Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Goodbye OLE

He has finally given up, the knee injury that has deteriorated Ole's last 3 years has won him over and bullied him out of football. Ole decided to retire from being a professional footballer today, leaving grief amongst TRUE UNITED FANS, as if someone actually died. I know i'm sad right now, another of my United heros won't play again in a United shirt, unless Man Utd decide to set up a deserved testimonial match for Solskjaer. He will most probably stay with the club though as he will most probably be given the role of a youth coach, but playing for United, he will never be seen doing again.

Having joined United way back in 1996, when I was begining to develop this craze about football and United, Solskjaer scored almost 130 goal, with the most famous one being that scored against Byern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final. He will always be remembered for winning us the Champions League as his goal was scored in the dieing seconds of the match. Whenever I watch the replay of that goal, it sends shivers down my spine, and the words "And Solskjaer Has Won It" still echo in my head. Whenever I watched United with Maltese commentary, I remember every commentator messing up Solskjaer's name since it's not that easy to pronounce. How they used to pronounce it is quite funny actually. Last year he scored 11 goals from 14 starts which is quite good given the fact that he was never 100% fit. He entered United's history and thus his name will be IMMORTAL. A true, honest, unselfish team player is now gone, long be remebered his name. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer we salute you.

From the Start till the End he scored GOALS...

"Your are my Solskjaer, my only Solskjaer, You make me happy when skies are grey, coz Alan Shearer was f**kin dearer, Please don't take my Solskjaer away"

Sunday, August 26, 2007

United 1 - 0 Tottenham

The Line Up:
Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra
Nani Carrick Scholes Giggs

At last United managed to get a win in this new season. The match proved to be different from the previous United matches, United barely posed any real threat to Robinson all match. In my opinion there were only 3 decent shots during the match from United, the goal by Nani, a shot by Scholes and a shot by Tevez which was cleared off the line. To be honest Tevez should have done better because his final shot was tame. The first half was really boring in my point of view, but at least the second half was a little bit better although we didn't see the entertainment provided by United last year during most of our premiership matches.

United started pretty slowly, in fact Tottenham could have scored after a few seconds, but to my relief, the ball hit the post. After the 10th minute, United seemed to take control of the match, United tried to attack but failed to trouble goalie’ Robinson. In fact I don’t recall one decent shot on goal, except for that by Carrick. Our only striker, Tevez worked hard all half, but he was too isolated, there was no one to help him up front. Saha who was supposed to be fit for this match, but didn’t make it to the substitutes bench. A late horrible miss cued shot by Hargreaves closed the curtains on a pretty mediocre first half.

As mentioned earlier, the second half was way better than the first one. From a neutral's point of view I think it was quite entertaining, though I must emphasize that I miss the football played by United last season. Both teams had their chances, Berbatov went agonisingly close when his shot somehow managed to pass through Van Der Sar's legs but thanks to a heroic tackle by Ferdinand the ball didn't end at the back of the net. No wonder the Old Trafford faithful kept chanting Rio's name during the second half, in my opinion that clearance spared our blushes. Practically seconds later another shot was blocked by our brave defence, this time Wes Brown was called to the scene and blocked a dangerous shot by Berbatov, it appeared that Brown blocked the ball using his hands, oh well, thank God the ref is blind. A few minutes later it was the Spurs turn to defend against our 'forwards', they managed to do so successfully and blocked away Tevez's shot but only temporarily as the ball fell to Nani who drilled in a stunning effort. Pure class! After this goal, Tottenham gave me a couple of frights but thankfully they didn't equalise.

At last we witnessed a United win in this new campaign, and I hope it won't be the last. Well surely it won't be the last, but another blop and our title aspirations would be dead and buried. I'm not quite convinced by United's performance, I really believe that our previous performances were better but after all it's goals that count, and we managed to score our second of the season, two of the best goals scored so far in the premier league in my opinion. Anyway our next match is against Sunderland, and I expect nothing else but a win. Hopefully Saha will be able to play and help Tevez up front. Until then, keep the red flag flyin high, we're back on track.

Over And Out.

Player Ratings : VDS - 6, Brown - 6, Vidic - 7, Ferdinand - 6, Evra - 6, Hargreaves - 7, Nani - 7, Scholes - 6, Giggs - 5, Carrick - 6, Tevez - 6. (Subs : Eagles-5, Fletcher-6)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Man City 1 - 0 Man Utd

The Line Up:
Brown Rio Vidic Evra
Nani Scholes Carrick Giggs
As the saying goes, Same S**t Different Day. United attacked continuously yet couldn't score, just like the previous 2 matches. Nani could have scored, Scholes could have scored and Tevez SHOULD have scored but no one did and thus we lay stranded somewhere in the bottom half of the premiership table.

