Saturday, August 30, 2008

United 1 - 2 Zenit

Neville Rio Vidic Evra
Fletcher Scholes Anderson Nani
Tevez Rooney

So United failed to win the Super Cup after losing by 2 goals to 1. United's goal, which only proved to be just a consolation, was scored by Vidic after some fine work by Rooney and Tevez.

The game provided some moments of brilliance, such as Danny's goal and Tevez's run which nearly resulted in a goal had Rooney been more alert, and some other less inspiring moments such as when Paul Scholes let instinct win him over and punched the ball into the Russians net. Which guaranteed he gets an early shower as well as a game suspension in the Champions League.

Overall United were poor except for Tevez who was his usual self but mind you for all United’s failings, even the Red Devils’ most ardent fan would have to agree that Zenit are a class act. The Russians are coming in European football in a very big way and I believe they will give both Real Madrid and Juventus a big headache in the Champions League. Well I hope so.
It is obvious that United are in need of a striker and we probably missed out on singning a decent striker before the transfer window ends. The good thing is that Manucho has been granted a work permit and thus we should see him debut for United soon. From what I've seen during the African Nations Cup he is a great striker with an eye for goal. Just what we need!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Portsmouth 0 - 1 United

Van der Sar,
Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, O'Shea,
Fletcher, Anderson (Possebon, 76), Scholes, Evra,
Rooney, Tevez
So United are back up and running! This was our first win of the campaign. Our hero was once again Darren Fletcher who scored his second goal of the season and considering his poor scoring ability, it's quite jaw dropping!

United played the long ball tactic quite often and as you might imagine when putting into mind the height of our forwards, it was fruitless. But sometimes United's passing had been top notch and that was what seperated our lads from Portsmouths'. Fletcher's goal, which will have to be reviewed by the dubious goals panel, came about after some fine link ups and a breathtaking run by Evra on the wing.

Rooney had a couple of chances but on the whole his performance was frustrating, in my opinion he's still lacking match fitness. Anderson had a great game and so did Fletcher. Vidic at the back was a rock. O'Shea was quite disappointing though.

On the whole it was a good performance by United who only won once in the last 5 season at Fratton Park. We managed to get 3 points out of Fratton Park while last year we could only manage to get a point! With Nani serving his 3 match suspension, Hargreaves and Park on the verge of joining the first team again after being sidelined through injury and the imminent arrival of Berbatov, United will only get better!

Our next match is vs Zenith in the Uefa Super Cup. We've only played once in this final and if I'm not wrong it was against Lazio in the 99-00 season. We lost that match so it's time to make up for that loss and win The Super Cup a 'ticket' to our trophy cabinet. I know its yearning to join the Premier League and Champions League trophy in our impressive cabinet!

Player Ratings : VDS-7, Brown-6, Rio-7, Vidic-8, O'Shea-5, Fletcher-7, Scholes-8, Anderson-8, Evra-7, Tevez-7, Rooney-6

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Silvestre Joins Arsenal

Arsenal signed Mikael Silvestre for an undisclosed fee. The defender has signed a two-year deal with Arsenal.
Silvestre said: “I’ve spent a large part of my career at United, the last nine years, and I’ll remember that time fondly but feel I’m ready for a new challenge."

The French defender, who joined from Internazionale in September 1999, made 361 appearances for the Reds, scoring 10 goals and winning 10 major honours.

In my opinion selling Silvestre wasn't a wise decision by the Manager. Although lately he has become an injury prone, he was always up to the challenge whenever called to play for United.

Although he wasn't a popular figure at United mainly due to the fact that he committed some stupid mistakes during his career at United, I still think that he was a valuable member of our squad, his experience is priceless and I think that's the main reason why Wenger bought Silvestre. Experience.

I don't know if United have got a cover at left back or not, but if Evra gets injured we'll be in serious trouble. Anyway I would like to thank Silvestre, for he has been a wonderful servant to United during his nine year stay. Adios and all the best! Well, except when United meet Arsenal :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

United 1 - 1 Newcastle

Van der Sar;
Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra;
Fletcher, Carrick (O’Shea 25), Scholes, Giggs (c) (Possebon, 63);
Rooney, Campbell (Rafael, 80).

