After losing their title on goal difference to their fiercest rivals, Manchester United are looking to bounce back this coming season. Desperate to regain what they believe to be their rightful place at the mountain top of English football, United fans are hoping for more success after having nothing new and shiny to place in the already abundant trophy cabinet.
Stretty News is one of the fastest growing Manchester United blogs anywhere in the world. In a Conversation With Dale O’ Donnell we dissect all things Red Devils. From the Glazers to Sir Alex Ferguson, the rivalry with Manchester City, Wayne Rooney, Kagawa and beyond, we cover the latest news that is happening at Old Trafford.
Dale is a leading voice for a new generation of Manchester United fans and he holds no punches when giving his opinion. Check out Dale’s work at www.strettynews.com and follow him on Twitter @StrettyNews.
Football, soccer, call it what you want. It’s just like being down the pub with your mates.
The Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee this year and 60 years of magnificent reign over England. This last season, Sir Alex Ferguson celebrated 25 years of reign at Manchester United and has clearly been the King of English football with his unprecedented success! The game has never quite seen anything like him and his legacy is solidified in football eternity.
Joining me on A Conversation With is Will Tidey, Editor and Lead Writer for the Bleacher Report, and author of “Life With Sir Alex.” With the recent 20 year anniversary of the Premier League and Sir Alex Ferguson’s dominance and milestone in the game, seems appropriate to have a conversation about the great man, with the man who wrote about him!
From the struggle chapters in the 80′s to the Manchester United revolution in the 90′s, we talk about it all. If you love nostalgia, you’ll enjoy this conversation. Grab a pint and enjoy.
The 2012 London Olympics are just around the corner and joining me on A Conversation With is Martin Rogers from Yahoo! Sports. We talk Olympic football, Team GB, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Spain, Mexico, Neymar and the USWNT. We even chat Michael Phelps, LeBron James and Usain Bolt. Martin gives his insights into the security and ticketing issues being reported and how excited he is to cover the Games in his hometown of London!
The world prepares to be inspired by the Games once again so be sure to check out Martin’s articles on Yahoo! for some great stories and all the latest news.
He was the man who gave birth to the more than cool 80′s Brat Pack. He was the man who let Ferris Bueller run riot on his day off. He was the man who dared to give Saturday detention to a bunch of troubled students in the Breakfast Club. And he was the man who made us believe we could create the perfect woman on a homemade computer in the completely outrageous Weird Science.
And that’s the John Hughes flick that got my football brain thinking…
In Weird Science, the nerdy teenage boys were desperate for some girl attention. Problem is, they had no game. They were hopeless, immature and lacked confidence. They couldn’t even attract bees to honey if their lives depended on it.
You could liken the characters from Weird Science to Arsenal in the transfer market. No matter what Arsenal do, their hopelessness and inability to buy quality players is evident. So what do you do if your team doesn’t buy? You build right?
How wonderful would it be if you could really utilize the Weird Science theory and manufacture the ultimate football player? Some would say you should just re-create Lionel Messi. But where is the fun in that? The beauty of this little exercise is to mould your player by using the best parts of all the great players available in today’s game.
Physically who would be your guy? Ronaldo of Real Madrid? Hulk of Porto? Both are sculpted like Greek Gods and could battle with anyone on a football pitch.
Mentally you would want someone like Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs wouldn’t you? A player who has experienced everything in the game can be of high value in the mental stakes.
Technically the talent of Barcelona’s Iniesta would be beautiful wouldn’t it? And what about Bayern Munich star Bastian Schweinsteiger’s grit and determination? Or the strength and courage of Barcelona captain Carlos Puyol? Then there is the endurance of a British player like Wayne Rooney who is used to the gritty requirements of a long football season.
The choices are endless because the football talent in today’s world is vast. From Europe, to South America and beyond, dare to dream. Put your geek on just like those Weird Science boys. Start building your perfect player today. It’s actually quite comforting and you don’t have to be an Arsenal fan to enjoy the Weird Science of Football…
Liverpool are back in business and they can thank Fernando Torres for inspiring their recent good form. As predicated last week by many of us fans, it appears as though the Spanish superstar is really getting back to his biting best. Torres scored a superb hat-trick on Saturday as the scouse house thumped Hull City 6-1. It was a Torres tornado that ripped out the hearts of Hull fans. And if I were a Hull fan I’d be worried. Is Torres the best striker in the world right now? What would Liverpool do if he got injured? Panic I guess!
It’s definitely been a fascinating season thus far. Burnley beat Manchester United a few weeks ago, but Tottenham thrashed the Clarets 5-0 this weekend. Arsenal thumped Wigan last week, but the Latics embarrassed Chelsea with a surprising 3-1 win on Saturday. I love the unpredictability of a season. The topsy turvy results can drive you mad, but it sure does make it interesting when more than two teams are in with a shout. The Premier League is exceptionally exciting right now and it’s superb to see the likes of Manchester City and Tottenham making a run for it.
