21 November 2014

Squad Prediction: Arsenal v Manchester United

Above is a realistic squad to face Arsenal on 22nd November 2014.
Please register your thoughts below (even if you agree)

20 November 2014

Has van Gaal much to prove vs Arsenal?

Arsenal vs Manchester United
Saturday, 1730 GMT

All eyes on Louis van Gaal who is yet to win against a big team in the Premier League so far.
Manchester United are to face an in-form Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday. The stellar game kicks off at 17.30 (GMT standard) and is one of the more important games to be played this weekend if not the entire season.

After a two week international duty break, one would have thought United's injury worries will be alleviated, however, the issue has only deepened as Daley Blind and David de Gea (doubtful) and Michael Carrick (doubtful) join the list of the players currently out injured: Phil Jones, Marcus Rojo, Johny Evans, Daley Blind, Ashley Young and Radamel Falcao. 

Arsenal vs Manchester United fixture has always been a talking point and this season is unlike any other. Corporations like Sky Sports have profited from games of this magnitude by rolling out services such as Sky Sports HD and Sky Sports 3D on this very fixture in different seasons earlier.

Moving focus to the big game on Saturday. 
The game is equally important for both the clubs which are struggling to hit peak form with only one point separating them. United are below Arsenal and both teams desperately need to win to climb up in the premier league table. Both Arsenal and United have won just four out of their 11 games this season. It is shocking to observe Southampton way clear of United by 9 points.

In the last 14 games that United and Arsenal have played, Arsenal has only won once (the 2011 season) and lost 10, drawing 3. Can this game extend United's lead over their once-arch-rivals? Well maybe not, considering their current away form. United is yet to win a single game away from Old Trafford this season. That is absolutely poor and I do not recall such an occurrence since the time I started following Manchester United (the 2006-2007 season). 

Manchester United's recent form has been rather encouraging as the last 6 fixtures saw MUFC winning three of their four victories in total (in the Premier League). The victories came against teams like West Ham, Everton and Crystal Palace. Saturday evening's test is a first realistic wake up call for a potential top four finish. They simply cannot give points away now!

Has Louis van Gaal justified being a manager of a Great British football club? 
Another critical topic of discussion is the adaptability of Louis van Gaal to the English game. His ego and no-nonsense approach at the press conferences has been widely acclaimed to be like Sir Alex Ferguson, but has he really got SAF's mettle? 

Source: Wikipedia 
The Dutchman's career has seen him move between various clubs. However, he achieved most of his success at Ajax and I'm sure he won't be a happy man if he compares it to his current United form. 

One thing that I absolutely admire about van Gaal though is his habit of giving youngsters a chance. Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett, who still play for U-21 MUFC teams, wouldn't have been given a first team appearance by David Moyes, United's previous manager. 

Winning 4 games out of a possible 12 clearly isn't a big deal at all and signals that LvG is clearly a slow adapter to change. United's injury problem has not allowed LvG to settle down. Having said that, if Jonny Evans and Phil Jones were game fit, I doubt if even LvG would have picked Blackett or McNair but the point is the man's tendency of favouring the youth is good and will be liked by the United faithful. He has done this at all the clubs he has managed so far and it is good to see him carrying it to Manchester too.

However, just like any other United fan, I am disappointed on not seeing Juan Mata in the Playing XI too often. The fact that he was bought to address United's midfield woes last season doesn't seem to affect the gaffer who clearly doesn't favour him and always ends up playing Rooney in the no. 10 position. Watching the Spaniard rot on the bench is very annoying. This issue needs to be resolved by van Gaal sooner rather than later, else we might see Juan Mata switch clubs come summer transfer window. 

10 games on, Moyes v Van Gaal, who wins?

Well, it doesn't really matter. One should look at the big picture and I do not see it developing well as of now. The above picture sums up my concern. I am clearly worried about the spending spree of Manchester United in the last 2 transfer windows. 6 new players were brought in costing nearly £30m per player (excluding Falcao's loan deal). Yet, it is disappointing to see United not performing to the standards they should be. 

