Tag Archives: Manchester United

The Weekend in Sports

By: Maxim Lewerenz

Photo taken by George Groutas

Football:

Celtic are still on track on winning their first SPL title in four years and doing so possibly by a record margin. The ten point deduction of archrivals Rangers means Celtic can reclaim the points lost at last weekend’s Old Firm match by beating St. Johnstone on Sunday, with second and third placed Rangers and Motherwell taking each others points.

In the Barclay’s Premier League Manchester City will face Sunderland at home without star striker Sergio Aguero. A win would mean the Citizens would overtake Manchester United by their superior goal difference. At least until Monday, when United will travel to Blackburn.

QPR will host the rejuvenated Arsenal at a London derby on Saturday.

On Sunday traditional sides Newcastle and Liverpool will battle for a place in Europe.

Tennis:

Today at 3pm Andy Murray will face Rafael Nadal at the Semi-Finals of the Miami Open. World number one Novak Djokovic will meet 21th ranked Juan Monaco later on at 7pm for a place in the final on Sunday.

Golf:

At the Shell Houston Open the World’s Number 10 Carl Petersson and  Argentinian Angel Cabrera are  currently tying at the top of the field. Ernie Else, who needs to win the Open to gain a place in the Masters, is one under after two.

Rugby:

Edinburgh Rugby take on Scarlets tonight in the RaboPro Direct league at Murrayfield. They will be hoping to end their losing streak when the match kicks off at 7.35pm. Glasgow Warriors meanwhile have had a fairly successful season and will be aiming to continue their good run of results when they play Cardiff Blues tonight. Kick off is 7.35pm at Firhill.

 

For more on Edinburgh Rugby’s misfortunes and the return of their international players, click here.

Man United fans unconvinced by Rooney contract renewal

By Adam Bergin


Man United hero?

Wayne Rooney may have signed a new five-year deal with Manchester United in the last hour, but the head of Edinburgh’s Supporters Club believes the chaos that has surrounded Rooney over the last week has cast a shadow over the player and signifies a new culture in professional football.

Paul Shaw, head of Scottish Reds in Edinburgh, believes that loyalty in football is soon to be extinct: “the older guard of players at Old Trafford, the likes of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs are the last of a generation and, to use a phrase used by Alex Ferguson, they are being replaced by ‘big time charlies’ in the game nowadays”

“I don’t for one second buy into the hype you get from modern day footballers, when you see them kissing their badges and the things they say in interviews, it’s all part of a game they play to get the fans on their side.

“Rooney has severely tarnished his reputation losing the faith of the Man United fans, for many of them he was their idol and whether he can regain it is open to debate. I’m not even convinced he’s signed a contract, this could well be a PR stunt and I wouldn’t be surprised if he left in January.”

Rooney, who turns 25 this weekend, had shaken the football world last Sunday when rumours surfaced that he wished to quit Manchester United. He confirmed the reports to be true on Wednesday, citing a lack of ambition from his employers as his motivation.

More than six years since signing from Everton for 26million, Rooney has flourished under the wing of Reds manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Trending topics in popular United fans’ forum Red Cafe this morning included ‘Is this entire Rooney saga an inside job?’ and ‘Being a legend vs being a ****’ before news of Rooney’s new contract broke at around 12.30 this afternoon.

Mr. Shaw says the events of this week were inevitable with the increasing impact of money on the game: “It’s indicative of the way football’s gone in the last ten years, there’s been an increase in player power at an amazing rate.

“Clubs had too much of a stranglehold on the players in the 80s but the pendulum’s completely swung the other way.”

Blackpool Manager Ian Holloway opened up to the world’s media yesterday, slamming UEFA and FIFA for allowing players to have so much power in today’s market. The Tangerines boss gave a frank account of his opinions regarding the Bosman Ruling, which allows players over 24 to leave their club for no fee at the end of their contract, claiming the current system is ‘so wrong that it is frightening’.

Paul Shaw echoes the views of Mr. Holloway, claiming that a club can lose out after dedicating many years to the development of a player.

“A club can take a player to a certain level and they hold you to ransom and this will undoubtedly happen again in the near future, it’ll be a different club and a different player but possibly a different outcome.”

Diving row hits Scotland

By Phil Turnbull

The Scotland versus Wales friendly match tomorrow is threatening to be overshadowed by the continuing row over diving.

In a week where Liverpool striker David N’Gog dived to win a penalty in a Premier League game against Birmingham, the diving row has now reached the international scene.

