Monday, October 27, 2014

United 1 - 1 Chelsea


Rafael Smalling Rojo Shaw

Januzaj Fellaini Blind Di Maria

Another good performance and yet another late equaliser; LVG seems to be instilling a fighting mentality into our players. After last year’s debacle, it is good to finally see our players not giving up when chasing a result. In the space of 7 days, we’ve won 2 points from two matches in which we were trailing until the dying minutes.  I remember last year I went to Old Trafford to watch Manchester United play against Everton. We lost that game by a goal but we failed to record a single shot on target during the final 20 minutes, if I’m not mistaken. We gave up on a handful of other games too without really putting up a fight. Today we knew we were playing the best team in England but we didn’t fear them and played quite well. LVG’s tactics were spot on.

So, how did we do in defence?
Good Game Smalling
First thing I learned on Saturday was that Jones was out of the reckoning for Chelsea’s game due to injury. What the fuck is this guy made of? Can’t he handle a game per week?! Thankfully, I don’t think we really missed Jones today. His replacement, Smalling, was excellent. Smalling gets a lot of criticism but I still think that he’s a very good defender. OK, he’s no Vida or Rio in their prime but he’s not as bad as some people make him out to be. He’s prone to that stupid decision every now and then but then again, each and every defender we’ve got is prone to a rash decision that could fuck up a good performance. Rafael is the undisputed king of rash decisions. One moment he’s doing extremely well and then he does something that makes you forget all the good he’s done throughout the game. Unfortunately, there’s no room for error if you’re a defender (and goalie!). Perhaps that’s why the likes of Rafael, Smalling and Evans have been severely criticised in the past. Anyway, our other central defender Rojo was decent but he still hasn’t come to grips with the physicality of the Premier League. There’s much room for improvement if he’s to keep playing at centre back. Rafael had a good game but the goal we conceded was due to him not marking Drogba properly. Having said that, I don’t think it’s his fault that our manager served him up in a mismatched aerial contest v Drogba. To be fair though, Chelsea is a team full of 6ft players so I think we ran out of tall makers. Shaw had his best game in a United shirt. He seems to have established a good understanding with Januzaj and looked threatening going forward. What’s more important is that he did his defensive duties with no fault. He said last week that he’s not playing to his full potential and I think that this game was the first step towards transforming to a Manchester United full back from a Southampton player. Well done. 

Midfield? I was a tad disappointed with three of our midfielders. Blind lost his battle with Matic while Mata never controlled the game. I know that LVG said that Roo will have to work for his place if he wants to get back into the starting XI but Mata had a chance to cement a place in this team and missed it. Roo will walk into the team for the derby this Sunday. Di Maria was marked out of the game and made some poor deliveries. He still managed an assist though and that’s the trait of a very good footballer. Januzaj had a good game, he caused Chelsea plenty of headaches. He still needs to improve his decision making though.

Man of the Match Again
Fellaini was our best player. At the start of this season, I wouldn't have dreamt that Fellaini would be our best player in a game against Chelsea. He’s excelled from a player who was surplus to requirements to a player that could contribute towards our task of returning amongst the top four. All in the space of a week. The Fellaini we saw vs Chelsea was the same one we got used to see bully midfielders when playing for Everton. Fellaini marked Fabregas out of the game. He was powerful and committed. He went agonizingly close to scoring his second goal for United but his bullet header was well saved by Courtois. Luckily, the rebound fell to RVP who scored the leveller. I’d be surprised if he’s not involved in the derby on Sunday. Well played.

At the front, RVP had some decent attempts saved by Chelsea’s excellent goalie. His efforts were rewarded on the 94th minute when he scored the leveller. This is not the van Persie of two years ago though.  He’s not as sharp as he used to be, otherwise he would have got a couple of goals in this game.

Going back to the other side of the field, De Gea made a world class save once again only to concede a goal from the resulting corner.  Unlucky. There’s nothing he could have done about the goal conceded.

