For many, Sunday is a day spent in the company of family and friends, reading that unfinished book, or watching a new episode of a favourite show. Over at United Rant it’s spent catching up on the beautiful game. Join us, in Rant’s weekly round-up of Manchester United-related news and blogs – Media Digest.
This week, supporters were mostly concerned with the captain’s position, club owners and some of the players. That’s, of course, when they weren’t discussing transfer rumours – but this is Rant, so let’s not go there.
“Do me a favour, stop asking questions!”
Roy Keane, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Scholes – none of them was properly replaced. Despite all the talk, United has not been in the business of making big signings – Robin van Persie an exception to the rule in recent years. Now that Ferguson’s genius has gone too the truth that United fans knew long ago is plain – this squad needs a major surgery. This summer has again been one of disappointments, even though the club has already signed three players – with one more on the way next week, it seems. And the fans know whom to blame for that.
In a long list of articles on the topic a few stand out. In one of them, Doc Joshi reflects on transfer embarrassments for The Peoples Person:
Talks of “showdown” talks between Van Gaal and Woodward are not surprising and this United fan would love to be a fly on the wall of that meeting! I can just imagine King Louis tea-bagging Ed Woodward before handing in his resignation in the form of a #GlazersOut tattoo imprinted onto Woodward’s forehead. Van Gaal has nothing to prove and if the board don’t give him the tools he requires to succeed then he is likely to seek a final swansong elsewhere. And I for one wouldn’t blame him. At 63, he’s not likely to want a five year re-building project.
Dan from Red Rants wonders, furiously, whether Woodward is making promises he can’t keep:
“In the late 1970s… Bruce Springsteen used to add a verse to one of his signature songs… “You lied,” sang Springsteen, initially in a melancholic, matter of fact voice, before following the music’s crescendo to utter those words in a mixture of ferocious anger and disgust. Ed Woodward is nobody’s idea of a lost love, but, bar major surprises, United fans could soon be uttering those words soon… United have tolerated mediocrity for far too long and if the club is serious about ensuring last season was only a blip rather than the beginning of a new era, then Woodward must walk the walk instead of just talking the talk.”
Red Rants also has a suggestion on how to make fans’ feelings known to the Glazers.
“Then you would agree that there ain’t no romance around there”
So, Rooney is United’s new captain. If you are as psyched as we are, you’re not psyched at all. That’s the view also shared by Scott at The Republik of Mancunia, who writes:
“Maybe it’s silly of me to want someone who is properly committed to the club and doesn’t talk shit to be our captain. We can listen to Rooney talk of his pride and happiness at being captain of “this great club” and pretend he didn’t ask to leave twice within the space of three years to join our rivals. We can watch him kiss the badge after scoring and kid ourselves that this is a player who really loves Manchester United.”
He also notes that:
“But then maybe that’s just the way football works though. Whilst Nemanja Vidic didn’t behave like Rooney and his agent always denied transfer rumours, it was almost certain he was leaving us for Italy a few years ago. Then out of nowhere he signed a new contract and leapfrogged Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs, who’d always worn the armband ahead of him in Gary Neville’s absence, to be named captain…”
That’s the opinion shared by many. Supporters might not always be very fond of all the things Rooney, but isn’t it time to move on? Darren from The Talk of the Devils certainly thinks so:
“When Roy Keane did it back in the 90′s and very publicly stated he wanted £100,000 a week or he was off the fans backed him. You can argue about whether you feel Keane is a better or more important player to United then than Rooney is now but they are just semantics. The key here is that the issue is exactly the same… Have you ever thought that Van Gaal has come in with a cold heart and cold eyes and simply looked at who is the most suitable candidate and chosen Rooney?.. Fans have to understand that players don’t love clubs like we do.”
Or to paraphrase the Arctic Monkeys: a kiss would be too much to ask.
“This House Is A Circus”
The enigma that is Nani will be missed at United – at least that’s what Old Trafford Faithful’s Fabby thinks. “He doesn’t deserve to be remembered by his last two seasons for the club. He deserves to be remembered by his two best seasons,” Fabby reminisces before wrapping up by noting:
“So he’s off. Off to a league for which he is most certainly too good. Off to play for his boyhood club Sporting Lisbon. A quiet exit for a player who could be world-class the first minute, and play like he had never played football before the next. Somewhere between genius and insanity, Nani will be missed. Perhaps more than we can imagine.”
Well, as far as Nani’s Sporting (re)debut goes maybe not so much: he missed a penalty and earned a yellow card before being substituted. Supporters will always cherish his penalty in Moscow though.
Meanwhile, Red Mancunian looks into the curious case of Nick Powell. The youngster’s absence on the US tour raised a few eyebrows and it was something of a strange relief to find out it was due to an injury and not having already fallen out of grace with the new manager.
“Powell’s loan spell at Wigan last season was very successful and he ended up top goal scorer at the Latics with 11 goals and got some great European experience playing in the Europa League. Though now the rumours have started to circulate that Powell was ready to go back to the Championship on loan… But considering United’s squad and lack of midfielders there isn’t really a reason why Powell shouldn’t get a decent go in the side unless new players are signed.”
Still, a new player has been signed, albeit not a midfielder. The Peoples Person comes up with reasons United fans will love Marcos Rojo. The Argentinian has a unique way to clear corners alright; made Robben look stupid once – this is a good one! – but then again, van Gaal loves Robben, so that’s kinda confusing too.
Also confusing: do the Glazers really think all is good now?
United’s poor start to the new season was a blessing for the mainstream press, giving birth to myriad speculation.
“Oh there’s a very pleasant side to you, a side I much prefer…”
There has been plenty written about United’s new manager, but in case you’ve missed something, the Guardian features The Van Gaal Dossier, which contains some interesting infographics and some very specific fonts.
Meanwhile, it’s finally happened. David Moyes offered an “EXCLUSIVE!!!” interview on the subject of his time at United – to Daily Mail. Undoubtedly the first of many to come. Of course, getting there first meant a good deal of drama for Mail’s reporters: “Inside, however, he is suffering. Not least because it is not in the nature of a proud, working-class Scotsman to be idle. He wants to work. He needs to work…”
“Do you want me crawling back to you?”
The state of affairs at United, with the apparent shortcomings in the transfer market – and, lately, the trophy cabinet too – pushed some outlets to dedicated space to the real source of United’s problems. The Guardian’s David Conn looks at how Glazers continue to thrive while “Manchester United flounder.” There should be more articles like this.
Former players are none too comfortable with the situation at United either. Unfortunately, while being honest and straightforward in his column for The Independent, Paul Scholes failed to mention Glazers once. Noted, Paul.
“I am scared for United. Genuinely scared that they could go into the wilderness in the same way that Liverpool did in the 1990s.”
The Talk of the Devils features extract from John Ludden’s book “From the Stars” on United’s decline in 1968-74.
Darren Fletcher’s return to football is covered by Daily Mail.
Manchester Evening News looks at how United’s defeat to Swansea was reported by their colleagues.
Visually pleasing moments from the first game of the season can be found in gif form on Beautifully Red.
Daily Mail reports on City appointing Moyes’ scout as European talent spotter.