Sir Alex Ferguson will celebrate 25 years in charge of Manchester United this weekend, and it is perhaps fitting that Sunderland arrives for the fixture. After all, the Wearsiders have developed something of an affinity with United in recent years. Manager Steve Bruce acquired John O’Shea and Wes Brown last summer, while Danny Wellbeck and Jonny Evans are both recent Black Cat loanees. Add Sunderland squad players Kieron Richardson, Phil Bardsley, and Fraizer Campbell into the mix, and there is more than a little co-dependency between the clubs.
Bruce was United’s captain when the Reds secured a first Premier League title in 1993, ending a 26-year wait to become English champions, but is yet to beat his mentor in 17 attempts as manager of Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic and Sunderland.
The return of so many former players ensures an outstanding atmospheric on what should be a party weekend.
“We’ve had so many ex-players at Sunderland over the last few years, it’s been quite interesting,” said Ferguson, who marks his 25th anniversary on Sunday.
“We had Jonny Evans up there, we had Danny Welbeck up there on loan, Phil Bardsley, Kieran Richardson and now Wes and John have joined Brucey. It’s quite a connection. And of course they’ll get a good reception at Old Trafford. In Wes Brown and John O’Shea, you couldn’t have asked for two more loyal players at United in my time. They were fantastic characters too.
“It was one of these difficult situations when you’re starting to make changes and bring in young players, like Chris Smalling last season and then Phil Jones this summer. The last thing you want to do is have players like Wes and John continually just sitting and watching the games. They’re better than that and they deserve to have good careers elsewhere.”
Yet, Ferguson will be without as many as seven players on Saturday, with United’s injury list growing ever longer this week. Tom Cleverley will not be risked, while Ashley Young’s sore toe is being rested until after the international break. Meanwhile, Rafael da Silva is not ready to make his first team return and Chris Smalling is out with a broken bone in his foot until December. Adding to the headache, Ryan Giggs has a hamstring problem and Michael Owen could be out until the new year with a thigh strain picked up in midweek.
Michael Carrick could be ready for the game having missed United’s last three matches but there is a fitness doubt concerning dysfunctional midfielder Anderson.
“Vidic will be back but maybe Anderson is the one player who picked up an injury last night,” added Ferguson.
“We’ll see what he’s like. He could be doubtful. There will be no returns for Young, Smalling or Cleverley though. Michael [Owen] injured his thigh when he made the run across the front post for the first goal. It’s a killer for him. He started the season well, he’s been training terrifically. His two performances in the League Cup have been great. He made the goal last night, no doubt about that. I hope he’s not out for too long. We’ve assessed him this morning, he’s had a scan but we don’t have any results from that yet.”
Injuries are not helping Ferguson’s search for greater fluency. The Reds scored 21 times in the in first five Premier League matches this season, but only six in the past five. Cleverley’s ankle injury disrupted United’s midfield at an inopportune time, especially with Carrick and Anderson so out of form over the past two months.
The Scot also has a tough decision to make in defence, with Vidic back after missing the Otelul Galati game in midweek. Ferguson will choose between Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans to partner the Serbian. While Evans has seemingly moved ahead of the 33-year-old Ferdinand, repeated mistakes in recent matches has placed the Northern Irishman under pressure. Indeed, much as Evans progressed in two separate loan spells with Sunderland, he took a step backwards last season.
Yet, despite oft-voiced criticism, Evans has started the majority of United’s matches this season, and could well do so against his former employers.
“Sunderland have had a bit of a slow start this season but I think Steve Bruce has bought a lot of new players and it’s taken some of them a while to gel,” said Evans.
“But they’ve had a draw and a win in their last two games so they’ll be coming here wanting to put in a big performance. Steve Bruce’s teams always seem to do well in the Premier League and he’s a good manager. I’ve got a lot of fond memories from my time at Sunderland but I’ll be looking to do a job on Saturday and get three points before the international break.”
Sunderland, meanwhile, will be without former United players O’Shea and Campbell through injury. David Vaughan could also miss out. Lee Cattermole may come back into the side, but ‘keeper Simon Mignolet is out for two months. Whatever the personnel, Sunderland, having won just once in the last 20 meetings with United, is unlikely to spoil Ferguson’s celebratory victory weekend. It’s a good job, losing to his former players is said to irritate the Scot more than anything else.