Were our celebrations over the top? Or were they justified?
So what’s my overall opinion on the game? I’m quite satisfied. Chelsea didn’t do much damage. Their goal could have been avoided and considering we had two world class strikers missing, we did pretty well on the attacking front. Our defence did well, but then again, the league's best striker (Costa) wasn't playing in this game.  I’ve got some mixed feelings on end of the game. I was obviously pleased to see RVP score the goal but on one hand I was delighted to see the boys celebrate the goal like they did. It showed what the goal meant to our players. On the other hand I thought the celebrations were a bit over the top. Old Trafford celebrated as if we won the game. We did not win the game. We only won one point. Granted, it was against an excellent Chelsea side, but still, we are Manchester United, we were playing at Old Trafford and we shouldn’t be celebrating a point as if we won the league. That's what I call "the small club syndrome".  

Can we beat City at the Etihad? Yes, we can but it depends on which Manchester City and which Manchester United turn up on Sunday. Both teams are quite unpredictable this year. Come on United! Time to get our first away win of the season!

"It's just a process and we are now in the middle of that process. It's getting better every day, we are improving all the time. Today showed that." Robin van Persie

Monday, October 20, 2014

WBA 2 - 2 United

Rafael Jones Rojo Shaw
Januzaj Herrera(Fellaini) Blind Di Maria(Young)

Well, I thought that was quite a good display.  We were all over WBA throughout the game but they still managed to score two goals....and they only had two shots on target. WBA’s goals were excellent finishes and our goalie could do absolutely nothing about them. 

What worries me is that both goals could have been avoided if our defenders were more concentrated. I think both of our fullbacks were at fault for the goals we conceded. Luke Shaw was out of position when WBA scored their first while Rafael failed to keep in line with our other defenders for WBA’s second.

I thought Blind was quite,good Di Maria drilled one brilliant cross after another and second half substitute Fellaini had his best game in a United shirt. I’m not saying this just because our Belgian scored a peach of a goal but also because he was everywhere during the second half and won several aerial duels. Was that the performance that kickstarts Fellaini’s United career? I bloody hope so. About time too.

I was a bit disappointed with some of the players. RVP was too isolated and his performance wasn’t the best he’s had. True, he was a tad unlucky to hit the woodwork and looked like he sparked to life as soon as he had a striking partner in Radamel Falcao. His performance before Falcao’s entrance was dire. Perhaps van Gaal’s decision to start with one striker is the reason behind RVP’s poor game. Herrera looked like he’s still injured and gave possession away too often for my liking. Mata was disappointing as well. He wasn’t really effective during the game. I know Rooney is getting a lot of criticism from our own fans, something I absolutely do not understand, but we miss him dearly.

As I said earlier, I thought we weren't that bad today. We deserved to win. We hit the post and were unlucky no one met one of Di Maria's crosses. It was also good to see United fighting to win the game. We were trailing until the 85th minute but fought to get the equalizer and we did. Our players also tried hard to get a late winner. The biggest positive was perhaps Fellaini's performance. Chuffed for him. It was also good to see two midfielders getting goals. In the past seasons, our midfielders weren't getting that many goals. Last season our midfielders scored 17 goals in all competitions. This year, our midfield players have already scored 9 goals. Our problem is that our strikers seem to be out of form. 

Thanks to this game, I can also say that I've now seen Young replace Di Maria. Who would have thought that this substitution will ever happen? Especially when Di Maria was destroying Athletico Madrid in the Champions League final last season!

So, more points dropped on our travels and I’m not really feeling optimistic about our next two games. Chelsea are miles better than us. We’ll wait and see what happens on Sunday. Come on United! 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

United 2 - 1 Everton

Rafael McNair Rojo Shaw(Blackett)
Valencia(Fellaini)Blind Mata Di Maria
Falcao(Wilson) RVP
Man of the Match. A saved penalty and two world class stops. 
It's good to finally see United win a second game on the trot. The last time we won two consecutive Premier League games was in March when we beat Villa and then Newcastle. 

