The Football Capital of Great Britain
Manchester is now, without doubt, the football capital of Great Britain, with London, Glasgow and Liverpool distinctly left behind. The recent investment in Manchester City, combined with Manchester United’s dominance of the Premier League-era, has given the city a preeminent place in world football.
Indeed, with Manchester City having recently won the Premier League, and looking to compete on a European stage, Manchester could become only the second city to be home two different European Cup winners. The other? Milan of course, with both AC and Inter having been European Cup winners. Although winning the Champions League is far harder than winning the Premier League, who’d bet against City spending big over the next couple of years and building a dream team of superstars?
In fact, from a neutral perspective, it is difficult not to be tempted by the next few years of rivalry between City and United. Much has been made of United’s dominance during the Premier League era, in comparison with the Spanish or German leagues, whose talent has been shared between more teams. Manchester United have, under Sir Alex, been famous not only for buying well, but for developing good young players. With the Glazers unwilling and unable to match Sheikh Mansour, it is likely that Sir Alex Ferguson will be putting his famous eye for talent to use to attract players before they become megastars.
United’s Best and Worse Bits of Business in the January Transfer Window
With the January transfer window open and closed for another year, Paul Scholes coming out of retirement was the only significant move in three years to get the fans excited.
Indeed, some bookmakers even offered free bets on who would be the next former star to put on their boots again – Peter Schmeichel? Eric Cantona? Teddy Sheringham?
Pre Match & Line Ups- FC Schalke 04 v Man United, Gelsenkirchen, 26.04.11
Teams: FC Schalke 04 v Man United
Competition: UEFA Champions League, Semi-Final 1st Leg
Last Match: Manchester United 1 0 Everton & FC Schalke 04 0 – Kaiserslautern 1
Kick Off: 19 45 on TV @ Sky Sports HD
Having watched ‘United’, the emotive BBC Drama, which beautifully depicted what Man United stands for and the history behind it, I cannot think of a time to be more proud of the magnificent club we support. Tomorrow night, at the imposing Gelsenkirchen stadium, Sir Alex will lead out the team, in what is bound to be another incredible Champions League night. Up against an over-achieving Schalke side, the Reds will be hoping to justify their favourites tag with a positive result, to bring back to Old Trafford.
Comment & Analysis- FA Cup Fifth Round. Manchester United v Crawley Town, 19.02.11
Having been granted a match at Old Trafford, thanks to the magic of the FA Cup, Crawley were today knocked out of the competition by an under-par Man United team. Facing opposition 97 places below us in the Football League, Sir Alex made widespread changes to the team that played in the Manchester derby, but did not go so far as to hand debuts to the likes of Ryan Tunnicliffe & Paul Pogba – instead opting for the standard ‘Carling Cup team’.
Player Ratings- Manchester United v Crawley Town, 19.02.11
Andres Lindegaard- 6
Making his home debut, the Danish stopper wasn’t called into action too often, despite Crawley’s attacking ambitions. He had the late header, which hit the crossbar, covered and distributed the ball well throughout. A solid performance from the 6ft 4 stopper.
A Look @ The Football Rich List, Through Red-Tinted Glasses
This week, the auditors Deloitte published their latest edition of the annual Football Money League, a comparison of football clubs’ earning power.
Comment, Manchester United v Aston Villa, Old Trafford, 01.02.11.
Much hype was made before this match about whether or not Villa would pose a threat to a Manchester United team unbeaten in 24 league games.