“Thankfully Pally [Pallister] got it more than me,” recalled Bruce of the infamous ‘hairdryer’.
“In the early days we knew it was coming because Archie [Knox] had a way of telling us when we were going up the tunnel at Old Trafford. He’d tap you on the shoulder and tell you to get ready, it’s coming. If you couldn’t stand up to that you were no use to him. If you couldn’t stand up to him and his demands, and many a player couldn’t, then you couldn’t play for Man U.”
Bruce certainly could, but he wouldn’t dare spoil the party. Would he?
Manchester United versus Sunderland, Premier League, Old Trafford, Saturday 5 November 2011, 3pm
United (4-4-1-1): De Gea; Jones, Evans, Vidic, Evra; Valencia, Park, Fletcher, Nani; Rooney; Hernandez. Subs from: Lindegaard, Fabio, Pogba, Ferdinand, Fryers, Carrick, Berbatov, Welbeck, Diouf.
Sunderland (4-4-2): Mignolet; Bardsley, Turner, Brown, Richardson; Larsson, Cattermole, Colback, Sessegnon; Wickham, Bendtner. Subs from: Carson, Laing, Elmohamady, Gardner, Meyler, Ji, McClean, Cook.
- Having conceded six goals to Manchester City in, United set out to secure a clean sheet at Everton last week, with Javier Hernández scoring the only goal of the game. The Mexican has scored four Premier League goals in 443 minutes of football this season, from just 11 attempts at goal, taking him to 51st place in the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
- Wayne Rooney made the Ballon D’Or shortlist this week and remains top of the Index. Rooney covered more ground than any other player in the match against his old club, recording 12.6km during the game
- Sunderland came from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw against Aston Villa at the weekend, with Sebastian Larsson providing the assist for Stephane Sessegnon’s late equaliser. Larsson is now ranked 12th in the Index having scored three goals and provided four assists, and has contributed 30 crosses.
Referee: Lee Mason (Bolton)
Assistant referees: J Collin, M McDonough
81 thoughts on “Reds welcome Black Cats for Fergie celebration”
all these supposedly amazing youth products readý to step and we’re really gonna start a prem game with fergies bastard and park in cm
According to the mirror, both milan clubs are after pogba. At this rate, i can see him leaving us. Either we play him or he will leave and become a top player elsewhere. Morrison is immature but I would say we need to give him a chance as well. If you’re good enough, you’re old enough.
As long as we make a profit… result for the Glazers
Milan’s interest in Pogba will hopefully force Fergie to play him in the first team
Got to use him or lose him, as Ferguson said this summer. After all, with there being “no value in the market” but the “Ronaldo money still being there” that’s why we didn’t buy a midfielder to support our crock of shit midfield, right?
Mind you Pogba’s just got him self new representation. Hence the flurry of stories recently.
Bench: De Gea, Fabio, Evans, Carrick, Diouf, Valencia, Berbatov
diouf…….fuck me waste of a seat on the bench
is pogba on a free this summer?
I like everything but Park on the left (or right); I’d move him inside, pull Welbeck back to the left wing, and play Rooney behind Hernandez.
rooney in midfield and a midfielder on the bench
or if its not rooney in midfield its park, ffs either way this is embarrassing
For some reason, when I opened Firefox and clicked on the “Restore All Tabs” button, it didn’t restore Veetle (mostly useless, anymore) or that other site with the list of links whose name I can’t recall. If someone would kindly repost that link, I’d be most grateful. Thanks.
EDIT: Never-mind, I found it on a thread from five or six games ago.
fergie dicking about again. and diouf on the bench ffs
a limp 1-0 to united
Wickham out… shame that… I was looking forward to seeing him play… supposed to be a great looking prospect.
106723 – Bloodzeed… working well.
Best stream going these days.
Fitting tribute for the best manager to grace the game. I have to say I feel far more positive about our past than the present at the moment
Get Valencia on for Welbeck… Park to the middle, Nani to the left, Valencia to the right and get Rooney up top with Chico… for fuck sake… we’re toothless like this.