United started the match quite well, the players were determined to defeat City's players. Attack after attack, shot after shot, Schmeichel saving most of them with the rest ending as a souvenier to the spectators behind the goal. United should have been given a penalty but I think the referee's mind was thinking about Global Warming instead of the match. Van Der Sar was virtually a spectator but we failed to make our superiority count and indeed we were punished for this. Geovanni grabbed the ball and somehow managed to score from a notable distance. It was a great goal, hands down, but what frustrates me most is that this was City's only shot on target during the first half.

The second half followed and yet again United attacked relentlessly but couldn't score. Micah Richards was in a magical form, and kept Tevez out of the game. And when Tevez was given a bit of space, he messed things up, if you want to see a mess up, watch the replay of him missing the target from a couple of cm's away from goal. Incredible simply jaw-dropping! I don't recall a decent shot on target by City, United dominated but couldn't score, credit to a great City defence, and City's keeper, who justifies the 'Like Father, Like Son' saying[He is Peter Schmeichel's son]. The only up from this match is that Hargreaves played and he was in my opinion the best player in a United shirt.
Another 3 points dropped, is this a horrible dream? Seeing United near the bottom of the table while City lay at the top. It's not, it's reality and something should be done if Ferguson really wants to win another premiership title. It really hurts to see United in this state, nearest to the bottom place than to the top. Our attack is in shambles, and to justify our pathetic attacking options, Frazier Campbell made his debut in the final 15 mins of the game, a time when we needed a proven attacker and not an inexperienced one. But we have no proven fit attackers left at the club except for Campbell and Dong Fansomething, since Ferguson decided to sell both Smith and Rossi and keep Saha. Mind you, Saha does his job whenever he plays, but he's always out injured. United are playing well in every department except in the attack and something should be done, it's better late than never, since the transfer window is still open, why doesn't Fergie buy a decent cheap attacker who could score and fill the emptiness left by Rooney? We'll wait and see, until then I will just pray United win their next match, otherwise we would have to admit that winning the league is virtually impossible especially if our rivals keep winning. Our next game is against Tottenham, I believe we could win the match, Tottenham didn't impress me at all, although they won their last match, but against a modest team like Derby so I expect a win, we'll just wait and see.

Over And Out.

N.B Player Ratings : VDS - 5, Brown - 6, Ferdinand - 6, Vidic - 6, Evra - 6, Hargreaves - 7, Carrick - 5, Scholes - 7, Giggs- 5, Nani - 6, Tevez - 5. ( Subs O Shea -5, Campbell -4, Eagles -6)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Portsmouth 1 - 1 Man Utd

Line Up:
Wes Rio Vida Evra
Ronaldo Scholesy Carrick Nani
Giggs Tevez
Another 2 points dropped, while our main rivals Chelsea win yet again, thus putting us 4 points behind Chelsea already. Chelsea's slow start last year cost them the league. We've started slow, I just hope it won't cost us a league title.

United started slowly, yet managed to dictate much of the first half especially after Scholes's screamer. Tevez laid off the ball to Scholes who's thunderbolt went straight into the net, with James having no chance. After this goal, Man Utd attacked but couldn't get a second goal.

In the second half Portsmouth were much better, they attacked and were rewarded with a goal by Benjani after a superb build up. There were few chances after this goal, but James was in an inspirational form to keep Tevez and Nani from scoring. Pompey managed to keep strong and keep United at bay. In the dieing minutes, Muntari was sent off for Portsmouth, but United's man advantage only lasted for a few minutes when Ronaldo was also dismissed for head-butting, in a Zidanish fashion, Hughes. Although the actual incident wasn't caught on camera so no one actually saw it except the referee and the people present at Fratton Park.

My team has let me down again. We're not seeing the free flowing football played last year, the type of football we all love watching, and which won us the league. A draw is not a good result especially after drawing last weekend but a big UP after this match is the fact that Tevez managed to get 90 minutes under his belt, in which he played quite well although there is room for improvement, while an enormous DOWN is the fact that we will have to cope not only without Rooney, but without Ronaldo too in the next 3 matches.

In the end, if we look at the table we're lying in the middle of it, we didn't manage to leapfrog teams who only played once such as the Gunners and Liverpool. But if we look at the bright side of life, we won a point on a ground where we didn't manage to win nor draw last season, although I must say, the situation we're in is worrying me, especially with the Man City game looming large. They have won all points at stake, and it would take a much improved United side which is minus Rooney and Ronaldo to win the 3 points at the City of Manchester stadium. We'll just wait and see, we really need Saha and Solskjaer, Giggs playing as a second striker just isn't working for us.

