his previous club, Everton. He's a Belgian international and it is a huge bonus that Belgium is one of the strongest young sides in Europe at the moment. So acquiring a player of Fellaini's ability is a great prospect.

Manchester United didn't have many problems in the attacking department last year. Talented players like Van Persie, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez created chances and scored some lively goals. However, United’s midfield trouble was exposed by teams like Real Madrid and Chelsea. This led to their dismal performance through the middle and rendered them unconvincing at times.

Fellaini compared with other midfielders*

Marouane Fellaini is exactly the sort of player Manchester United needs right now given his promising background. He may have zero experience in the Champions League, however his talent would be a good acquisition allowing him to nurture under Moyes.

As for Kagawa, he's not really a midfielder United needs as he's too lightweight to play upfront for the time being. It is OK when he's playing against the likes of Norwich and other relatively weak times but a more aggressive side can make him suffer. That is precisely why Fergie preferred playing him on the left flank. This made it a little difficult to mark him and gave him more freedom to use his undoubted dribbling ability.

Shinji Kagawa deserves some more time at United without a doubt. It’s all about adaptation for the young player and he can do it. Till the time Kagawa becomes a real threat in the midfield area, he may be played in different positions or even allowed to choose his own area of expertise. After all, that's not asking a player to perform out of position – it is utilising a player’s strengths for the benefit of the esteemed football club.

Having said all that, there is no reason why Fellaini’s acquisition will help Moyes and Manchester United to go on and win the 21st Premier league title. It would be nice to see him perform well with the likes of Michael Carrick, Anderson and Tom Cleverley.


* thanks to Opta.

25 May 2013

Why appointing David Moyes was the easiest yet the most challenging job?

Last updated: 25/05/2013

Manchester United has finally unveiled its successor. His name is David Moyes, a former Everton Boss.

Let’s start off with some statistics and analysis-

· 8th May, 2013 will forever be remembered as a day when Sir Alex Ferguson finally stepped down as a Manchester United manager. This came off as a surprise as only recently he announced his plans to remain at the club for a bit longer.

· During his 26 year tenure, Fergie won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League and 2 UEFA Champions League titles.  No manager till date has achieved this feat. That’s right: Ferguson has been the longest serving manager Manchester United has ever had. 
One question to be asked here is: Can David Moyes emulate Fergie’s form and perhaps surpass it?

·Ferguson is only the 3rd all-time British Manager to lift a European Cup more than once. The most recent European silverware being won in 2008, after defeating arch-rivals Chelsea in the Champions League final during the penalties. 
Will David Moyes be able to establish Manchester United in Europe?

· There are countless other achievements that Sir Alex has achieved in different forms e.g. Manager of the Month/Year. However, the most prestigious one from a club’s perspective is the one that will be talked about now.

Precisely speaking, it is the integrity and loyalty of a manager. Sir Alex has been one of the most consistent and disciplined manager in the history of football. The art of replacing such a personality is quite simply put: a mammoth task.

At the end of the day, the replacement should offer a similar skill-set and keep the club competitive. There are not many names that will echo in one’s mind; this managerial quality is perhaps even more important than winning trophies. Let us have a look at both the manager’s key player signings:

Some of the players working under the Ferguson era:

Peter Schmeichel (Denmark), Dwight Yorke (Trinadad and Tobago), Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Norway), Paul Scholes (England), Roy Keane (Ireland), Eric Cantona (France), Ruud Van Nistelrooy (Netherlands), Nemenja Vidic (Serbia), Rio Ferdinand (England), Wayne Rooney (England) and more recently Robin Van Persie (Netherlands).

Sir Alex has been renowned for raising 6 great boys into the game of football. They were later termed as “Fergie’s Fledglings”: Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, David Beckham and Nicky Butt. They have benefited a lot under Sir Alex’s shear optimism, hard man management and leadership.

Some of the Key signings under Moyes’ era at Everton:

Louis Saha (France), Tim Cahill (Australia), Phil Jagielka (England), Leighton Baines (England), Phil Neville (England), Marouane Fellaini (Belgium). So obviously targeting low-priced talent.

After spending a long time with the manager, Marouane Fellaini has explained how unusual the atmosphere around the club has been recently. Marouane is optimistic that David Moyes will flourish at Old Trafford.

Here’s what he had to say about his ex-manager’s abrupt move:

‘It has been difficult, a very strange time at Everton in the last couple of weeks,’ said Fellaini. ‘It is Manchester United and everybody wants to manage that club, and he had the big chance, so everybody understands his decision.’
‘It was strange when he told us he was leaving. I don't think we were too upset - we were happy for him because he has ambition as well. He has worked 11 years at Everton and has done so well for this club, and now he has an even bigger challenge.’