2.1 : Final thoughts about the game vs Arsenal. 
Well, United simply cannot afford to lose this one, so we predict it will be a 2-1 win for United with Rooney and Sanchez both on target.

Just how much time does the Dutchman need to stabilise his Red Army in Manchester? Will United finish top 4 in the Barclays Premier League? Feel free to share your thoughts below. 
Make yourself heard people!

05 October 2014

A game United desperately needs to win

Super Sunday Game week 7 presents four stellar games, one of which obviously is Manchester United vs Everton kicking off at 1100 GMT.

Sunday, 05/10/2014, presents a VERY crucial opportunity for United. This is probably one of those great moments the club needs to seize in order to secure a potential top 6 position in the league table. The great Manchester club needs to win for the pride and honour, now. It's certainly a game that will help the Old Trafford faithful to forget the ghosts of last years double defeats vs Everton.

Everton has been a very messy affair for United lately and a victory today will extend a much needed advantage. Everton obviously is a club from where United hired a potential Sir Alex successor for ONE year. It was an EASY choice but not a great choice, however, as it turned out. But United learned and now they 'shall try their best' to beat Everton for the first time since February 2013. Here's hoping the new Manchester United no. 7 Angel di Maria (talismanic Argentine) does justice to his shirt number.

02 October 2014

Faith in Loyalty Parked - Implications

So Ji-Sung Park is all set to become the 6th current serving Manchester United ambassador, joining the likes of Gary Neville, Bryan Robson, Andrew Cole, Peter Schmeichel and Bobby Charlton. Achieving such a momentous feat is surely a proud moment and surely Ji didn't have it too easy on his plate. It was his sheer determination to do well in football at Manchester Utd as a result of which he delivered his killer skills matrix for his favourite club.

So what could be the impact of History's first Asian Manchester United player to go on and become THE first Asian club ambassador for the same? The answer is simple and can be described in one word - it's Limitless. After losing Shinji Kagawa (Asian player bought after Park left in 2012) to parent German club Borussia Dortmund for yet another cheap ~£6m deal, Man United obviously was looking for ways to re-establish itself in Asia.

Honouring Ji essentially hit two birds in one shot in the sense that the club credited a deserving player and reinstated relations (revenues) from Asia. I am sceptical if people will still buy Manchester United merchandise with Park Ji Sung written on its back, but the club's fan base will certainly pick up after the Japanese Kagawa's departure. This may kinder a positive contribution to next year's Annual Report.

This strategic affair involves a deal which is a win-win for both the player (Park) and club (Manchester United). It is a pursuit to establish an advantage over big clubs like Arsenal and Chelsea who have not tapped the emerging Asian markets as heavily!

Thanks For Reading, We have more exciting articles coming Real soon!

the Editor-In-Chief,

30 September 2014

MUFC to Park an exciting announcement tomorrow

'Three Lungs Park' is set to be accredited on 01/10/2014

There are some players who just score goals; then there are the likes of Ji-Sung Park. 

Park Ji-Sung, Manchester United's heroic Asian midfielder, is all set to be in limelight again tomorrow as his previous employer will make an announcement about him. The Asian player made 205 appearances in which he netted 37 goals before leaving the club in 2012. Maybe the player anticipated the club's decline in the ensuing year and moved on. The player retired two years later.
Maybe he did not like his football life playing for a club other than England's Manchester United!

The decision was indeed a good one as he moved to QPR followed by a transfer to PSV in the Netherlands where he nurtured. Ji stepped down from professional football in May, 2014 and has since then tried to spend life outside of his football interests. But he can't get rid of Manchester United out of life so easy. The South Korean is set to be made centre of a huge announcement tomorrow by his former club. Watch this space for more developments!