Keane was sensational for Tottenham on Saturday. There have been many whispers about Keane’s form so far this season. With Peter Crouch doing well and scoring, the Irishman had a point to prove this weekend. And boy did he prove it! Keane scored 4 goals and inspired his team back to winning ways following two consecutive losses. It was a good result for Spurs. They needed to bounce back with a win and they certainly got a lot more than that by trouncing Burnley. Life is still happy down the Lane. Would you play Keane and Defoe up front? Would you like to see Crouch play with Defoe and Keane?
Chelsea were unusually poor against Wigan. Nobody had a particularly good game and losing Cole to an injury is a real blow for the Blues. I can’t help but wonder something fellow football fans. Do you think John Terry’s claims last week that he helps Roman Abramovich make decisions about who stays and goes at the club had an effect on the team this weekend? Why does he continually have to illustrate his clout at Chelsea? If you were a player, would that bother you? There always seems to be something going on behind closed doors at Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal and Manchester United both deserved to win their games. For Arsenal walking away with 3 points following a London derby was a good result. Manchester United were all over Stoke but just couldn’t finish them off. It was Ryan Giggs who took the reigns and drove United to a win after coming on as a substitute in the second half. Giggs is in amazing form and you can see the confidence in the team when he’s playing. It must be hard for Fergie to leave him out, but age probably dictates that more than form. Can United afford to lose Giggs this season? Do you think Berbatov plays better when Giggs is in the team?
Portsmouth are beyond help. The good thing for Portsmouth fans is their team put up a tremendous fight against Everton on Saturday. They had more possession and lots of chances but just couldn’t finish. Sure they were unlucky hitting the bar and post a couple of times. But sometimes you also make your own luck and for Portsmouth, I just don’t see where that is going to come from.
Who scored your goal of the week? What or who grabbed your attention this weekend? Who was your player of the week?
On Sunday, we witnessed why the Premier League is the best and most exciting league in the world. The Manchester derby had everything. Passion, goals, panic, flare, heartache and pure elation. In the end it finished Manchester United 4 Manchester City 3. And it was two old geezers who stole the headlines and made the difference in the game of the week. Take a bow Ryan Giggs and Michael Owen.
United and City evolved their rivalry into war on the Old Trafford pitch. And if the players were Russell Crowe, the Theater of Dreams was the Coliseum. The atmosphere was undeniable. The fans were ready for their own battle and their singing could be heard around the world. When Manchester City fans were chanting their hearts out, the Manchester United fans would sing louder as if to say “how dare you raise your voices in our house.” Even when Bellamy shoved goals down their throats, the United fans refused to give up. And when United would score again, City fans would crank it up another notch. It was a superb display of fan support.
Manchester United bossed this game from start to finish. They didn’t give their old team mate Tevez a sniff of much. Bellamy was really the star of City’s show and Giggs was at the heart of everything good for United. In the 1st half Manchester City played really well and they stood tall against their fiercest rivals. The “wannabe top four boys” of the Premier League had a point to prove and they certainly had a fighting spirit about them in the early stages of the game. But a tactical move by their manager Mark Hughes to put Steven Ireland out on the left allowed the Manchester United midfield more space and the Red Devils took complete control in the 2nd half.
Ryan Giggs made it all happen for United. Together with Fletcher and Anderson in midfield, they totally dominated possession and created lots of chances to finish off the game. And it took several attempts to finish off the game. Just when City thought they had stolen a point after Ferdinand’s giveaway to Bellamy, Giggs and Owen combined for the winning goal. It was a delicious ball from Giggs and a sublime finish from the never say die Owen. How fitting for two old heroes. Giggs proves once again his legendary status in football and Michael Owen sends a clear message to Capello. Can he build on this? Can he really mount a case to get to South Africa?
And what about Sir Alex Ferguson. He bought on Valencia and he too helped change the game. Then he subbed Berbatov for Owen and he netted the winner. His plan worked to perfection throughout. He wanted this one badly and his team delivered. He wanted to prove that United are still the best team in Manchester. Oh and by the way…they are! With over 400 million pounds of talent on display in this game, it was the pure beauty of football that won in the end. It was the fans that reaped the rewards and the game of football was victorious.
Who was your man of the match? Did you think Tevez was a factor at all? Was the referee fair with the injury time played? Is Fletcher the answer in midfield for United? Would City have won with Adebayor? Is Shay Given one of the most underrated goalkeepers in the world? Do you think the result was fair?
