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  • Rob B 16:10 on August 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Cristiano Or Bust? Why United Have A Philosophy Of Patience 

    cristianoronaldo

    ‘United to make third Fabregas bid.’
    ‘Cristiano Ronaldo spotted in Manchester.’

    The Twittersphere has explode with rumours in the last couple of weeks regarding Manchester United’s transfer targets. In fact, rarely has a transfer window been and gone where United aren’t linked to most top players across Europe and beyond. Nevertheless it seems that the club has finally got the hint from both Barcelona and Cesc Fabregas that the Spaniard wasn’t interested in a return to England (how about one last bid Dave, just to be sure…). The other rumour however fills the majority of United fans with dejected hope. We know it won’t happen of course, but boy do we love to dream that the prodigal son could return to Old Trafford.  

    The issue with this fantasy world is glaringly simple though – Manchester United rarely sign superstars.  Look through any “Best ever United XI” and tell me how many of the players United signed whilst they were at their peak. You would be hard pushed to find perhaps more than one, depending on your views.

    Disclaimer: when I say we don’t sign world class players, I don’t necessarily see it as a negative.

    The fact is simple, we don’t sign the best players; instead we shape them into becoming the best players. (More …)

     
    • elvido 19:10 on August 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent article. Once in a while, one of these turn up and assure you that there is something called a sane football fan

    • Steph D 20:06 on August 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks mate

  • Rob B 14:18 on August 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Are Chelsea & Man City Truly The Favourites? 

    hart-lampard

    Steph D writes for The Faithful:

    If you read any pre-season predictions you’ll probably notice there have only been two responses to “Who will win the Premier League this year?” The obvious answers of Chelsea and Manchester City are coming forward in swarms by journalists, pundits and ex-pros alike.

    For Chelsea, they haven’t ventured too heavily in the transfer market as things stand (Andre Schurrle remains their only big name acquisition) but the return of the Happy One is perhaps their most vital signing of all. No doubt the “Mourinho factor” will boost the London side and they will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.

    Meanwhile our neighbours the other side of Manchester haven’t missed a trick and appear to have got the bulk of their summer trade organised early on in the transfer window. At present they have spent an approximate £87m on a decent looking set of players and have also sacked off their golf swinging leech.

    But one big name is absent from all this title-winning talk. No , not Liverpool (it’s their season y’know), but Manchester United – the reigning, record breaking champions. And do you know what? That’s absolutely fine with me. (More …)

     
    • sitesired 15:30 on August 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Very well put . The core of our club is very much alive .The dressing room and fans alike has lived with expectation over many seasons . We are not Liverpool living on past glory .We will take this battle to The likes of Chelsea and mcfc . DM may not have the track record of Maureen etc but we have seen how with little or nothing Everton overhauled Liverpool . We have a winner at the helm .

    • stephen 16:03 on August 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Don’t be getting to upset about it. It has been coming for a long time you managed to but the league back last season. That is where it ends Ferguson saw it coming and got off while the going was good. And by the way it is MANCHESTER CITY’S to lose.As it was last year. And there is a few old player’s at UTD i think Gigg’s Ferdinand RVP all 30+.

    • Glowey 20:04 on August 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      That’s it, always look on the bright side or, in other words, you haven’t really much choice have you?

  • Rob B 10:43 on July 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Moyes Needs Steel – Fellaini Will Give United What They Really Need 

    fellainicarrick

    The needs of Manchester United fans are not always the same as their wants.

    After ‘Thiago Fever’ gripped The Faithful, during an ongoing media campaign that claimed we had all but signed the player, and the ‘Fabregas Farce’ which allegedly saw Cesc consider coming to Old Trafford, despite him never publicly making any such overtones and his club showing little willing to sell, United fans are feeling all hard done by and dare I say it – almost jealous – when looking at our peers in and around Europe. The jokes about Moyes going back to Everton to capture a Hibbert or a Anichebe are rife, but with fewer reasons of humour, and more reasons of loading the proverbial shotgun, should the new manager not pull a transfer ace out the bag.