But we will keep the red flay flying high, cause UNITED will never die, there are still 36 games remaining surely we'll manage to get something out of them.

Come On Your Reds!!

Over and Out.
N.B. My Player Ratings:
VDS - 6, Brown - 6, Ferdinand - 6, Vidic - 6, Evra - 7, Ronaldo - 6, Scholes - 7, Carrick - 7, Nani - 6, Giggs - 6, Tevez - 7. (SUBS O'Shea - 5, Eagles - 5)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

United 0 - 0 Reading

With all the big guns winning their respective matches, we lost 2 important points, which come May, could be vital. As my friend Karan predicted, United played as follows:

brown vida rio silvestre
ronnie carrick scholesy evra
rooney giggs
In my opinion United played quite well, we just couldn't score which was really frustrating. In the first half we attacked with all our available weapons but we just couldn't get past a really stubborn Reading defence. To make matters worse Rooney got injured and had to be replaced by Nani in the second half, thus having to play without a natural striker for a whole half. This really showed in our finishing which was quite poor. We had lots of goal attempts but due to the poor finishing, they were barely threatening, except for a Giggs freekick, and another by Ronaldo who finally managed to hit the target from a freekick, instead of the wall or fans behind the goal.

As we attacked relentlessly, Van Der Sar literally basked in the sun, doing nothing but waiting patiently for our makeshift attacking front to deliver. But it was of no avail, it just wasn't our day. When Kitson was sent off for Reading, I really thought that it would be our turning point and take advantage of the situation, but the Reading players defended as if their lifes depended on this game. Well they got their reward, a priceless point at Old Trafford, something a few teams succeed in doing.

Most probably Rooney won't play next Wednesday since he fractured a bone in his foot so we really depend on Tevez, and I hope Giggs and Evra get back where they belong, in the Midfield and Defence respectively. Last season we lost away to Portsmouth, I just hope history won't repeat itself!

To sum it all up, I feel that my beloved team didn't meet my expectations, yet I still believe we have a squad capable of winning what our hearts desire i.e. Premiership and Champ's League :D

I'll blog again after the Pompey match. Come On You Reds!!!

Over and Out.

N.B. My Player Ratings : VDS - 5, Brown - 7, Ferdinand-5, Vidic-6, Silvestre-5, Ronaldo-7, Carrick-7, Scholes-6, Evra-5, Rooney-7, Giggs-7. Subs : Nani-7, O'Shea-6, Fletcher-5.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Friendly Matches

So it turned out that Man Utd were actually playing Glentoran and Dumfermline as their final preparation for the upcoming season. To be honest I have never heard of Glentoran, it must be a City on planet Mars. Leaving my geographical knowledge aside, and talking about the subject of this blog, Man Utd got past these last two hurdles untroubled. Against Glentoran, United won 3-0, with the goals coming from Campbell, Evra & Nani. I heard that Nani's goal was a beauty and his performance justified his price tag. I didn't get to watch this match but I'll try and watch the goals and highlights later on youtube.com.

In the second match which was played at the same time as the previously mentioned game, United won against Dumfermline 4-0. The goals coming from Eagles, Giggs and a double from Rooney. I got to watch 20 minutes of this match as I had other priorities. United seemed to be playing good attacking football. Hargreaves managed to play for like an hour, while the surprise of the night was the inclusion of Paul Scholes days after his surgery. He played the whole match, which is a big boost for the United squad ahead of the new season. I should point out that I really like this Eagles guy, a beautiful curved goal against Everton and a cracker against one of the asian teams in the tour have really won me over. Hope he continues to progress. Sadly, Tevez didn't play in any of these games, it seems that a new problem regarding his transfer has just popped up. We'll have to wait more until he signs for United, but who cares about waiting for a few days, after all we've been patiently waiting for two months, another few days would do no difference, at least to me. Altough it does to Ferguson, who planned to have Tevez available for next Sunday.

Anywayz it's 12:35am right now so I better get some sleep because tomorrow I have a pile of Mathematics waiting to be done. I'll blog again after the Reading game, well I hope that we win our first match of many, so that we bag another premiership title. Come On You Reds!!

Over and Out.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

F.A. Community Shield Winners

I've been waiting for this one, a sense of deja vu gripped this match as it was practically a replay of last May's FA Cup Final. That final was really dull, and this match wasn't any better( I just don't know why skysports.com said it was an entertaining match, I nearly slept during the match, that says a lot.) Both teams created few chances, until Giggs scored after a great build up. Ten minutes later Chelsea levelled with a fine goal by new-boy Malouda. The second half didn't provide any entertainment nevermind goals, so the match had to go to a penalty shootout in which Man Utd won thanks to three fine saves by Van Der Sar, and 3 successful penalty kicks by Ferdinand, Carrick and Rooney.