FFS… this game is rubbish so far…
*Quickly tosses a spider in Tels open yap*
*Giggles and runs away*…
Nanis’ delivery is complete fuckin shit.
Come on you cunt, smarten up.
sack him today,the ultimate humiliation
The defence seems better organised with Lindergaard in goal.
Why have Vidic and Rio swapped sides?
Welcome back Wes
Right at half time…
need liverpool for the bet… come on you scum fucks
pathetic performance yet again, not a single good performance from any player
Vidic has got to get used to playing there as Evans will soon be his usual partner at the back.
Half arsed performance, but that’s all what’s needed
im sure they are going nuts in the alex ferguson stand.. quite an atmosphere there
what happened to the early season fizz and tempo?
this side is a shadow of that – i know its SAF’s 25 years but come on united ffs
Park you dork!
Nani is in shite form right now…
whole team is shite
Why not volley that Wayne… fuckin hell…
looking like true champions ffs
come on united
get a fucking grip on this
bollockless on for park
what the fuck is this bollocks?
even sweet pea is shit
What the fuck is that Berbatov? He’s played for Sunderland after coming on.
the great man deserves better – much better than this tepid shite –
get the fucking city game out of the system fucking quick otherwise we are going to be serving up more of this bollocks
fucking pathetic. stop playing rooney in midfield for fucks sake
awful performance, whats gone wrong with united.
finding our level
welcome back O.G.
you weren’t missed early part of the season, but i’m sure glad ur back now especially since our attack has decided to join the midfield and is holding hands with the defence
Can’t believe I’m writing this, but thank god for the international break; that’s two weeks where I won’t have to watch this shit.
feel the same.
We’re being shit but winning
This makes me happy
Better work at 2nd half. No wonder the first half was some mess, Rooney play at center is not a comfortable thingy.
Forward players are out of form. they should bury one or two goal at second half.
By our now low standards that second half was an improvement on what we have seen of late. We tried scoring a goal and were a biy more direct for a change.
Sunderland fans were small-time for mocking us for losing 6-1 to city…and what is with this obsession all away fans have with united fans singung or not? Fuck off and concentrate on your own team.
Everything that’s wrong, starts and ends with the midfield.
Our defence is working harder than it should, because there’s rubbish in front of them, and the strikers are struggling because there’s rubbish behind them.
We’re trying to bring along Jones and Smalling, and thank fuck they’re mature and talented, because our weak midfield would over expose lesser youngsters.
You can blame the team, you can blame the manager, but the entire problem is completely solvable with two good signings to play in the middle.
Our defence, which is still very good, would have better protection and our attack would get better service, and have Rooney further forward, where he should be.
Fix the midfield, and you fix the team… end of!
Fletcher, Anderson and Carrick all in poor form, Cleverley always injured. Gibson not good enough, Pogba too young to start regular. The question is who do we sign in the window. Most decent players are cup tied for the CL. What do we think of Javi Martinez?
22, not cup tied, lots of potential, can pass and physically strong too to suit the English game.
Whether or not the prospective acquisition is cup tied should not be a consideration. United are never going to win the UCL this season, so they are no worse off for that. The right two midfielders, however, could make a difference in the challenge for the league title, plus they get picked up before they distinguish themselves in Euro 2012 and have their valuation rise.
Javi would make one, still need another.
Madremonkey asks whats going on with United.
We only have a few world class players compared to Man. City
that have 800 million pounds of world class players. Thats the problem.
We have a manager that has been there too long and has now run out of ideas. As Alfonso said, we have had a midfield problem for so long now
and there are thousands of world class midfielders around the world, yet SAF is trying to tell us that he cannot find world class midfielders better then what we have now. BULLSHIT is all I can say. Man City will win this league by at least 15 points. What will be SAF excuse after that?
I think we should forget about getting players to put in a challenge for the League title: a few more rampant high-scoring wins by City and the top sides in the PL will be very wary against them even at home, playing safety-first conservatively rather than trying to put them in their place. This means that short of a complewte implosion — which their morale -boosting 6-1 win over us will do a l9ot to prevent– they should win the title at a canter.