TRDS doesn't want to speculate what position or what recognition the club is readying itself to Park ji Sung; for what is fairly obvious. There is a common behaviour pattern amongst Manchester United players such as Sir Bobby Charlton, Bryan Robson, Dennis Law, Andy Cole,  Peter Schmeichel and more recently, Gary Neville. In a nutshell, it is NOT about how many Ballon'd Or titles you have won or how much your bank balance reads; leave apart your diverse skill-set or the kind of music you play in the dressing room prior to kick off. It's the passion you have for the club and the philosophy. This is based on words of Sir Alex Ferguson that, No player can be bigger than the club - not even Cristiano Ronaldo!

Club loyalty is all about how you have helped the club fight various battles on the football pitch. It's also about mental toughness and your ability to bring about a revolution in the park; your ability to inspire generations if not just the Old Trafford faithful. Ji-Sung Park offered all such qualities during his 7 years at United. He has been the most loyal player Manchester United has ever hard - he deserves an award of the highest level. All this indicators point towards one particular post; we wouldn't unleash that yet - but it is as MUFC's tweet said, your time to guess!!!

Mr. Park spent seven years at the prestigious Manchester club between the years of 2005 and 2012 when he was let go to Queens Park Rangers (QPR) on a cheap £2m deal. A player of Ji Sung's stature should have yielded at least £6m. However, the arrival of new management coupled with fitness issues forced Ji to exit Man United in order to still play at the highest level. During his time at United, Park was a valiant midfielder. Of course, no one can compare the South Korean to the Irish midfielder Roy Keane, for whom the club has failed to find a replacement, but the boy had all the critical skills required to rip apart any Premier League's defence. I mean it, his ability to kill off the game in early second half was absolutely phenomenal. TRDS salutes Ji Sung Park and his loyalty.

Park was a crucial component of Sir Alex's plans to demolish opponents week-in week-out, especially after Darren Fletcher's bowel illness and Paul Scholes' proximity to retirement. His ability to read the game and make short passes was absolutely valued by the club. One of my favourite memories of the amazing football player has to be his performance vs Chelsea during the home leg of the Champions league semi-final in 2011.

Written  on a very special date for what happened three years ago. September is finally over!
당신에게 박지성 감사
(Thank You Park Ji-Sung)

18 September 2014

Angel di Maria HD Wallpapers

So is Ronaldo coming back home next summer?

There is speculation that Cristiano Ronaldo will leave Madrid to return to Manchester United soon

What could be an ideal Christmas present for a Manchester United, apart from Liverpool being positioned below United in the Barclays Premier League table?

It would undoubtedly be the acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid. However, pundits feel that this may not happen so soon, but will surely take place. Spanish football expert Guillem Balague reckons 'everything is in place' for CR7 to make a comeback at United. We put together 3 main reasons why this could happen in the coming transfer window(s):

Unhappy Ronaldo
1. Ronaldo is clearly unhappy at Real Madrid with the departure of his close peers Mesut Ozil to Arsenal (2013), Xabi Alonso to Bayern Munich (2014) and Angel di Maria (2014). Real Madrid's performance so far in the La Liga has been dismal  (placed 13th with only 1 win in 3 games) partly due to the exit of Xabi and di Maria. There is a sense of disbelief in Real Madrid's intent this season and Ronaldo certainly wouldn't like to play for a club on a decline. United on the other side is re-inventing itself and Ronaldo would be happy to be at a club where he belongs more. 

2. Manchester United have their finances in place and have regained their buying power. Who could how thought they would be able to sign 6 new players in the 2014 summer transfer window including the likes of Radamel Falcao, Angel di Maria and Ander Herrera. Gary Neville recently made a statement about how surprised and happy he was at United's recent signings "We sat here three or four months ago deliberating over whether Manchester United could attract world-class talent. They have absolutely smashed that question out of the water". He also said that the arrival of Falcao and di Maria has made it "more possible" for Ronaldo to now follow the suit. Manchester United spent a staggering £170m in the recent transfer window; crossing the rumoured £150m budget set by the Glazer family. United is definitely on a spending spree.