Apart from the psychological effect that may be left on both teams, this match was of little relevance. Both teams missed some key players, such as Terry and Scholes for Chelsea and Man Utd respectively, we didn't get to see neither Anderson nor Hargreaves in action but Nani played for like 30 minutes. In which he didn't impress me at all to be honest, but lets give this guy a chance he's just joined us. Now our next match is next Wednesday, I just don't know against whom, but it's a friendly and Tevez might make his United debut. Nywayz I don't really care about that match, all I care is about the following match vs Reading. Hope we win, Come On You Reds!
Here are my Player ratings since I have nothing else to do:
Van Der Sar – 9 ,Brown – 7, Vidic – 7, Ferdinand – 6, Evra - 8, Ronaldo – 6, Carrick – 7, O’Shea – 6, Silvestre – 6, Giggs – 7, Rooney – 6, Nani – 5, Fletcher – 5

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Goodbye Alan Smith, Welcome Tevez

Friday 3rd August, returned from my Maths private lessons and as I always do, switched on my computer to browse the internet. Checked Skysports.com , Thesun.co.uk, Tribalfootball.com and last and not least Manutd.com. They all had one thing in common, the same headline, 'ALAN SMITH SIGNS FOR NEWCASTLE'. Five words that left my heart broken.

I just don't know why, Smith never did anything amazing, he rarely scored yet he took over a lot of Man Utd's supporters hearts. Maybe his determination and love for the game did so. He really reminded me of Roy Keane, his character and will to fight for the club is what must have won him over the reds faithful as well as his goals in the begining of his Man Utd career. The strike against Arsenal in the Charity Shield and his superb volley against Norwich were amongst those goals.

His first season for Man Utd was OK, he played a couple of games but the arrival of Wayne Rooney and the great form of Van Nistelrooy meant Smith stayed on the bench for most of the games. This is when United fell short of midfielders, and Smith played in a midfield position. Game after game he showed what he's made of, a player with 'balls' to be precise. His best game coming against Chelsea when Man Utd won 1-0. Smith kept playing in the same midfield role until disaster struck, Anfield proved to be an unhappy venue for him in February 2006, when he sustained a broken leg and dislocated ankle on Merseyside.

That sidelined him for seven months, before a brief return to first team action and a further four month absence. He returned at the end of last season, and his performances proved priceless for the Red Devils, His last goal in a Man Utd shirt came in the 7-1 thumping of Roma at Old Trafford and his last competitive game for the Red Devils was as an extra time substitute in the FA Cup Final defeat by Chelsea in May. One of my hereos has now left the club, it's really strange seeing him wearing the Black and White of Newcastle United, although I must admit not as strange as seeing Nicky Butt wearing the same strip or David Beckham wearing the white of Real Madrid but anyways, All The Best Smudger!

Smith will leave the club after three years. He's won a League Cup and a Premiership title with the club, made 93 appearances in which he scored 12 goals

Apart from this sad news, some great news also dominated the English papers, that of Tevez finally let to sign for Man Utd. His transfer saga literally lasted for about 2 months and now we can finally see him in the red of Man Utd. I hope Tevez delivers, some say he is quite similar to Rooney, well I hope he has got the same determination as him and that they gel together to form a lethal striking partnership, we'll just wait and see, he will most probably play in next Wednesday's Friendly.

Meanwhile Yesterday(Friday) Man Utd XI played against Doncaster Rovers FC, a friendly match played mostly with second string players apart from new signing Anderson who showed some classy touches. The game ended 2-0, with Gibson and Evans scoring. Today Man Utd played another friendly against Peterboro, United won 3-1 with Eckersley, Jones and Dong scoring. Dong's goal was quite spectacular, but the highlight of the came was the debut of Owen Hargreaves. United's next game is tomorow against Chelsea, in the season curtain raiser a.k.a The Cherity Shield. I hope We Win :D

Welcome to My Blog

Hi, I'm Oliver Saliba, a 17 year old boy residing in Gozo who is crazy about Man Utd. My blog is about my favourite football team. I will try and blog frequently about games, transfers etc... Anyway you get the picture. Hope you like this simple blog about a massive team, everyone is welcome to express his opinion and comment, but if you are a Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool or any other rival club supporter please do not offend otherwise your comments will be deleted. :D Enjoy!