What we need are players who can help us to create a cutting-edge high tempo style of play that ffs is at least watchable. No more thinking if we just sneak a 1-0 win in the last minute wewon’t lose sight of the sky-blue juggernaut and may just catch them when they faulter in the home straight, They are not going to faulter — and if they do, iot will be Chelsea, not us who are the beneficiary (presuming that Newcastle are definitely implode). We need the 2 best central midfielders available that money can buy, one defensivce and one creative, and we need to get some young exciting talent to cover other areas of weakness — and we need an unplayable striker– the closest thing to Messi that we can get. Otherwise, however Fergie puts his team toge5ther, it will stuill fall short and , what’s actually worse, play like a stuffed-up 19C steam-engine, rather than a cyborg assassin from the future, scoring goals absurdl;y and at will.
The bill for all of trhis: probaly starts at around 150 million.
Everyone is panicking. It’s really not that bad. Well, the midfield is, but we’re still a top team. Talk of needing to spend £150m is bollocks – as is talk of Fergie running out of ideas FFS
Every season we put in these boring drab 1-0 performances and every season people start fretting. It’s reminiscent of when Chelsea came to the fore and United fans were bricking it thinking we would never be able to match them, and that they would walk the league until Abramovic was arrested or dead.
It’s true we need a major rethink. We’re living in the City era now and we need to make them the focus of our attention domestically because they’re currently the best team in the league. But that rethink is probably already under way. The club can forecast these things better than we can. I reckon they predicted City would get off to a flyer, that’s why we had to as well in order to stay in touch. On the whole we’re in good shape to challenge. It was only a month or so ago that we had the best young squad in Europe – the new busby babes. A couple of midfielders and we’ll have a better 11 than City, and a better squad
To be fair to City, they are doing what Chelsea failed to do and that is look beyond buying their way to success i.e – have a long term strategy so that they don’t have to keep buying superstars every year.
It’s hard not to be impressed by their plans to redevelop their infrastructure.
This is what worries me about City. It’s not just about their first XI. It’s how they are investing all that money intelligently, something Abramovich never did.
Sensible post Sid… but the midfield really is something to fret about.
Not just because it’s shit, but because it’s been shit for years and it’s holding back what could be a much better team.
I’m of the opinion, like most sane football fans, that Barelona are the best team in the game, and would most likely have beaten us anyway, even if we’d have had a better midfield… however… you never know.
One thing is for sure… we’d have given them a better game and not looked so toothless… and this is the same problem we’ve got right now.
After the loss to Barca, Fergie looked to be finally convinced that our midfield was rubbish, and more or less promised to tackle the problem…
Out goes Scholes and in comes Young and Cleverly… pfft…
Are Barcelona supposed to be scared now?
Come on Sid… that’s not what we needed… not even close…
And this where the Glazers come in… they have completely changed the mentality of United.
With the money this club generates, we SHOULD be a World elite club, competing for the worlds elite players… but time after time, we are outbid, by more ambitious clubs, and then told we’re just being reasonable, in an unreasonable market.
Bollocks… we’re operating on a budget, dictated by the Glazers financial plan.
It’s infuriating, because our reputation is deteriorating… and we are being left behind…
Not true. Abramovic also built Chelsea a brand new world class training ground and an academy, and 8 years on they’re struggling. Why, because they have an owner who picks the 11, who hires & fires great managers that don’t win major trophy’s with a squad HE thinks is good enough, and who appears unwilling to shell out for a much needed overhaul because he insists upon getting value from players he has over-spent on, like Torres.
Consider this, if City hadn’t have won the lottery we would piss the league this season because Chelsea are no match – despite their wealth – despite the fact they can outbid us for every player on earth ten times over
And Mansour isn’t investing his money wisely. He’s an idiot who knows fuck all about football. You don’t have to look far for proof. Robinho FFS. What was that. And Hargreaves. Mancini said they had to sign him on the cheap because the money wasn’t available with the FFP looming to bring in a world class midfielder as they are still paying out tens of millions in wages to cunts who are on loan – who are never gonna play for them again. Ridiculous
Damian Garside @ 7:33 a.m. “They are not going to faultier”
Short memory – or what ?
