Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Man United Fan Blog 10th-28th August

Well, I've been away in deepest darkest Portugal for ten days and ended up missing most of the fun and games, but I have kept up to date, mainly through the medium of Twitter! It all started on Sunday 12th August when sat at Manchester Airport was none other than Nani!

Anyway, he wasn't too impressed about having his picture taken, but he got a bit chatty. He was on his way to play for Portugal - and he flew cattle class on a TAP plane. You would have thought he would have chartered a plane with the other British based Portuguese players.

A short time later RVP signed. Now I must admit that this is quite exciting, despite the prospect of him being injured in the near future as normally happens. The first key point here is that Arsenal have yet again had to sell a star player to one of their rivals, and unlike Samir Nasri, RVP was Arsenal's talisman. The second key point is that City were also interested - and he chose us.

The next rumours to fly were Kaka. Apparently Real Madrid were desperate to unload him, and they offered him to United on a season long loan. The notoriously speculative and inaccurate Daily Mail said it was virtually a done deal, usually a sure sign that it isn't, and sure enough nothing has yet happened.

And so the season started! The first Saturday was exciting, but excitement was limited as United weren't playing.

Arsenal 0 Sunderland 0
The best result of the weekend as far as I'm concerned. Despite a shocking start after losing some key players last season Arsenal still finished 3rd. Now that we have RVP we can expect to be even further ahead of them, but something tells me that Wenger will drag his perennial losers into Champions League place contention yet again.
Fulham 5 Norwich 0
A rude awakening for Chris Hughton, and a wake up call for the reds as we host Fulham next week.
QPR 0 Swansea 5
Those who thought that the departure of Brendan Rodgers would signal the end of Swansea's Premier League adventure got a bit of a shock, as did Sparky, Fabio and a host of other new signings. Michael Laudrup is an intelligent, articulate manager and could well take Swansea even higher. This may be a knee jerk reaction, but they are hardly missing Joe Allen and Michu looks to be one of the signings of the summer, having been the leading midfield goalscorer in La Liga last season. Even though Scott Sinclair may soon be off, Swansea could well be the real deal.
Reading 1 Stoke 1
Reading will be pleased that they are on the board and Stoke will be happy to start undefeated away from home which has been a problem for them in the past.
West Brom 3 Liverpool 0
Hilarious, though possibly not that important. West Brom deserved the win, and it will be an encouraging start for a team that could be expected to be fighting relegation. For Liverpool and their mainly deluded fans it will be a wake up call that this could be yet another tough season, with Andy Carroll's future still up in the air. Do you still see Liverpool as one of our main rivals? I certainly don't.
West Ham 1 Aston Villa 0
Great start for the hammers, Paul Lambert will be concerned, but I believe that he will have enough about him to establish Villa in mid table, and certainly not in danger of the drop as they were last year.
Newcastle 2 Tottenham 1
AVB better wake up and smell the coffee before its too late. A massively unsettled squad is no way to start the season, and although I don't expect Newcastle to do as well as last season they will probably outperform Spurs. Defoe, Van Der Vaart, Modric, Dawson, who knows where any or all of them will turn up?
Wigan 0 Chelsea 2
Run of the mill victory on the face of it, but Wigan put up a decent fight. Expect better of them this season.
Man City 3 Southampton 2
City scraped home in a similar manner to the end of last season. Three points in the bag is very important, but they should be concerned at their defensive frailties. The Saints need early points or they could struggle.
Everton 1 United 0
And so to the big one. Stuck in a Portuguese bar that had no football coverage I tuned into my Twitter feed and it exploded. Pre match predictions were confident. An easy victory against the Toffees was all that anyone expected. But hang on. Haven't we tried to sign a number of their players, and we have even been linked with their manager. Fellaini, Baines, Jagielka, etc. The game kicked off and straight away Nani came in for some fearful stick. Fellaini scored and Fergie's tactics were challenged, then Rooney came under the Twitter cosh. The kit man came under fire for getting Anderson's name wrong, and Anderson was slaughtered for being fat. Even unused substitute Wootton was criticised for not being good enough to start, thus allowing Carrick to move into midfield. Come on guys. Its the start of the season. We've been spoiled in the last few years, we generally do start slowly with Fergie aiming to get us to our peak when it matters. OK it was a setback - but Everton will beat a lot of good teams this season.

After Kagawa and Powell it seemed that the transfer window had prematurely shut at OT, then all of a sudden RVP smashed it open again. Next to come in was Alexander Buttner, a left back or left wing back depending upon who you listen to. He provides much need cover for 31 year old Evra, particularly important as Fabio has gone on loan to QPR, and the boy is obviously no mug having made the preliminary Dutch squad for the European Championships. Lets just hope that the disruption in that particular camp has not rubbed off on him. Next in through the door was Angelo Henriquez the Chilean teenage striker, and according to Sir Alex that will be that. There will be no more in and no more out, dismissing speculation surrounding Dembele and Herrera coming in and Nani and Berbatov going out.