We started the game positively but didn't have a lot of threatening shots at Howard's goal. Di Maria put us ahead on the 30 minute mark after some fine work by Mata. I thought we were in total control of the game during the first half but Shaw gave Everton a way back into the game by clumsily tackling Hibbert in our box. A penalty was awarded in the first half's injury time but De Gea did well to save Baines' effort. That was the first penalty Baines missed in the Premier League. That should have given us the impetus to go all out during the second half and swap Everton aside. That, however, did not happen. Baines made up for his penalty miss by delivering an inch perfect cross that was finished by Naismith. I must add that Naismith should have been marked by Shaw but our left-back let Everton's man unmarked. 

Thankfully, it didn't take us long to get back in front. A mishit shot by Di Maria fell into Falcao's feet and the latter scored a true striker's goal. That goal will do the world of good to the Colombian. He needed that goal after a couple of misses earlier in the game. We didn't do much more after the goal and instead let Everton attack us at will. A couple of decent crosses by Everton were well defended by our impressive central defenders but it was two world class saves, both during stoppage time, by De Gea that won us the three points today. Absolutely brilliant. Our goalie was buzzing after the game and was loving the David De Gea chants by the Old Trafford faithful. Well deserved. 

Overall I'm obviously delighted to have won the 3 points today. However, I'm a tad worried that we couldn't put to the sword an Everton side that has been quite poor this season. Nevertheless, three points are what we play for in football and we got just that. It was also very good to see three players from our youth system play a part in this game. McNair was very well organised, Blackett blocked a dead cert goal and Wilson got stuck in to stop Everton's attacks. Well played. 

A welcome international break up next; maybe some of our players can recover from their injuries. West Brom in a fortnight. Come on United! 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Man Utd 2 - 1 West Ham

Rafael McNair Rojo Shaw
Blind Herrera(Valencia)
Di Maria(Thorpe) Rooney(s/o) RVP

As we did last week, we started the game brightly but faded out of it as soon as the opposition scored a goal. We were all over West Ham but one moment of poor goalkeeping brought the Hammers back into the game and it was a struggle from then on. To make matters worse, on the hour mark, Rooney was justly sent off for a blatant foul. I know West Ham must have had their confidence in cloud nine today after their win vs Liverpool but I simply expected better from our boys.

We simply had to win today and we did but only just. We were 2-0 up inside the first 25 minutes and looked like we were going to record a comfortable victory. That's exactly what I thought last week as soon as Di Maria scored that worldy against Leicester. But we all know what happened then. The word 'comfortable' doesn't seem to appear in Man Utd's dictionary this year. We just made life hard for ourselves. Rooney and van Persie scored two good goals but we just stopped when West Ham scored 10 minutes later. From then on, we always looked like conceding. Rooney lost his head and got sent off for a very stupid challenge. I know West Ham were probably going to catch us on the wrong foot with that attack but a simple shirt pull would have floored the player and Rooney would have just got a yellow for his troubles. Instead he made a knee high dangerous tackle. Deserved to be sent off. 

I could barely look at the screen during the final 20 minutes. Our defence were having to deal with some decent West Ham play. The Hammers did score the equaliser but it was ruled out for offside. PHEW! In the end we hung on to the lead and won our second game of the season. It's good to get the three points but there's plenty of room for improvement.

The biggest positives today were probably McNair and Rojo's performances as well as Rafael's. Di Maria had an off day while Falcao is in desperate need to get a goal. Hopefully he'll get going as soon as he scores his first. 

I'm off. I'll be going on a week long holiday in less than 24 hours and I still haven't packed yet. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Leicester 5 - 3 United

Rafael Evans(Smalling) Blackett Rojo
Herrera Blind Di Maria(Mata)
Falcao(Januzaj) RVP

Some of the football our team played today was absolutely terrific, yet I'm here posting about another United defeat this season. We threw away a two goal lead twice. A lot of people said that our only hope of doing well this season is by outscoring our opponents. I never really understood what was the fuss about our defense. Why was everyone saying it's too weak? I know our central defenders aren't anywhere near Vida and Rio when they were at their best, however, I thought we were ok at the back. Today's game made me wake up and smell the coffee. That was a harsh reminder that our defense is indeed very weak and should have been bolstered during the transfer window. We weren't playing Chelsea or Man City. We were playing Leicester and we conceded 5. That's already 10 points lost this season to opposition we should be winning against. 