While Scotland hitman Kevin Kyle conceded he personally would take a dive in attempt to influence the outcome of a game, national team-mate James McFadden yesterday hit back, saying: “No way, I couldn’t dive”.

faddy
James McFadden (picture credit: skysports.com)

Birmingham striker McFadden said: “You try to play as fair as you can. You can foul for tactical reasons but I don’t think you can get away with a tactical dive.”

“I would not deliberately do that and try to con a penalty or to get a benefit because in the end you look stupid.”

Earlier in the week Kilmarnock striker Kyle admitted he would dive in a match if it helped Scotland to win.

Asked if he would take a tumble in the box, Kyle said: “I probably would because you go out on a Saturday afternoon just wanting your team to win at any cost and you take every opportunity that’s available to you.”

Kyle’s views are at odds not just with McFadden, but also SFA Chief Executive Gordon Smith.

Smith has been at war with FIFA over players diving ever since Arsenal star Eduardo dived to win a penalty against Celtic in the Champions League Qualifiers, eliminating the Glasgow side in the process.

It is not known how SFA bosses will react to the conflicting points of view from their star strikers.

Meanwhile Scotland captain Darren Fletcher has been passed fit for the clash in Cardiff.

fletch
Darren Fletcher (picture credit: independent.co.uk)

The Manchester United playmaker had missed training on Wednesday, but has now been given a clean bill of health by the Scotland medical staff.

The decision will come as a relief to manager George Burley, who is already without Old Firm quartet Steven Whittaker, Kevin Thompson, Scott Brown and Shaun Maloney.

Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon also misses out due to a broken arm.

Scotland’s last friendly match, against Japan in Yokohama, was dogged by call offs that entered into double figures.

While the Scots have no such problems this time round, Wales have been hit by a raft of withdrawals.

Eight players, including £14 million Manchester City star Craig Bellamy, have pulled out of the Welsh squad, forcing manager John Toshack to select Swansea City centre-half Ashley Williams as his new captain.

Williams will be Toshack’s 11th skipper used in his five-year tenure as national team manager.

Wales versus Scotland kicks off at 3pm tomorrow at the Cardiff City Stadium, and is live on Sky Sports 1 from 2.30pm.

Fates set up United’s Quadruple push

COMMENT by Graeme Macleod

Winning four trophies in a single season is something that is rarely talked about in connection with Manchester United.

Fast-talking former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was never quick to play down his side’s chances of winning an unprecendent quadruple when he was in power at Stamford Bridge. But United gaffer Sir Alex Ferguson has always been that bit more coy.

Following last night’s Carling Cup win though, becoming the first English club to win the four major trophies in a single season is now a distinct possibility for the English champions.

www.fanfootball.co.uk
Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are through to the semi finals of the Carling Cup. Picture: http://www.fanfootball.co.uk

The fates seem to have dealt the Old Trafford men a good hand. Last night they eased into the last four of the Carling Cup with a comfortable 5-3 victory over Blackburn Rovers. With the rest of the ‘Big Four’ clubs already out of the competition, United look poised to take on the mantle of favourites ahead of Saturday’s semi final draw. Only holders Tottenham Hotspur, giant killers Burnley or Derby County stand between Sir Alex and yet another final appearance at Wembley.

European football after Christmas has already been secured as United disposed of Celtic, Villarreal and Aalborg in the group stages of the Champions League. The Red Devils are already the holders of the European Cup and Ferguson has expressed his desire to become the first manager to retain the trophy since the competition was revamped in 1992.

After a stuttering start, United sit six points off the pace in the Premier League with one game in hand. Nearest rivals Liverpool and Chelsea both slipped up last weekend as Ferguson’s men continue to close in.

And with an FA Cup campaign still to come, a potential fixture pile up may come between Fergie and his quest for glory. But the wily Scot had the luxury of bringing striker Carlos Tevez in from the cold for last night’s win. The Argentinean repaid his manager’s faith by bagging four of the goals.

Luis Nani – another fringe player – grabbed the other goal in last night’s win while Benni McCarthy (2) and Matt Derbyshire hit back for Blackburn.

Elsewhere, Tamas Priskin gave Watford the lead against Tottenham. But Harry Redknapp’s men levelled through a Roman Pavlyuchenko penalty before Darren Bent hit the winner for Spurs in the second half.

But with such a depth of talent at his disposal, it would take a brave man to bet against Ferguson’s men doing a clean sweep, giving the 66-year-old from Govan the chance to retire on the ultimate high.