Happier times
3. Ronaldo wants to fulfil his dream of coming back and playing for Manchester United. CR7 was only aged 24 when he made a switch to Real Madrid. He was still a boy back then, full of ambitious dreams and had a lot to prove to the world. Five years later, breaking records after records and bagging around 15 accolades including the Fifa Ballon d'Or and UEFA Best Player in Europe award in 2014, CR7 has achieved almost everything he could have possibly desired. He has talked so much about missing Manchester and Old Trafford in the last 12-18 months that it is bluntly obvious that he now wants to come back home. 

OK, so what if this deal does go through - how much will the possession of Cristiano Ronaldo cost Manchester United?

Ronaldo was sold to Real Madrid for a record price of £80m (crossing the historic €100m mark). In 2013, he signed a lengthy 5 year contract which ties him to the current European champions till June, 2018. His current weekly salary is £300,000. If Ronaldo's club decides to sell him off next year, when he still will have 3 more years to play, there is seriously a good chance for Real Madrid to cash in. Experts are arguing anything between £50-£60m would be a bargain for Manchester United. As far as the wages go, it would be no less than £300,000 a week. Can Manchester United afford him is entirely a different question. They will surely have to get rid of a few under-performing players such as Anderson, Cleverley, Fellaini and Young. 

Clearly Real Madrid fans would absolutely agonise if Ronaldo is allowed to leave the club and there is no replacement lined up. Could that replacement be Radamel Falcao? Falcao has made his feelings about the Madrid club clear and would like a move despite his time at rivals Athletico Madrid. Falcao and Ronaldo share their agent in Jorge Mendes and maybe this was all planned in order to lure Ronaldo back by United? Falcao is currently on a loan deal at United with an option of a buy-out at the end of the season from Athletico Madrid. A swap of clubs for Falcao and Ronaldo would be a good negotiating tool for Manchester United.

The benefits Cristiano Ronaldo can bring to Manchester United are endless. His signing will easily sell a million t-shirts upon arrival at Old Trafford. Assuming a United t-shirt still costs around £50 next year, his arrival will generate £50million in merchandise sales itself. Ronaldo's presence may hinder the selection of young players like Adnan Januzaj and Jesse Lingard in the Playing XI, but then they will a huge opportunity to learn from the Portugese superstar. His signing will also undoubtedly increase United's global fan following.

So what Jersey number will Cristiano Ronaldo wear if he makes a move to the Red Manchester club?

17 September 2014

Analysing Manchester United's Financial Health

Manchester United signed a deal with Chevrolet in 2012, strengthening its American roots

So how well is Manchester United doing financially in the light of a trophy barren 2013-2014 season,  a new manager, fresh sponsorship deals and no champions league participation? To answer this question, let's first have a close look at the last season's financial report which was released by the club last week. 

Manchester United have announced a record annual revenue of £433.2m which increased 19% from the previous season. Part of this revenue comes from sponsorships (£135.8m) as this saw a staggering 49% growth. Broadcasting revenue saw a surge of 33.7% and this is expected to reduce this year due to lack of Champions League display, which had a 5% contribution previous year. Match-day income decreased by 0.9% which is partly because the tremendous increase in previous season's income due to Old Trafford being a host to a few London 2012 Olympics games.

So how did Manchester United spend their money in the previous season?

Where the Annual revenue increased by 19%, the total operating costs of the club rose equally by 20%. However, the Revenue has been £60.9m higher, hence the profitability. Employee benefit expenses (which includes salaries to our big guns such as Rooney, Mata and Van Persie) was an astounding 58% of the operational cost. Wayne Rooney himself is on a reported £14m a year contract. Acquisition of Galacticos such as Angel di Maria and Falcao will certainly add to the wages bill in the current season. A pre-mature departure of Mr. David Moyes and his coaching staff cost the club £5.2m.

Manchester United now has 3 global sponsorship partnerships in the form of Chevrolet, Aon and Nike. From 2015-16 season, Nike will be replaced by Adidas in a record breaking £750m 10 year deal. Real Madrid's £31m a year deal was previously the highest.

However, the adjusted net income (after tax) amounts to a mere £23.8m.