We started the game well. Our football was fantastic, the passes were flowing and we scored a couple of fine goals. Falcao delivered an inch perfect cross to RVP as the latter opened the score while Di Maria scored a sublime chip. Our celebrations were cut short as Leicester got one back but I thought that wasn't a problem. The football we were playing made me believe that we'll hit them back with two or three more goals. We did score another. Herrera flicked Di Maria's through ball into the back of the net. Game over, I thought. BUT the ref let Leicester back into the game. I couldn't even believe what I was seeing. Rafael was blatantly fouled by Leicester's striker but the ref let the play go on. Rafael was back on his feet and tried to take the ball. Leicester's attacker dived even though Rafael made no real challenge and the ref awarded the penalty. Unbelievable. I can't believe how one blatant foul was adjudged to be a fair challenge while an inexistent challenge was adjudged to be a foul. 

The ref had a stinker of a game. He could have easily sent off De Laet for 3 bookable offenses. Also, Rojo was fouled in the action that led to City's second penalty and Blackett's sending off. 

Anyway, after conceding the second goal, United just collapsed. Leicester were all over us from then on. Goals three, four and five followed as we ended the game with 10 men. It was an absolute horror show from the 60th minute on. 

So what's wrong? Well, first things first, if the ref didn't award that penalty we would have won the game. However, that cannot excuse the disastrous defending by our players. We WILL score plenty of goals but we won't be winning any points with that calamitous defense. Another problem is the fact that van Gaal hasn't been able to field the same back four in our games due to an unlucky amount of injuries. We need some stability and consistency but I'm afraid that won't happen anytime soon. Evans got injured today, Blackett will be suspended for the upcoming games and Jones is still injured. Rojo will probably have to accompany Smalling at central defense in our next game while Shaw fills in the left back berth. Rojo is said to prefer playing at full back but he wasn't convincing today. He gave the ball away far too often. But he'll get used to the Premier League eventually. 

I also expected better from Blind today. He didn't really support our defenders. Herrera was a tad too quiet as well. Di Maria scored one and created another while Falcao assisted RVP and also hit the woodwork. Our colombian still doesn't look sharp so I'll be looking forward to see a fully fit Falcao play in the upcoming weeks. Although Robin scored today, I'm not entirely sure about him starting the games for us at the moment. After last week's performance, I think Mata deserved to play behind Falcao and Rooney. 

Conceding 5 against Leicester is very poor. For the first time in our Premier League history, United threw away a two-goal lead to lose.  We've been breaking records left right and centre during the past year. Anyway, van Gaal must also shoulder some blame. At 3-1, it was probably time to protect the lead and bring on Shaw or Fletcher.

We're more than fine at the front. We just need some confidence at the back before our season can really kick off. Ultimately, if Leicester hadn't been awarded that penalty, we'd be waxing lyrical about some wonderful Man Utd attacking moves. Instead, we're moaning about our defense. Chelsea are 8 points away from us but we are within reach of the other top 4 challengers. When things click, we can defeat any team in England. Let's hope we learn from our mistakes. Come on United! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

United 4 - 0 QPR

Rafael(Valencia) Evans Blackett Rojo
Mata(Falcao) Herrera Blind Di Maria(Januzaj)
Rooney RVP

Well, that was refreshing! It was an absolute joy to watch United play today. Our passing was terrific and we could have easily scored two more goals. It was also a pleasure to finally see a player who truly deserves to wear our iconic number 7 shirt. 

Our best players today
I think it's been well over a year since we've last seen United play that well. We had some decent performances last season but they cannot be compared to what we saw today. Our players looked like scoring every time they attacked QPR. I know, QPR already got hammered by Tottenham and are a team that looks destined to be occupying the bottom end of the Premier League table. However, we made similar teams look like world beaters last year and lost quite a few points against mediocre sides. To see United put QPR to the sword was a very good sight.