Chelsea 4 Reading 2
Chelsea came from behind to win this one, with Eden Hazard now confirmed by the press as a world beater. Chelsea have already got the title sewn up and are unstoppable. Errr, deja vu or what? Reading were spirited, but a newly promoted club going to the home of the European Champions (that still hurts), there should only really be one result.

Swansea 3 West Ham 0
Swansea confirming their promising start and top of the table before Chelsea play later. Michu once again pulling the strings but they are far from a one man team. West Ham already look like they will struggle with Big Sam's limited tactics.
Aston Villa 1 Everton 3
Odds on Lambert to be the first Premier League manager to be sacked shortened after this one. Give the lad a break. He will turn Villa around, and he came up against an Everton side that could even be title contenders.
Man United 3 Fulham 2
An early set back had the press questioning De Gea! The same De Gea that was possibly our man of the match against Everton. Anyway, RVP to the rescue (cross supplied by the much maligned Evra), and Kagawa and Rafael added two more. It wouldn't be United if we didn't make it hard, and allowing Fulham to get one back did just that. We weren't exactly hanging on, but we could have done without the injury to Rooney that looks like keeping him out for a month. Incidentally, with Rooney starting on the bench and sustaining an injury, and RVP starting and scoring, the press are now speculating that the end is nigh for Rooney and he will never be first choice again. I will dismiss this as pure speculation, but Sir Alex has never been shy at pulling the trigger when he believes that it is time for a player to move on. Could that be why he has signed a ton of strikers in recent seasons, and refuses to sell any of them (even Berbatov and Macheda)?
Norwich 1 QPR 1
A much needed point for both of these clubs who were soundly beaten in week 1. Definite contenders for relegation.
Southampton 0 Wigan 2
After ultimately futile heroics at City Southampton found out how tough life will be with defeat at perennial strugglers Wigan. Could Martinez finally turn them into a mid table side?
Sunderland v Reading postponed
Waterlogged pitch in August. This weather drives you nuts.
Tottenham 1 West Brom 1
Spurs struggled again and West Brom deserved their late equaliser. It should finally be dawning on the Spurs fans that AVB is not the answer and to expect a mid table finish. West Brom are cementing their place as the leading side from the midlands, though I still think that Villa will have something to say about that.
Chelsea 2 Newcastle 0
A more impressive Chelsea performance, though I have already said that Newcastle will struggle to match last season's achievements. Torres looks back to form, and I really believe that Chelsea will be our nearest rivals, or is that just me hoping that City will fade away?
Liverpool 2 City 2
Hate games like this. When Liverpool scored I realised that I wanted them to win which felt wrong, but City will be closer to us than the Scousers at the end of the season. When City equalised it was inevitable, but at least it confirmed that Liverpool are not that good. When Liverpool went ahead again it was happy days, until the ever popular Tevez broke Scouse hearts (always look on the bright side).

So 2 games in here is my predicted end of season league table:-
Man United
Man City
West Brom
Aston Villa
West Ham

Just for a laugh of course, and aren't we glad that we have the Premier League and not La Liga where after 2 games Barcelona are 5 points clear of Real Madrid and the league is all but over? Just to be awkward, my prediction, Madrid will win! And no doubt the Spaniards are just relieved that they are not the SPL!

Speaking of Madrid, they completed the signing of Modric, and that has to signal more speculation on the future of Kaka and probably others. And who will Spurs sign to replace the Croatian? Could make for an interesting end to the transfer window!

Ha ha got to laugh. New Liverpool signing Sahin claims Liverpool can be a top four side. And he is probably right, assuming they get relegated they should be in the running for promotion next season.

And as the transfer window draws to a close news that City are struggling to sign yet another player as Swansea want more money for Scott Sinclair. This after an interesting conversation between Roberto Mancini and Daniele De Rossi last week.
Mancini: Hi Daniele, how are you? Do you fancy joining The Project in Manchester?
De Rossi: Hi Roberto. And what Project is that?
Mancini: Ha ha Daniele, you know, my Project to rule the whole of Europe and the World with Manchester City.
De Rossi: Oh yes, I heard about that, but didn't you have trouble with some big egos?
Mancini: Oh there were a few minor problems last season, but we are all one big happy family now.
De Rossi: So Mario Balotelli has left then?
Mancini: Well, no, he is still here, but he is a good boy now.
De Rossi: Well I would not want him in my family. And what about Tevez? Didn't he refuse to play? He let his team mates, the fans, the club and yourself down. Which mugs did you sell him to?
Mancini: Oh Carlos is like my son. He is still here and is a big favourite again.
De Rossi: I don't know about a family Roberto, seems to me more like a madhouse. I'm staying put. Bye.
Mancini: Hello, Daniele, hello. Are you still there? Oh well, looks like another season of Gareth Barry.

Its the draw for the Capital One Cup tomorrow - whatever that is. Presumably its yet another name for the League Cup. Lets hope for a decent away draw and another night like Barnsley!

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