At this time last year the RentBoyz looked invincible; who won the EPL ?
At this time three years ago BigFill had the RentBoyz looking like champions – who won the EPL ?
I’d love to hear what SAF would say about such a defeatist attitude.
A couple of things in response to this: firstly compairsons with Chelsea won’t work I am afraid: Chelsea went on sprees that had journalists thinking that they would storm their way through. But Chelsea’s game was based on strength and a very intimidating but direct controlling style of play. City, on the other hand, have strength and flair. So they may implode — but I think the odds are against it — and they same so much better than any oter team in the PL at the moment — when we are looking disjointed and without an snswer to our problems and not able to re-create the killer attacking play we had at the beginning of the season. This is not a season where — like the last couple — where we can fall over the line first in what looks like a three-legged sack race — this is a league where the kind of play required to win it needs an adjective from German rather than from English to describe it– because the team that wins this year will need power and style to do so — of an order we either don’t have period or do have but by the time we discover it it is going to be too late.
City are determined that they are not going to be a laughing stock ever again — and they are showing that they are a real force to be reckoned with. It doesn’t matter that we nearly equalised in the 6-1 debale, fact is, we didn’t and we got destroyed imn a match that is now one of the happiest moments for City fans in their entire history. United fans must realise how much City want to win the league this year — how driven they are. We don’t have that drive — maybe next year we will — but not this year and not without big investment.
As for what SAF would say about this defeatism: my question is, what is he going to do about catching City– apart from also praying that they do implode.
Sidney @ 2:07: “
Sidney @ 2:07: “It’s true we need a major rethink. We’re living in the City era now”
Really ? On the evidence of one game that spun out of control in the last minute and extra time.
You seem to forget that even after Jonny Evans’ red card, UTD very nearly pulled the match level with Ashley Young having two excellent chances. Sure, they went on – six minutes after that – to score a brace and to effectively end the game against ten men.
If it’s the “City era now” then what happened at Loftus Road yesterday ?
What happened at Loftus Road? City won. They passed the test. They beat an inform, awkward QPR side who were ‘aving it after beating Chelsea 1-0, and they did so after a Euro away
I get what you’re saying though. You can get at City. They aren’t complete, and they’re shonky at the back. Mansours billions hasn’t bought them an team of invincibles.
When I say this is the City era I mean they should be our main focus because they’re only going to get better. The Chelsea era is over… for now. The United era never ends
chelsea tried the youth route, brought arnesen in, all the kids he signed were shite, so they sacked him scrapped that route and went and spent 100m in 6 months on big names
Abramovich made a half arsed attempt at going down the youth route, Sid. Chelsea had no clear strategy of how to ensure that they were signing the right players and how to blend those players into the first team. As far as Chelsea fans are concerned, Abramovich probably shouldn’t have bothered.
They used to have a decent academy but look at the number of products that came through since Abramavich took over. It has dried up. City still have Richards and, in the not too distant past, had players like Ireland, Wright-Philips, Barton and Sturridge.
In terms of the sheer scale of the youth projects, I don’t think you can compare what Abramovich has done at Chelsea to what City are doing in East Manchester. I don’t think Mansour would be so committed to investing so much money into the youth system and on that scale if he was going to demand that the manager buy superstars every year for an indefinite period of time.
I personally am very impressed going off the details in that MEN article.
Robinho was more of a vanity purchase by the owners (a statement of ambition, if you will) who had literally just taken over the club. As for Hargreaves, what has he cost City really?