The quality injected by new boys Di Maria and Blind was very evident today. Blind's debut was obviously overshadowed by Di Maria's excellent performance but our new Dutch signing was everything that we have been yearning for. He protected our back four superbly and was the player who launched most of our attacks. We got a few expensive players this transfer window but Blind's acquisition is likely to be quite a bargain if he performs like that every week. Di Maria, everybody's man of the match, showed that 60 million quid can get you a player who could make a difference. He scored one and assisted Mata for our fourth goal. If I'm not mistaken, he also had a say in the other goals. He was unlucky not to record another assist as a beautifully lifted ball to van Persie saw the latter hit it straight at the keeper. If there was a worrying sight today, it most definitely is van Persie's apparent lack of sharpness.

Two other good performers were Herrera and Mata. The former was very neat in possession and tackled well whenever he had to. He also took his goal superbly. We've been missing goalscoring midfielders so it's always nice to see a United central midfielder put his name on the scoresheet. Mata put in an 8 out of 10 display. Apart from his fine one touch passing he also scored his 9th goal in 11 games for United. Yeah, every expert was right; there's definitely no place for Mata in our team. HA! 

Rooney took his goal well and looked good in possession. He looks like he enjoyed captaining that side today! Who wouldn't? 

We did look a tad shaky on two instances at the back. In the first half, De Gea was so bored that he decided to get out of the box and try and take a ball that should have been dealt with by Rojo. Thankfully, Evans was there to save our Spaniard's blushes and cleared Austin's effort that was heading to the back of the net. Late in the second half Blackett, who looked composed throughout, was not aware of Vargas' presence behind him and let QPR's player through in on goal. These are mistakes that would have definitely been capitalized on by better quality players. 

Our fullbacks looked comfortable in their position. Rojo will have more difficult days down the left side. He was barely tested by QPR. On the right, I thought Rafael had a really good game. It was also very good to see a back four formation return to United. I was never convinced about us playing with three at the back.

To be able to bring on Falcao, Januzaj and Valencia at 4-0 is definitely something that shows that we've got some depth in our squad. That was definitely the strongest 18 man squad we've had for quite some time. We've also got some injured players who will soon return. 

A lot of ABUs (read Anyone But United) still hoping for our demise will now start clutching to straws and argue that it was only QPR we were facing today. That is true. But another team much loved by the English media was defeated by Aston Villa this weekend while the mighty Man City couldn't win against Stoke a fortnight ago at the Etihad. Ultimately, you can only beat what's put in front of you. I'm just glad we defeated QPR and beat them with so much confidence. Rome wasn't built in a day but I hope today we laid the foundations to something special. Bring on Leicester! 

Friday, September 5, 2014

The 2014 Summer Transfer Window

So the transfer window has been shut for some days now. English clubs spent a ridiculous £850m on players and, given our lack of transfer activity in the past few years, it is surprising to learn that 18% of that £850m was spent by Manchester United.

It’s been a while since the powers that be at Manchester United decided to spend the money that OUR club actually makes. It’s not money that we got from some sugar daddy. It is money that we made through successful seasons and our enormous fan base. The latter makes it very appealing for companies worldwide to advertise with our club.  So, basically, it was about time our club invested some money on new players. Last summer’s transfer window was a travesty while the one before that only saw RVP added to an already ailing side.

Woodward started the transfer window like he was raring to go. England had just been eliminated from the world cup (translate that to: very early this summer) and photos of him with Herrera surfaced on the Internet. A mere 24 hours later, he was at it again. This time it was Luke Shaw joining our club. After a devastating season, I was finally feeling optimistic. It seemed that people at the club had finally learned their lesson. No coach in the world can perform Ferguson’s miracles of taking a not-so-brilliant side to the pinnacle of English football. Fergie did it with very little spending. Moyes was given very little financial backing and we all know what happened then.