    As football fans of course we crave excitement – and at a club like Man Utd, we want to sign the very best. However, this has never been the United way. Our last thirty million pound plus signing was Dimitar Berbatov, and I think it is fair to say that you would not really call him a ‘superstar signing’. A section of our fanbase will not be prepared to go into battle next year unless we acquire a Cesc or a Thiago. This is down to either being too short-sighted to the squad we all ready have, or more importantly, to the other transfer targets we could acquire. It is a bit like last year, where we got Kagawa and not Hazard, and some quarters will always be more bothered that Shinji is not Eden, rather than what the Japanese lad can do with a ball at his feet. The green-eyed monsters run free…

    Despite ‘wanting’ this stellar name, there are certain more sterile needs of the squad. (More …)

     
    • Nigerian 11:52 on July 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Boy, do I like this piece! Every bit of it is dripping with truth. The more we chase these stars, the more they’d elude us and the stupidier we look. It’s time to get pragmatic.
      Bravo, The Faithful!

    • Ian 15:26 on July 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I agree we need a midfield general and that attacking flair is a benefit rather than a necessity considering some of the stars we have in and around the team. There is no doubt that adding a Fabregas or a Thiago would improve us as, they would improve any team but they would only be a bonus.

      98% of this is completely accurate but I have to disagree with the choice of player recommended. Certainly as a physical presence he would match any in the premier league but we don’t just need that. He has to have the ability to use it with out flying elbows. Fellaini is a good player and he would improve us in midfield but in order to get the next midfield general who can marshal the troops for the start of the Moyes Generation, I would hope that it is someone who can provide the qualities of both a Fellaini as well as with some of the flair. Keane was hard as nails but he could play great football and if we need to do a stellar signing. Let him have both those qualities instead of an either or!!

    • craig norman 05:43 on August 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Same qn I had abt him being the right man. But after this article, we need the man, period.

    • Uwazzy 06:21 on August 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Lovely article. Yes we really need to be practical and I believe being practical will be signing Luiz Gustavo.

      Bayern has confirmed that Luiz Gustavo is for sale if they get the right offer . I feel this is a player better than Fellaini , Anderson in central midfield . He is strong, can pass , more skillful than ramirez ,technically sound and is a brazilian . It would be a shock if Manchester United allow this opportunity to pass them by .

      From what I have seen we need effective signings and not necessarily hollywood signings . We did that last season , Now we need dudes that would work for the team and give fletcher-like performances . Gustavo is one . I also believe be have enough creativity in this team in various variations also . Nani, kagawa, adnan, rooney zaha , lingard all give something different when it comes to creativity and its lovely but we need to harden up .

      And please no one should tell me because he couldnt make it to the bayern first team shows he isnt united class. Sneidjer and Robben couldn’t make it in the neo-galatico era and yet they have won UCL for other clubs during that era .

      We need to buy intelligently and a golden opportunity has come .

    • Uwazzy 06:56 on August 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Gustavo is a Favorite for me . To think of it , the last great midfield signing we made was from Bayern Munich .

      I think Gustavo will be perfect and the circumstance of his sale is great for us .

    • enzophonics 06:56 on August 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Brilliant write up. Refreshing new insight apart from the usual dross being spouted during the transfer period! Well done Rob.

    • varshan 18:15 on August 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      brilliant article.
      prior to the transfer window i was set on united signing fellaini due to the obvious reasons you pointed out.
      however since we have been linked with thiago and cesc i admit i also fell in to this trap of ‘flashy big name’ rather than acquiring whats actually needed.
      if u look at it this way; if we do sign fellaini we can play the 4-2-3-1 with carrick and fellaini in the 2 man pivot.
      with such strong def cover from fellaini and the array of passes of deep lying play making from carrick it gives united the opportunity to play an all out attack 3 man midfield of kagawa ( not rooney ) through the centre which he thrives in and 2 wingers either zaha valencia or nani well that can be looked at depending on form and with the acquisition of zaha and hes stand out performance durin pre season it would push the rest to perform for a start.
      and of course rvp up front

    • Chris O'connor 20:39 on August 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Great article,all those against the signing of fellani will change their minds when they see him bossing our midfield !

  • Guest Writer 19:19 on July 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    The Power of Transition – How Moyes Might Be On To A Winner… 

    moyessuited

    Once more unto the breach dear friends……………….kind of.