My point is that if we can recruit world class youngsters into our football academy like they do at Arsenal, we would be so much further ahead. When was the last time a superstar has come out of our academy? Its alright saying we have a lot of promising youngsters in the academy, but aren’t all young footballers promising? At Barcelona, they look to bring in younsters with exceptional skills ans world class talent into their academy. At present, Morrison is the only world class talent but his head is not on right. That simply is not good enough for the future of United football. Our scouts have some work to do. We started the season playing with great style and purpose and now we look like a team that has never played together before. Somethings really wrong here.
the yanks have bled £473 million out of the club in 5 years
if they hadn’t, SAF would have enough cash to buy big and not just decent youth with limited experience
city are not just a blot on the landscape – unlike the rent boys, they have ample funds to buy AND PAY big money to whoever they want to bring in
hate to say this, but the result 2 weeks ago at OT really has set the agenda for the rest of the season with teams already scared shitless when they roll up
Herbie Simmy @ 6:32: “if we can recruit world class youngsters into our football academy like they do at Arsenal, we would be so much further ahead.”
world class youngsters at Arsenal – who are you talking about ? The only “world class youngster” they have had was Cesc Fabregas and they kidnapped him from Barcelona – the same way UTD kidnapped Gerrard Pique. Almost all of the other Arsenal kids have been flops.
Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck look better than any pair of graduates from Arsenal’s academy. Everyone has high hopes for Ravel Morrison but he’s at the tricky point in his career – many have stumbled on the last step. However, Morrison is only one of three quality midfield prospects – Paul Pogba and Ryan Tunnicliffe are also highly regarded. Possibly not one of these guys will take that last step and graduate into the first-team squad but maybe all three will do so. They’re just kids and it’s really impossible to predict how they will develop.
However, gnashing-of-teeth and tearing-of-hair makes one forget that UTD are defending EPL champions (four times in five years, mate) and have reached the CL final three times in four years. Too many of you guys are simply spoiled by success and have a ludicrously-inflated sense of entitlement.
Furthermore, contrary to Han (@ 7:44), I see no especial virtue in buying “big”; even though it’s a less spectacular route to success, I’m with SAF in recruiting kids and inculcating them into TheUnitedWay. Of course, we’d all like that “way” to be as successful as Barcelona but being second-best means everyone else is below us.
wilshere is obviously miles better than anyone we’ve brought through since scholes, and gibbs looks at least as talented as our two welbeck and clev
we need to stop trying to be clever signing these shite unknowns and thinking they’ll make it big, obentran bebe diouf tosic etc all wasted cash, fergie aint wenger when it comes to spotting unknowns gems , hernandez is the only one who’s looked much cop
sign more rooneys ronaldos and jones, definites whod already proved it a bit
But who’s to say City’s academy won’t go the way of Chelsea’s? Mansour is a meddler who throws money down the pisser. Even if it is a success it’s gonna take at least 5 years for it to bear any fruit. And then how many youth products get into top 4 teams nowadays?
My point is this… City will obviously go on to win major trophy’s, but being mega rich isn’t all plain sailing. And it doesn’t mean that we might as well give up because they will win every major trophy for the next 50 years
And Hargreaves… The point isn’t how much he cost them – it’s the fact that they had to sign a crock on the cheap, despite Mansour’s riches, because of bad management -because nobody could be arsed to get rid of the 5 big earners on the wage bill
have you ever considered that city took hargreaves to try and rub our faces in the proverbial doggie poo – here was a player that we spent millions on, paid millions in salary and medical costs and then despatched saying he was no longer capable of playing for us
lo and behold, city pick him up as a gamble on a free and a pay per play basis and if he isn’t crocked completely, will wear their shirt and stick 2 fingers up at the OT staff who didn’t do enough (according to him) to aid his recovery
i don’t buy the crap coming out of the city camp about being unable to afford anyone else
Do you honestly think Mancini signed Hargreaves – who had barely kicked a ball in 3 years – simply to piss off United, when he could have signed any player in the world – including the likes of M’Vila and De Rossi?
Watch the interview where he explains why they signed Hargo. It’s a message to the board and the owners. He says with so many big earners out on loan – basically in limbo – they had to sign someone on the cheap. What he’s saying is “sort it out FFS”
Tevez is another example of bad management. He should have gone in summer but the club set a ridiculous £50m transfer fee in an attempt to claw back the bullshit sum they paid for him originally, only for it to fall flat on its arse because nobody is prepared to give the richest club on earth that kind of money.
So now they’re stuck with another player they have pissed off, who earns shitloads and takes up a massive chunk of the wage bill, and who is not contributing on the pitch. It’s shambolic. Abramovic doesn’t treat his acquisitions with such contempt.
Oh, I see.