However, I wasn’t optimistic for long. July saw no transfer activity and a couple of Woodward interviews did little to up my hopes of having a successful transfer window. He told us to “watch this space” and those words immediately turned into an Internet joke as several memes were created to ridicule our vice CEO as well as the club. The excellent preseason results were a welcomed boost; we looked like a team playing with confidence. Heck, even Young looked like a world-beater. But those results couldn’t paper over the fact that our side was crying for more quality.

LVG said that he was going to give the current players time to show him what they’re capable of. I thought that was only fair but I had a gut feeling he was only saying that because he wasn’t being given any financial backing by the owners.  Although he looks like a really arrogant twat, LVG was actually true to his words. He was fair. He gave every player in our squad a chance to impress him. The likes of Anderson, Cleverley, Chicharito and Kagawa all played a part when the season started. A handful of young academy graduates also featured in LVG’s sides. Blackett played all three premier league games and, considering his lack of experience, he’s done well.

The chance was given to all players and LVG wasn’t impressed nor were the fans. With 4 games played we haven’t won a single game. We were absolutely humiliated at MK Dons, lost to Swansea, were lucky to draw vs. Sunderland and played a boring 0-0 draw vs. the mighty Burnley.

The final spending spree in this transfer window started with the acquisition of Rojo. An Argentine who looks very tough. Definitely tougher than what our current defenders look like. He could have played at least two games already but there are problems with his work permits. Apparently, he’s quite tough off the pitch as well. To my astonishment, this buy was soon followed by the arrival of Di Maria, a world-class player. The Argentine international was rarely linked to a move to Man Utd so I was quite surprised to learn he was Manchester bound. With his price tag, the only Manchester team that could afford him was City….well at least that’s what I thought. BUT I was wrong; Di Maria is our new number 7. Excellent.

Daley Blind, who had been linked with a move to United since the world cup, soon found his way to Old Trafford on transfer deadline day but this arrival was dwarfed by the potential acquisition of Falcao. Out of nowhere, a player who looked destined to join Real Madrid, was reportedly on his was to Manchester. I don’t think I’ve refreshed my twitter feed as much as I did on this transfer deadline day. Was he really joining? Yep, by dusk he was undergoing a medical at Carrington and some hours later (2 hours after the deadline), we had a new number 9. The deal brought to a close the best transfer window that we’ve had in a while. All players we’ve bought are quality and an upgrade to what we already had.

In May I wrote this:
We’ll need to buy, at least, 6 excellent players before the start of next season; a left back, two central defenders, two central midfielders and a winger.”

I should be well pleased (in fact I am!). We bought a left back, a winger, a central defender who could also play as a fullback, a proper central midfielder, a defensive midfielder who could play in defence and a world-class striker. How will these players fit in van Gaal’s formation? I don’t care, that’s our Manager’s problem to worry about. 
Welcome all to Old Trafford.


A transfer window obviously also sees players seeking pastures new at different clubs. Vida, Evra and Rio left earlier in the summer and a host of other United players followed in their footsteps.

Chicharito joined Real Madrid on a season loan. If he was seeking first team football, then I don’t know whether this is the right move for him. Having said that, I believe he’ll have a good season in Spain. The quality of the players around him will help him get goals. Although it’s just a loan, I doubt whether he’ll play a competitive game for us again. It’s a shame it had to end like this but he’s been off the boil for a couple of seasons now. Still, he guaranteed goals and 59 goals in 154 games is a very good stat, especially considering that he came off the bench in most games he’s played. There’s no doubting his qualities inside the box but he didn’t have the best of touches and often slowed down our build-ups. I like Chicharito and I hope he does well….even though he’s at a club I truly despise. Will always remember his goal vs Chelsea, at Old Trafford, in a title decider.

Other players were also loaned out. Nani, Zaha, Powell and Cleverley all got a season loan with a club or another. It is very probable that we won’t see Nani and Cleverley wear the red of United again and, to be honest, I don’t really mind that. Hopefully Zaha and Powell can develop even further and push into the first team next year.

