Manchester United Rebuild
The New United Manager
The Ultimate Low Point of Their Season So Far
2012-2013 Season - Title Won by a Mile - Then Sir Alex Retired and Moyes Became Manager and Man Utd fall off a Cliff.
Manchester United roared back in what turned out to be Alex Ferguson's last season. They won their record breaking 20th premiership title by a cool 11 points at a canter. Then Ferguson announced his retirement and recommended to the Man United board that Moyes was the man to lead United into the future. Things haven't worked out too well. Moyes made one bad signing in Fellaini, a player who played okay for Everton but is out of his depth with United. Then Mata was signed and this seemed like a great acquisition. Unfortunately, Moyes's tactics have seemed odd to say the least. Mata is not a winger but Moyes continues to play him as a winger. His best position is sitting behind the forwards, this is where he is most effective. Robin Van Persie has been a ghost of the man that scored 26 goals last season and who drove United to their 20th title. Something is not quite right about the red devils they will not qualify for Europe next season in either the Champions League or the Europa League. They will not take any silverware home and they are losing games they should be winning. Nobody seems to know what is wrong; is it Moyes's training methods; is it that they lack motivation? Manchester United are not playing like a Manchester United team. It is the same team that won the league last year so if they are not good enough this year then they weren't last year and that just adds to the aura of Ferguson and how he gets 150% out of his players.
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Title Lost in Last Seconds of the Season
An amazing last day of the season saw the title swing first to City and then to United before going back to City in a most dramatic way. United were 1 nil up on Sunderland and city were 1 nil up on QPR. Then just before half time QPr scored to make it 1-1 and United were in the driving seat. just after half time QPR scored again and now United almost had both hands on the title. On 90 minutes City were still 2-1 down and the final whistle was blown at Sunderland with United the winners. On 92 minutes City scored but United still had their hands on the title. Then on 94 minutes City scored again and stole the title from United. What a cruel end to the season.
6th May 2012
Manchester United have almost thrown the Premiership title away. In the space of a few weeks they have thrown their 8 point advantage away. They lost to Wigan and Manchester City both by 1-0 and then threw away a 2 goal lead in the final 5 minutes at home to Everton. Now there are 2 games left and United have to win both games and hope that City drop points against Newcastle United later on today. Failing that United must score 8 more goals than City in the last two games. Quite improbable.
11th April 2012
United are now 8 points ahead of Manchester City with only 6 games left to play. They have been on a fantastic run since the turn of the year and like all United teams know when its time to put press the gas pedal. They have won their last 8 games and their last 11 out of 12. So as Fergie had said just after Christmas that Manchester United know how to win championships and Manchester City don't. The first is the hardest to win. It looks like United are going to win their 20th Premier League championship.
18th November 2011
After their 6-1 loss to their cross town rivals Manchester City, United have managed to get some injured players back and their defence looks much more resilient. They are not playing with the ease and flow of their first 6 or 7 games however and are still 5 points behind City in the league.
Knowing United they will tread water until Christmas and then in the New Year go on a run till the end of the season. They traditionally are much stronger in the New Year.
Sir Alex Ferguson has once again created a great new team. This time he has gone into the transfer market to buy young British talent and mould them in with established players and players that have come through the United academy. The new United young guns have come out of their blocks firing on all cylinders. Three wins out of three and a stack of goals. This team looks like the real thing and the likes of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs it seems won't be missed that much.
Manchester United 3 - 1 Chelsea (18th Sept 2011)
What a game...end to end stuff. Rooney misses a penalty and Torres misses an open goal. Nani scores a wonder goal and Sir Alex's team have beaten a main rival and are sitting 2 points clear of City at the top of the Premier League. United have now scored a total of 14 goals against their 3 main rivals this season with a 100% record. Can they keep it that way against Liverpool in a couple of weeks?
