All 3 entries tagged Manchester United

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May 06, 2007

United's title in doubt?

Man United just can’t win when it comes to goalkeepers. Ever since Peter Schmeichel retired, they’ve struggled to find a replacement. They’ve gone through some stinking keepers who’ve made utter howlers, but now they might have gone and made one themselves.

Several newspapers this morning claim that a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ existed between United and Everton, stating that if United sold Tim Howard to Everton, they wouldn’t play him against them this season.

The deal went through, and so apparently did the little agreement. Everton played their substitute goalkeeper and lost 4-2.

But the Premier League are now investigating, because such an agreement would break transfer rules, and could see either club fined, or even deducted points. United’s title hopes could be – possibly – broken by a cock-up.

Russell Brand wrote in the Guardian yesterday how the threat of legal action against West Ham was ludicrous. Relegation through the courts isn’t in the interest of any football club or supporter. The same is true of Championship winners too.

If I’m honest, it wouldn’t surprise me much if this story was correct. But did it make a big difference? Not really. Was anyone really hurt by it? Not really. Would it harm the game if the title was decided by some archaic rule? For sure.

Fine them, highlight it, make it clear that if it happens again there’ll be hell to pay. But don’t ruin the season because of some silly slip-up between two otherwise sensible clubs.

April 13, 2007

Do Ron, Ron, Ron, You Do Ron, Ron

After several weeks of scintillating football, many thought Cristiano Ronaldo couldn’t endear himself to Man United fans any more than he has already.

They were wrong.

He’s just signed a new five-year contract despite interest from every big football club in the world.

On current form, that’ll be five more years of silverware in the bag then.

April 10, 2007

Man Utd 7 – 1 Roma

The gods weren’t just smiling on Old Trafford tonight. They were on the pitch.

An incredible first twenty minutes wrapped up the game for United, with simply superb goals from Carrick, Rooney and Smith sealing the deal early on. None were just pieces of brilliant individual flair. They were all the result of smooth, efficient and often incredible teamplay, usually finished with a sublime strike.

Carrick's first strikeCarrick’s first two goals in Europe will be long remembered. With Scholes out and expecting only a few more years in the game, the £14m signing from Tottenham made his claim to be the team’s best long-range shooter. Both his shots were completely out of reach for the unfortunate Doni.

From the starting whistle, United played like they were out to win. But having done so within a quarter of an hour, they continued like they had a point to prove. Edwin van der Sar made a number of important and far from easy saves after two poor matches. His clean sheet was spoiled by Roma’s one highlight – a cheeky, quick chip that would have caught the best in the world napping.

Man United won through the sometimes controversial tinkering of Alex Ferguson. Rooney began on the left, Giggs on the right, and Alan Smith almost alone up front. But the pace on the wings and through the middle from Carrick and Darren Fletcher proved unstoppable. Giggs was beyond the control of the Roma defence, and Ronaldo was his magical best. Rooney and Sir Alex both suggested he was the best in the world this week. They were both right. And to think that a matter of months ago I was the recipient of grumbles after suggesting Ronaldo might be better than Beckham ever was.

United’s makeshift defence was tested at times, but despite the lack of Vidic and Neville, they always seemed to have control of the back third. Goals from Ronaldo (2), Evra and a second from Carrick sealed the deal. United needed a win. Instead, they gave out a good, old-fashioned thrashing to a team who were poor, unlucky, and in the wrong stadium at the wrong time.

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