So United started their title defence with a 1-1 stalemate. Newcastle's Martins headed in against the run of play after United went close to scoring on several occasions but only being denied by a brilliant and sometimes luck ridden Given. Newcastle's lead lasted only a couple of minutes though as Fletcher scored the equaliser. After this United barely threatened the Newcastle rearguard. The only positives from this game is the excellent reply to Newcastle's opening goal and the performances by Possebon and Rafael.

United fans shouldn't get too worried. Last year United opened the season with a 0-0 draw which was followed by another draw and a defeat, yet we managed to win the Premierleague. It is evident that this United side missed the likes of Tevez, Nani, Anderson, Hargreaves and of course Ronaldo. Meanwhile Carrick suffered an injury which will keep him sidelined for another 2 weeks! Now Fergie must have a real headache. Anyway, this match showed that United must buy a striker at all costs. I hope this is done before the Porthsmouth game in a week's time.

Until then, stop making a fuss about this draw. It's just the start of the season! It's true that Chelsea played a great game and showed they are potential champions, but writing United off this early is plain stupid.

Monday, August 11, 2008

FA Community Shield Winners

Neville Ferdinand Vidic Evra
Fletcher Scholes O'Shea Nani
Tevez Giggs

So season 2008-09 has started the way the previous season ended:- by winning silverware yet again. Although the FA Community Shield is no match to the Premier League, nevermind the Champions League, it's always nice to win trophies and add them to an already impressive looking cabinet.

The match, yet again, was won by penalties. The 3rd time United have won a trophy by penalties in a year. The Community Shield vs Chelsea last year, the Champions League and now this year's Community Shield. Considering England's shameful penalty records, we certainly don't look like an English team, but then again, our opponents in penalties during the last year have always been English. It would be a different story should United face a German side in a penalty shootout.

The match wasn't dull nor entertaining. United had the better of the chances and possesion and Porthsmouth, although boasting 2 of Englands finest strikers, didn't really make our defence sweat. Fletcher missed a sitter and later was denied by the crossbar, Tevez should have been given a penalty and Nani had an excellent game and could have scored a wonder goal. In the end United won the penalty shoot out after converting all penalties while Portsmouth missed 3 of 4 penalties.

It's evident United should buy a striker. Some say Berbatov and Huntelaar are the most likely to join United in the coming week, others are even mentioning Henry. We'll just wait and see, but buying a striker is not an option. Its a must!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

United 0 - 0 Juventus

Just like the Italian commentators, I was impressed with the atmosphere the fans at Old Trafford created but wasn't impressed at all by the two teams on the pitch. The match was dull and there weren't an awful lot of scoring opportunities.

But defensive wise United were spot on once again. Our defence looks solid. Rafael da Silva had another impressive game and I believe he will be heavily featured during the course of the season.

Now the real business starts, United will face Portsmouth next Sunday. The traditional English curtain raiser. Last year United won this shield, let's make it two in a row! At least if we don't win anything during the season, we would have a piece of silverware to pose with, in the annual season photo!
United: Van der Sar; Evra, Ferdinand, Vidic (Evans 78), Brown (R da Silva 46); Darren Fletcher (Gibson 46), Paul Scholes, John O’Shea (Possebon 69), Lee Martin (Silvestre 65); Ryan Giggs, Carlos Tevez (Campbell 69)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Petersborough 0 - 2 United

Yesterday’s game United eased past Peterborough, but not before being given a good workout by the opposition.

I really don’t think I should go into too much detail on pre-season friendlies, but my interest was piqued when I heard the da Silva twins were expected to feature. And it must be said, they didn’t disappoint. Rafael more so.

The right back stormed up and down the wing and threw himself about quite well showing that he wasn’t shy to shirk from challenges. His ambition, moving forward did leave spaces at the back, but then we forget that he’s just 18 and he’ll have lot to learn before making it to the first team. Of course, to gain some perspective, it’s just one pre-season game and whilst he did make a good first impression, we mustn’t be creaming over him.