Benfica 1 - 1 Manchester United (14 Sept 2011)
Manchester did not play at all well in this first match in their Champions League group. Sir Alex essentially played his second string players with only Rooney and Evra considered 1st team regulars. United also played a 4-5-1 formation with Rooney playing alone up-front. This is formation that stifles United's attacking flair and they paid the price by conceding a bad first goal and having to rely on an incredible strike by Giggs just before half time to earn them a share of the points. With the Chelsea game on the horizon next Sunday lets hope Sir Alex's strategy of resting his regulars for this game is a game winner for Sunday.
Ryan Giggs Semi-Retired
Giggs first played for Manchester United in 1991and since then has been a regular player. Establishing himself as a speedy left winger during the 90s, and still plays in this position in the 2000s, albeit a more play maker type of midfield role especially in the last couple of years. Ryan holds the club record for the number of appearances and the number of Premiership winners medals won (12).
Gigs has also won 4 cup winners medals, 3 League Cup winners medals, 2 Champions League winners medals and been 5 times runners up in the Premier League. In 20 seasons he with Manchester United have only been out of the top 2 in the Premiership 3 times.
Paul Scholes - Retired
Paul Scholes was once described as the 'greatest midfielder of his generation'. Despite his unhappy knack of mistiming tackles and getting sent off on over 10 occasions Paul Scholes had the ability to make so much space and time for himself that you would think he had a shield around him. Renowned for his passing accuracy and shooting ability he was the midfield general for Manchester United for over 16 seasons. In that time he has won 10 Premiership medals, 3 FA Cup winners medals and 2 Champions League winners medals.
Paul Scholes has also played for England in 2 World Cups and 2 European Championships. He scored over 150 goals for United and made 676 appearances for them which is the 4th highest number of appearances. Paul Scholes retired at the end of the 2010-2011 season and became a Manchester United coach.
Everyone expected Sir Alex to go hell bent into the transfer market and secure a replacement for Paul Scholes. The canny old scot fooled everyone as instead of going into Europe and buying a couple of expensive names he turned to Britain and bought two young guns that will be part of the England set-up for years to come. He bought Ashley Young from Aston Villa and Philip Jones from Blackburn. Ashley Young can play on both the left and right of midfield and instead of being a replacement for Paul Scholes is really a replacement for when Ryan Giggs hangs up his boots. Philip Jones is the future central defender to sit alongside Chris Smalling one Ferdinand and Vidic have hang up their boots or moved to other clubs.
Fergie's other major buy was a replacement for Van Der Sar, the young goalkeeper David De Gea from Athletico Madrid. David is another very young gun who has shown great maturity for his age.
The United Academy and Stalwarts
The two lights that persuaded Fergie not to go into the transfer market for a midfielder to replace Paul Scholes were Tom Cleverley and Danny Wellbeck. Both came up through United's academy and then went out on loan for a couple of years before coming back to Old Trafford. Cleverley has shown great poise and flair in the Paul Scholes mould and Sir Alex believes that Tom can take over the Scholes mantle. Danny Wellbeck too has matured, is lightening fast and has an eye for goals. These two plus the likes of Smalling, Nani, Valencia, Hernandez, Fabio, Rafael, Anderson, Evans and Rooney together with stalwarts Park, Berbartov, Vidic, Evra, Ferdinand and Owen, Manchester United have the makings of another great super team built by Sir Alex.
Manchester United Stuff
Manchester United 8 - Arsenal 2
This was United's 3rd straight win in the Premier League and put them at the top of the table after just three games of the new campaign. Who would have believed that Manchester United would have responded to their noisy neighbours Manchester City's trouncing of Tottenham by five goals earlier in the day by emphatically beating Arsenal out of sight and overtaking City on goal difference.
Next up Bolton Wanderers away from Old Trafford. How many goals will United score and who can Sir Alex leave out? Watch this space.
Bolton 0 vs 5 Manchester United
Manchester United strolled through this match on September 10th 2011 their 4th straight win and another hat-full of goals. Rooney got his back to back hat-trick and Hernandez stepped up with 2 goals in his first full game this season. The only black cloud was the injury to Cleverley which is a suspected broken foot. He could be out for several weeks.
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