Kagawa also exited Old Trafford after some mediocre seasons. We had high expectations but he just wasn’t suited to our way of play. There’s no doubting he’s a very good player but he never really excelled at Old Trafford. Not many memories to recall except for his hat-trick vs Norwich. He has now returned to Borussia Dortmund after playing 57 games and scoring 7 goals.  We also got £8m for him, that’s a handsome profit made by the German side after selling him to us for £18m a couple years ago.

Buttner was sold to Dynamo Moscow while Macheda got a free transfer to Cardiff. The former wasn’t Man Utd standard while the latter peaked on his first game with the first team. No one will ever forget Macheda’s goal vs Aston Villa. Magic. Bebe is another player who sought a new experience. Let’s face it, we won’t really miss him. How he ended playing for Manchester United is a huge mystery. A transfer I was surprised with was that of Tom Lawrence. I’ve been hearing a lot of good stuff about this guy so I was quite surprised to see him go. He debuted for Man Utd last season vs Hull City and did quite well.

Goodbye Danny!
Finally, the departure that ruined a very good transfer window was that of Danny Welbeck. Thinking about it still makes me feel a bit sick. I can’t believe our Danny is gone. He was Manchester United through and through. His celebrations whenever we scored a goal and his work ethic on the pitch showed that he loved our club dearly. If anything, I thought LVG’s “philosophy” would suit Danny. Instead, he was told that he’s surplus to requirements and sold to one of our rivals. He wasn’t really appreciated at our club by our fans. Many moaned about his lack of goals. He did seem to stumble whenever in the box, but he had other qualities that made him a starter in Ferguson’s and Moyes’ sides.  We’ve replaced Welbeck with Falcao. We’ve obviously had an upgrade because the Colombian is a better striker BUT it’s still quite sad to see Welbeck go. He’s the only striker that got through the ranks at Old Trafford that I can recall during Fergie’s era. We needed his pace so I can’t see why we’ve shipped him to Arsenal. I hoped that it would be a loan deal but it’s a permanent one. The £16m we got for him is a bit of an insult. With English players being so overpriced, I can’t see why Danny’s price isn’t somewhere close to the £30m mark. If he’s played as a central striker, he’ll do very well at the Emirates especially with players like Cazorla, Ramsey and Ozil supplying him. I really hope he does well there, people will then realise what a gem we’ve just lost. In 142 games he scored 29 goals, not the best of records but we all know that Danny brought more to the game than just goals. I will definitely miss “dat guy” Danny.  

So that’s it, a looong post to round up a pretty eventful transfer window. With the exception of Welbeck’s exit, I’m pretty delighted with the way our club dealt in this window. We’ve got ourselves 6 quality players and shipped out some deadwood. It’s a shame that Anderson is still around though but this will definitely be his final year at Old Trafford. His contract will end next summer.

What's very positive is that our new players look like humble guys who are ready to work hard. I used to think that Falcao thought he was all that but I’ve seen some interviews with him and he seems like a genuine bloke. When he left Athletico Madrid he organised a press conference to say his goodbyes and he could barely complete a whole sentence without breaking down crying. Also, he was always smiling in his interview with MUTV and looked really grateful to be at the club. Di Maria is also a down to earth guy and so is Blind and Herrera. Many have been saying that LVG is selling the soul of this club. The players we bought aren’t really primadonnas with egos bigger than our stadium. Hopefully, the family feel that our club is renowned for will still be present in the coming season. 

Really excited about Willo.
Also, everybody who knows me knows that I’d love our squad to have a British backbone. Fergie was keen on bringing British talent to the club but LVG seems to be very different. The last thing I want is to have a Man Utd side with no home grown / British players. LVG might bring us success but if he destroys the tradition of Manchester United, then no amount of success will ever make up for that loss. So I hope he shows some faith in our youngsters, if they're good enough.

Come on United!

A picture of Real Madrid and Barca's 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 was doing the rounds on the internet last month. Both have world class players. Ours ain't too shabby either!

Woodward has done the business, now it's over to you.