    For two decades Manchester United fans have set out in August, more in expectation than in mere hope. We had an advantage, an extra ingredient that set us apart from the rest.
     
    This isn’t just the view of someone born with pre-installed scarlet contact lenses; this was something a City fan said to me in March: “We can spend all the money in the world, but as long as you have Fergie – you’ll always have the upper hand”.
     
    I agreed with him of course, in fact during the conversation I agreed with most things he said. If you can put your colours to one side (occasionally) you’ll find the view from ‘The Enemy’ quite interesting. I had a similar conversation with a Liverpool fan In June. Although he’d filled his ‘LFC Conspiracy theory Bingo card’ within the first 15 minutes –I did eventually get some sense out of him. He too admitted that having a man like ‘Alex Ferguson’ (“It’s SIR Alex mate!”) in charge for such a long time, meant that going into each season United knew what to expect. (More …)
     
  • Rob B 11:59 on July 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    The Epitaph of Nani – Brilliant and Underwhelming 

    nanibye

    There is no doubt that Luis Nani had everything it took to be a Man Utd great. On his day, he could kill a full back with the artistic grace of an Underworld assassin. Deadly on the trigger. Focused on his target. Devastating in his execution. We all remember that breath-taking piece of skill at the Emirates – when he killed two defenders in the corner, and then chipped the keeper. That was his coming of age. Well, so we thought.

    In a post Ronaldo era, we put all our eggs in the Nani basket, and so did Sir Alex. For a while it looked like we could all be smug together – all our defence of the boy to his detractors was finally justified. For a good two season, he looked like he could kick on into that elite bracket of world footballers. But then Jamie Carragher happened. That tackle, and subsequent injury, derailed the lad – and he never fully recovered that blistering form.

    The key word in that last sentence is football’s classic catchphrase: ‘Form’ (More …)

     
  • Rob B 12:02 on July 17, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    The Pain With Wayne – How Chelsea Might Be Rooney’s Calling 

    Image

    When you first met him he was dashing. A council estate maverick with a gleam in his eye.

    Well maybe not, but he was really good at football at least.

    After a short romance, you got together, It was a fantastic relationship. He was passionate and driven, and had the qualities you wanted in a man. The next few years were lovely. You created memories that will never be forgotten, and it just felt like it was for…ever.

    But one night he didn’t come home. Where could he be? You had noticed there was a change in him towards you, but it is understandable that the spark sometimes does burn less bright over time. But you thought nothing of it…

    That is until he told you he fancied leaving you.

    Then of course he changed his mind, because you begged him, but it did feel like it was all just on ‘borrowed time’…he told you he wanted to spice things up, to experiment more – so you invited that Dutch guy who works at the pub round for a ‘Ménage à trois

    It seemed to go well – you all enjoyed yourself, but then it just turned out he was jealous, because the Dutchman out performed him. You were back to square one, and suddenly he’s looking at expensive houses in Surrey…

    You always know it is over, even before it ends… (More …)

     
  • Sarah 12:00 on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    The start of a new era for Manchester United 

    David Moyes at Old Trafford

    It has been very quiet at TF Towers for a while now, the over saturation of United gossip on social networks is one of the factors of my lack of writing on anything United related. So much has changed since I last wrote here, both at the club and also on a personal level.

    This is a Manchester United blog so I won’t bore you with the personal stuff. Although I will add that I do not cope well with change, so Sir Alex’s retirement has kicked me in the gut several times over and I’m sure it will continue to do so. Like many have said they have never known anything other than Sir Alex at United and I am the same, we have been a privileged group of supporters to witness his time with Manchester United.

    When I think of United without Sir Alex as Manager, I still feel tears emerging from my eyes. I am actually fighting them back now as writing this all makes it real. At every coaching course that I have been on Sir Alex was used as an example, the broadest proud grin used to come across my face every time. That was OUR manager. I had even managed to make my English presentation at school on ‘Motivational Leaders’ about him. My teacher supported Arsenal so you can imagine how well that went down…

    But he really has gone. We have a new Manager now. Everything starts fresh. (More …)

     
  • Guest Writer 10:58 on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , transfer speculation,   

    Wayne Rooney: Is he really in the wrong? 