Outlook for 2014-2015:

The club is not optimistic on boasting immense profits for the next year due to two reasons mainly. First, the lack of Champions league football will directly hit the broadcasting and match-day revenues and should cut the club's annual income by around £50m. Secondly, the club's net transfer spending for 2014-2015 is already £90m inflated by the £60m acquisition of Angel di Maria from Real Madrid.

So assuming MUFC finishes third in the premier league, a revenue of between £385m and £395m is expected for the 2014-2015 season. 

Five Key Financials a Manchester United fan should be aware of:

1. £720m - The price the Glazer family paid to buy Manchester United FC in 2005

2. £341.8m - Amount of club's debt despite reducing it by 12.2% in the previous season
3. £50m - The price Manchester United will lose out for not being in 2014-15's champions league
4. £59.7m - Club's record signing fee to secure the talismanic ex Real madrid's Angel di Maria
5. £53m a year - Chevrolet will pay this amount to have its name on the current MUFC jersey.

You can review the full annual financial report by clicking here.

Are you a financial expert? Do you think Manchester United can handle their finances in a better efficient way? Then we urge you not to be quiet about it and certainly comment!

21 August 2014

Paul Scholes demands five 'experienced' signings

Paul Scholes has today spoken about his former club and seemingly erupted a volcano.
"In those years under Sir Alex Ferguson, when trophy followed trophy, this sort of mediocrity was unthinkable. But it is happening."
You probably heard the gossip about Paul Scholes' expected column in today's Independent newspaper (Click here for the link). We summarise his concerns below and comment on the probability of its occurrence - more to follow:

1) Paul Scholes thinks his former employer needs to sign 5 new experienced players in order to stand a chance to compete in the 2014-2015 Barclays Premier League.

2) Four of the five players he has recommended are present Real Madrid members. A possibility of such a transfer is HIGHLY unlikely. We wonder what was going through the Englishman's mind while he was drafting this article for the Independent)

3) TRDS ponders the possibility of such a massive transfer (the bill could easily exceed USD250M. This would not only pinch MUFC's revenues but might also disqualify from a potential Champions League Place after not adhering with the UEFA's Fair play policy.

4) Scholes doubts the clubs ambitions by reflecting on failure to sign the FIFA World Cup 2014 final star, Tony Kroos (now acquired by Real Madrid FC) and Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal rebel now bought by Chelsea FC).

5) FIVE: Wait for it... The five players who Paul Scholes thinks should feature for Manchester United are Sami Khedira, 'Angel' Di Maria, Xabi Alonso, Mats Hummels and Raphael Varane. TRDS doesn't expect Di Maria to open his wings and start producing trophies at Old Trafford overnight.

Such things do not usually happen overnight at this prestigious Manchester club.

One would wonder, what happened to the Marco Reus deal and why is he not on Paul Scholes' desired list? Another question Paul should answer is that WHY is he targeting Real Madrid players. Getting just the previous Manchester United no. 7 'Cristiano Ronaldo' back into the scene would be sufficient. His value should be far below at what he was sold to Real Madrid in 2009 realistically speaking.

Paul Scholes certainly has turned up the heat on the Manchester United family. It will be interesting to see how the world reacts! 
But one thing is for sure, Manchester United Football Club NEVER panics! Because we fight right till the referee (inc. the retired Howard Webb) blows his whistle.

TRDS demands a reason as to why Paul has made such a peculiar request to his former employer.

Here's how Paul Scholes XI looks like

Feel free to pour your heart out with comments; applying a few of your grey cells at the same time.

19 August 2014

How compatible is LvG with MUFC as our new manager?

When personalities like Usian Bolt, the super Jamaican runner, publicly say that they are closely monitoring the performance of Louis van Gaal, you know that you need to tighten up your nuts and bolts at least a little bit. Watch his statement in the embedded video below:

Video Courtesy: BeanymanSports

Note: This article is currently undergoing a huge edit. Do come back for an in-depth analysis.
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