Here it is. The picture Manchester United fans didn’t want to see. Former United heroes Mark Hughes and Carlos Tevez proudly show-off the blue shirt of Manchester City to celebrate Tevez joining the team. If I were a United fan I’d be gutted. It would feel like someone just stabbed me in the heart. Of all the teams in all the land, did Tevez have to join City! What a dagger!
Carlos Tevez will be a superstar at Manchester City. He will be the main man. He will get everything he wanted at United and more. And Tevez wants to prove Sir Alex Ferguson wrong. Signing for City is a calculated move. It’s also a move about money of course, but why not twist the knife while you’re trying to make your point. Will Sir Alex regret this one?
United have now lost two world class players in Ronaldo and Tevez. They have signed Michael Owen from Newcastle, Antonio Valencia from Wigan and Gabrielle Obertan, a relative unknown from Bordeaux. Now these are not the superstar names United fans were expecting to see swing through the Theater of Dreams doors this summer. But if Sir Alex pulls this off, it will be the shrewdest bit of business he’s done in a while. The man has done it before with his 1990′s so-called team of kids (Giggs, Neville, Beckham) and he can certainly do it again.
So be patient United fans. Let the new season start before you start throwing the same daggers Tevez did.
The two sexiest teams in Europe have a hot date in Rome on Wednesday. But who will come out on top? Manchester United? Barcelona? Let’s hope it’s us fans that are the happiest at the end of the game, for this really is an exciting Champions League final and we hope it lives up to every expectation.
This game will also solidify who the best player in the world is for the 2008/09 season. It’s Ronaldo vs Messi. Have you already decided who is the best? Are you waiting for the game to play out before you choose? Who will rise to the occasion and be crowned king of the soccer world? We all know it takes a team to win, but let’s be honest, everyone will be watching the battle between these two talents to see who shines on the big night.
There’s no doubt the talent on display in this game will be too sexy for the pitch. Dimitar Berbatov, Carlos Tevez, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Wayne Rooney, Samuel Eto’o, Andres Iniesta, Thierry Henry and Yaya Toure can all be match winners for their team. And don’t forget legends like Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes. Let’s hope all of these players can stay injury free for the final.
This is when the summer starts to sizzle in Europe. As fans, we crave moments like this. My money is on the boys of Manchester to do it all over again…
Peter Schmeichel was a goalkeeping gladiator. He was formidable. He was a giant. He was almost impossible to score against. Opponents feared him. United fans loved him. They knew if they had the great Dane in goal, they could beat anyone. As quickly as he would make a save, he would distribute the ball to a hungry Manchester United player and make a goal.
Schmeichel was more than just a goalkeeper. He was a player, captain and manager out on the field. He would bark and yell directions at anyone who would listen. He didn’t care if it was Bruce, Pallister, Beckham, Giggs, Keane, or Cantona. He was a born winner and understood what it took to achieve greatness. He was willing to put himself on the line with opponents and team mates. He was fearless.
Some critics have said he made some of his saves look a little more theatrical than they actually were. Isn’t that a little harsh considering Schmeichel won countless Premier League titles and the Champions League in a treble winning season with Man Utd? Oh and he also won the European Championship with Denmark in 1992. I don’t think Utd or Danish fans cared about his theatrical style. If anything, it added to his performances. He made the goalkeeping position exciting again. He was everything Bruce Grobbelaar wanted to be.
He was a huge part of Manchester United’s success in the 1990′s. He is without question a Premier League Legend. Does he deserve to be regarded as the best? Is there anyone better than him?
Ryan Giggs was named the PFA’s Player of the Year today. It’s the icing on the 20 year career cake for Giggsy. He’s twice been named as the Young Player of the Year, but he never won the big one. A lot of people in the media think he didn’t deserve to win as he only started 12 games for Manchester United in the Premier League this season. Most people think it should have gone to his United team mate Nemanja Vidic and that this was a heart string vote by his fellow professionals. One thing you can’t deny is his contribution to football and Manchester United. But that’s not what this award is about is it?
Not knowing if Giggs would return for more football next season, the PFA seem to have pulled an Academy Award type move by rewarding the great Welshman in a season that was definitely influential, but not necessarily his best. It’s a bit like the year when Paul Newman won Best Actor for the Colour Of Money. He’d been nominated so many times before for great movies and he’d never won. But in 1996, the Academy were bitten by the nostalgia bug and before anyone could say “and the award goes to…”, the statuette was already on proud display in Paul Newman’s downstairs bathroom.
Is Ryan Giggs the Paul Newman of football? Do you thinks Giggs deserved it this year? Was he named PFA Player of the Year because of his legend? It’s undeniable he’s one of the best talents the Premier League has seen. But should this have been Steven Gerrard’s year?