    Sir Alex Ferguson and Wayne Rooney

     

    Today, The Faithful welcomes Nathon Woodhead from Red Flag Flying High. You can follow the site @RFFH and Nathon @nathonw on twitter.

    The retirement of Alex Ferguson spells an end to the greatest era in the history of Manchester United, but with every end comes a new beginning.

    The greatest manager of his generation, and arguably of all-time; Sir Alex brought success after success to the club, rebuilding squads, creating formulas for title winning sides and laying a foundation for future success – but he did not always get it right.

    We all know it took a fair few years before Ferguson won his first trophy. We all remember the sale of Jaap Stam, which should never have happened. We all remember the apparent forcing of David Beckham out of the club as he was perceived to be getting too big for his boots and far too much media attention. We are all aware of the Djemba-Djemba years in which Chelsea and Arsenal both dominated the Premier League, whilst United lurked in the background, miles behind the two London outfits in terms of ability, team spirit and all round solidity.

    Arsenal went a season unbeaten, followed by Chelsea who won back to back titles and a record breaking Premier League points total – not to mention they had the financial backing of a Russian billionaire so could continue to buy the best players… but Sir Alex, again, built a squad that not only won the domestic league title back, but went on to win the Champions League.

    The sign of a true winner is how you react when the chips are down. Sir Alex Ferguson was a winner. (More …)

     
    • REALLY? 11:16 on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Because going against SAF is the new hip? Transfer req twice. Played outta position coz he was out of form. But hey, lets blame Fergie.

      • Sarah 11:39 on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        This article was never going to be popular with all, it just offers a different view. Thanks for reading :)

    • kings 11:28 on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      If he wants to leave I think he should.Nobody is bigger than the club.Manchester united has made heroes and legends,we appreciate his service to the club but if he is not willing to play for man united he shouldn’t be forced to stay.There are many greats who retired or were sold but the club still winning medals

    • wayne 11:39 on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Rooney’s form and fitness dipped considerably why should Rooney be guaranteed a starting place?because he’s Wayne Rooney doesn’t work like that.Rooney is a professional footballer making a fortune every month,yet he acted like a baby because although he asked Sir Alex for better players spat his dummy out because he was no longer the main man
      Rooney needs to grow up and start earning the fortune he get’s paid every week,is Rooney wrong of course he is in every way,spoiled little bastard.I read Rooney needs to feel wanted and loved,what a load of bollocks,he’s a in a decline and needs to lay off the smokes,junk food and booze and start applying himself

    • pjch 12:38 on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the article. I am of the firm opinion that Rooney did not ask for a transfer and this was Ferguson sticking the knife in as a parting shot – we all know what he is capable of to get his own way. In fact haven’t the club denied that Rooney has not asked for a transfer at all.
      Lets put the Rooney saga behind him and support him when he puts on the shirt at the beginning of the season and not get on his back because of misguided words by Ferguson at the end of last season

    • lloyd 13:10 on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Well, I salute the objectiveness of the article. And yes SAF shouldn’t have spoke about the 2nd transfer request .. But this will turn out “a blessing in disguise”, Rooney with a point to prove and back by Moyes, we may see his best season at old Traford yet… When i first heard moyes was the new manager, i thought, “well there’s no way we’ll keep the premier league title” (a cup would seem more likely). I’ve never known Manchester UTD without SAF (felt like crap for quite some days)… then slowly, again, I see the champion team left by SAF, the club structure, the winning and fighting spirit, a whole new team ready for the challenge under a new manager. We still might not keep the title, but you’re not going to get it easy either and in a season’s time, The red devils will make you tremble again! Once a red, always a red!! Glory Man Utd!!