It will be no easy road for Moyes. However, the new Manchester United manager’s strong statistical brain-power is expected to be carried on and embark him on the foundations of the football club.  

Fergie’s 26 years at United may have been up but he will certainly be overlooking David Moyes. Here’s hoping Mr Moyes avoids the “hair-dryer” treatment at any cost!
Good luck to the new Manchester United manager.

07 March 2013

What Really went Wrong?

Summary of the game

Did NANI deserve to be sent off?

The stage was set. A 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu was in some ways a superb result, but a monumental task lay ahead. With Real Madrid hitting 'Form' right at the crucial time, the signs for united were anonymous.

But as Sir Alex mentioned, one should not overlook the threats posed by the excellent United attack amid all the hype surrounding the 'los galacticos' , especially the return of Uniteds prodigal son - Cristiano Ronaldo.

As the team news filtered out, the first shock of the night arrived. No Wayne Rooney. How? When? Why? Manchester United without Wayne Rooney? Especially after his cracking strike over the weekend? what was Fergie thinking? were some of the queries that jumped into mind. But the blind faith built up into United fans that anything Sir Alex does is correct, silenced these questions. After all he is the 'Boss'. The 'special one' himself was a bit coy, talking about his future and other stuff that makes the British media swoon around him like flies near a defecating horse. Oh well.

Kick Off arrived. Old Trafford was like a cauldron filled with red hot fire. The atmosphere was electric, the fans were jumping, flags, mosaics.... it was a sight to behold. No wonder every footballer who has set foot in Old Trafford talks fondly about it. The stadium was rocking. The stage was set.

The match followed a familiar pattern. United sat deep, allowed Madrid to attack. When the play broke, the trio of Nani, Welbeck and Van Persie caused havoc. With Carrick and the excellent Giggs orchestrating the play, United looked a real threat whereas Madrid's attacks pattered out without any fire. The first half ended with United having the front foot, but not having scored the deserved goal. The crowd were getting a little uneasy, but the game so far had shown that United could progress. and that was proved right shortly into the second half. Again havoc was caused inside the Real Madrid penalty area, with Van Persie and Welbeck having shots saved, but Nani recovered the ball and swept in a cross, which, via double deflection off Welbeck and Sergio Ramos, went into the net. United were all set to book a place in the quarters, with an excellent attacking and containing performance. Then pandemonium struck.

The turning point of the game                                    
The ball was cleared and Nani, innocuously looking over his shoulder, ran into Alvaro Arbeloa, who dropped like a hand grenade. foul? a talking to? a yellow maybe? Straight RED. Ah well. Flashback to the Rafael red vs Munich? What followed was astonishing. Sir Alex could not believe it. He barged into the fourth official, who had no explanation. Above all, regarding Nani, I don't for a second believe that he meant to kick Alvaro Arbeloa. What he did was reckless and dangerous and without doubt worthy of a caution, but he did not have any thought along the lines of 'I'm going to hurt someone here'. Not thinking about what you do and actually hurting someone is practically a definition of the word 'reckless.'

Even if referees - and refereeing bodies - feel that this sort of thing is worthy of dismissal, I honestly think they are missing a trick by not involving players in the discussion. You can tell by their body language that no Real Madrid players were expecting nor demanding a red card. Players think differently to referees - in fact they also think differently to fans - and they have an instinctive feel for fair play, for the most part. I feel certain that if 1,000 players were polled, from all corners of the earth, that at least 90% would say this deserves a caution at most. And the surprising bit was the Turkish referee (Cuneyt Cakir), when looked up at twitter, followed only Real Madrid and Barcelona. And, this is the same guy who -

· Showed John Terry Red card vs Barcelona

· Showed John Terry a red vs Barcelona
Does this mean the referee did that on purpose? I'll leave it up to you to decide.

The result? United lost, even after a great push towards the end.
Did United deserve to lose? No.
Did United deserve to win? We will never know.
Did Real deserve to go through over the two legs? No(opinions may differ).
But in the end, it shows that no matter how much you prepare, if it isn't meant to be, then it wont happen.

The feeling of being hard done by will always prevail, but we are United. We will come back stronger and better. Believe.

Hope Dortmund go on to lift the Champions League.


04 March 2013

Will the real slim shady please stand up?

It's time to BEL4VE
The stage is all set for the legends to rise, 
history will be written, 
some fantastic football will be played,
may the better team win!

(Do you know the answer already?)
ManUtd vs RealMadrid, bring it on!  05/03/2013 (Photo: GETTY IMAGES)
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