I have been impressed with Carlos Tevez though. He has been a man on a mission throughout pre-season and I think we will see the real Carlos Tevez this season because he’s had a good rest in the summer. He admitted once that he has been playing continuously for the past two years without much break. And so we think this summer might have done him a world of good.

Rio and Brown were solid while they were there, Possebon showed great vision, Gibson scored a cracker while Campbell disappointed.

United: Kuszczak (Zieler, 67); R Da Silva, Brown (Cathcart, 45), Ferdinand (J Evans, 45), Evra (F Da Silva, 45); Gray, Fletcher (Gibson, 67), O'Shea, Nani (Possebon, 58); Tevez (Cleverley, 45), Campbell (Martin, 45). All subs used.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Happy Birthday to this Blog!

Ok, it has been a year since I started this blog. I remember seeing a blog my cousin made about Playstation games and I asked myself ' Why don't I start a blog about Manchester United?' so I started this blog which has bloomed since.

Keeping a website/blog updated isn't a piece of cake, you need to be patient as sometimes the computer might give you one heck of a hard time when uploading pictures etc, and you need to be committed to update the blog frequently, yes, even if Man Utd lose.

This blog has been there through the highs and lows, mostly highs, of course. Since its inception United have won a Charity Shield, A Premier League, A European Champions League and a errr Vodacom Cup :P

I gathered some interesting statistics about this site... enjoy.
Date of 'birth' : Saturday, August 4th, 2007
First Article header : Welcome to My Blog ( A brief description about the objective of this blog)
Articles during this year : 75
Total Comments : 225. Average of 3 comments per article.
Most Comments to an article: 21. (Article: Champions Of England! May 11th 2008)
Blog Hits : 3,442. Average of 9.43 hits per day.
Unique Visitors : 429. Average of 1.17 unique visitors per day.
Matches Covered during this year: 38(PremierLeague), 13(Champions League), 4(Fa Cup), 1(Carling Cup), 1(FA Community Shield), 7 ( Friendly matches). Total: 64 matches.
Major Arrivals since the blog's begining : Tevez, Manucho.
Major Departures since the blog's begining : Smith, Pique.
Major Cups Won : 3 (Premier League, Champions League, Community Shield)
Total Goals scored during the year (inc Friendlies) : 124 Goals
These stats may suggest I've got plenty of time on my hands, well I haven't! I'm off to study Maths see you tomorow for a summary of tonight's game vs Petersborough.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

United 1 - 0 Espanyol

This was more than just a preseason friendly. It was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's testimonial, his last match in a United shirt in front of the Old Trafford faithful. United won the match thanks to a Frazier Campbell goal, who has impressed me during this year's preseason. Fergie said that Campbell will stay with United this season and things are looking promising for this young lad.

The match was quite entertaining with Scholes hitting the post with a delightful chip in the first half while Tevez and co spurned countless of chances at the face of goal. Nani and Simpson both had a great game. But everyone at Old Trafford was there for one specific reason: to see Ole play for one last time. A deafening roar was heard when he was introduced in the game in the 65th minute. The baby faced assasin, as he was usually called, made a huge impact on the game and nearly scored a wonderful volley hadn't it been for an impressive save by Christian the Espanyol keeper. The goalie was there again to ruin a fairytale ending to Ole's impressive career when he saved a low shot by the Norwegian. He looked the sharpest player on the pitch and actually made the Espanyol defence as well as the keeper work. In the end Campbell scored the match winner and I believe there are more goals to follow from this youngster.

It was quite emotional when the match ended as Solskjaer thanked the 69,000 present and thanked everyone who made his successful career possible. He then jogged around Old Trafford with his 3 children as he waved to the United supporters. In the end he disappeared into the tunnel, but surely his name will never disappear from the Man Utd history. Loyal. World Class Finisher. Humble. LEGEND!
“I knew this was going to be my last game at Old Trafford and today you’ve been absolutely fantastic again. You’re the best supporters in the world."Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
(Ps. Ole will now be in charge of the Man Utd Reserves, may at least a small percentage of his knowledge of the game as well as his skill rub off on to United's youngsters.)