    • wayne 13:51 on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      sure one of the greatest most respected managers of all time is lying and Rooney who all he’s ever done is lie and get into off field trouble is telling the truth.Like to point out it’s always Rooney’s ‘camp’ that comes out about him not asking for a transfer.Know why Rooney doesn’t because he’d lose his transfer fee,it’s all about greed and selfishness with Rooney.
      pjch you need to give your head a shake backing Rooney over Sir Alex what is wrong with you

    • Ayoola Alawusa 14:44 on July 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Firstly your article isn’t in the balance. It is sentimental…. Secondly , I think if as a player I’m dropped from games I’ll ask questions….. But not after I’ve questioned myself….. “What did I do wrong?” “Is my form a lil awful?!” “Is it a tactical plan that required me to sacrifice position?!” ….. All these kinda question should be in your head….. Yeah! Rooney is a great player but the truth was he wasn’t up to his standards last season…. SAF confirmed this after a match in which he played CM by saying a fit/in-form rooney wouldn’t be subbed….. Yeah! Maybe SAF shouldn’t have said that openly buh I’m happy he did….. I don’t think he has made a mistake with Rooney. I think Rooney should have thought well and hard before such utterances….. He was playing in CM and being subbed cos he wasn’t his super self….. Let’s not indulge or beat around the bush,if Wayne was Wayne then we’ll have 2 strikers pass the 20league goal margin…… He let himself down IMO….. SAF maybe just felt he was about to hold the club to ransom again so he wisely turned the fans against him….. So you blame him for that? You expect him to babysit him and start narrating bedtime stories about why he wasn’t playing CM&getting subbed?! Did you hear what Mike Clegg said about Rooney’s gym workouts?! The problem is with Wayne… I hope he stays,I hope he forms that lethal partnership with RVP…..
      Buh most of all I want him to realise is that he messed up,and like you said “The sign of a true winner is how you react when the
      chips are down. Sir Alex Ferguson was a winner.” So I expect him to act like one.

    • Rite$h 07:48 on July 11, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Nobody is bigger than the club, if players like Beckham, Nistelrooy and CR7 were sold, then Rooney can leave if he wants, but of course at the right price. Rio has asked him to stay, so did Moyes so far, but just look at this pic to see that he’s not really in the mood to continue on: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/07/11/article-2359993-1AC1F16D000005DC-413_306x465.jpg

  • caddiesandyoung 16:43 on January 26, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Swansea ball boy   

    Swansea ballboy – What MIGHT have happened (An ARWIF special) 

    ballboyswansea

    While you are reading this, balanced precariously on a window ledge so that you can steal someone else’s wi-fi and drinking slightly out of date Ribena…the Swansea City ‘ball boy manager’ is planning a lucrative future.

    Britain is taking a long soak in the bath of poverty, and yet Charlie Morgan is negotiating appearance fees for Loose Women, the One show, Graham Norton and Babestation. He will probably be the face of  ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and secure a weekly column for Heat magazine… and yet us honest folk struggle even to afford branded lube.

    Charlie, as even the inhabitants of Baffin Island are aware, is the boy who lay on top of the ball in the Rumbelows Cup semi final, thus preventing Eden Hazard from returning it to the keeper. The pink mist descended on Hazard and he prodded Charles in the tummy with his very soft boot. Hazard was of course wrong to do this but I would urge you all to think about what might have happened to Charles if the perpetrator had been someone else…

    What might have been the outcome if Vidic had wanted the ball? (More …)

     
  • Rob B 14:22 on January 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Music   

    The Death Of HMV – The End Of A Way Of Life 

    nipper

    Football and music – the two burning passions of our site editor Rob Blanchette. In this article, he reflects about the loss of HMV from our lives and high streets.

    When I was 15, like most kids…my school sent me out on work experience. One of my best pals had put down on the form that he loved sports, so subsequently got sent to work at a golf club. I had put down that I wanted to be a writer, and had hoped to be placed at the local newspaper…but I ended up at the Woolwich building society in the high street, filing paper work and making the tea.

    But in the end, it was the best work placement I could possibly have. And this was because it was next door to HMV.

    In my ill-fitting oversized suit, Id spend every lunchtime in there, browsing through the cassettes and CDs. Checking out all the new band t-shirts. I learned every corner of that shop, without realising that one day I would work there. As a 15-year-old I loved the vibe of the place. All the staff were cool. One girl was probably the most beautiful goth I had ever seen, and I had to control my boyish motivation for staring at her as she filled the racks. To me it was the greatest place to spend any free time. It was my library..I could discover new genres I had only read about. I could admire the artwork on the cover of every album. It was a consistently satisfying experience. It was the only place on earth I would run too when I needed a dose of escapism from the council estate and our poverty. There was no Facebook, Twitter or Playstation to fill a void. But we had music, and that was enough. (More …)

     
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