£50 million could prove to be a bargain
After a stuttering start to life at Old Trafford following his summer loan from Monaco, Radamel Falcao started his fifth successive game for Manchester United against Yeovil on Sunday, a feat the Colombian hasn’t managed since November 2013 prior to his severe knee injury in January last year. The striker, once one of the most prolific in world football, has struggled to find the net since his arrival in Manchester but he has also struggled to find fitness and thus a way into conditioning-stickler Louis van Gaal’s starting eleven.
Remember, Remember the Sixth of November 1986
The wind is picking up, thirteen thousand supporters at Oxford United’s Manor Ground clamour for a seat, it’s a world away from the stadia fans will soon be accustomed to. In a dressing room devoid of iPods and mobile phones and a 44-year-old Scot is waiting to deliver his first team-talk. Named as the successor to Ron Atkinson only two days previous, Alex Ferguson has traveled to Oxford on a battered, clunking coach along with twelve skeptical football players.
#105 Leaving It Late
During this episode of the Can They Score podcast, we review United’s 2-2 away draw to West Brom, before discussing our defensive frailties, Januzaj and Mata’s roles at the club and, of course, Sunday’s Chelsea game. We hope you enjoy this week’s podcast. Come on you Reds!
During this week’s episode of the Can They Score podcast, we review the slightly underwhelming 0-0 draw away to Burnley before discussing the ins and outs at Old Trafford ahead of the game against QPR. We hope you enjoy this week’s podcast. Come on you Reds!
#99 Angel and Demons
During this week’s episode of the Can They Score podcast, we review the appalling week of football both in the league and in the Capital One Cup before discussing the outstanding and very much welcome arrival of a certain Argentinian winger. We hope you enjoy this week’s podcast. Come on you Reds!
379 appearances, 10 goals, 40 assists and 54 yellow cards.
Bought by Sir Alex Ferguson during the 2006 January transfer window, Patrice Evra took some time to adapt to the Premier League. Considered somewhat of a flop at the end of his first season, Evra and Vidic are the perfect examples that, sometimes, players need time to acclimatise themselves to new environments.
8 years on, and both players have left at the end of the same season as cult heroes in the eyes of the vast majority of the Manchester United fan base. However, there is a difference in the way both players left the club: Vidic’s decision to leave for Inter Milan midway through the season was seen by many as a player making a swift exit from a sinking ship; a decision the Serbian seemed to regret when saying goodbye to the fans. Manchester United’s ex-captain will always be regarded as one of the team’s greatest defenders, but there is something about Patrice Evra that makes his departure from the club that little bit harder to take.
First and foremost, he understood exactly what it meant to play for Manchester United. Many players have come and gone at this great football club without showing the professionalism or the passion that is expected from a player when he puts on that red shirt. Patrice Evra has.
“I got a load of DVDs, about the Munich disaster and the Busby Babes, about Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law, about Cantona. The whole story of the club. You meet these people around the club and I wanted to know who they were. What they had done for the club. Out of respect. All the young players here need to understand the history of the club. I realised I needed to respect the shirt. I needed to respect the story. Every time I play that is in my head. What a privilege it is to play for Manchester United. When you pull on the shirt you are pulling on history, and I say thanks to God that I play for this club”
Every time he spoke about the club, he always did so with great respect. His constant references to the club’s history endeared him to the fans, as they saw how proud he was to be at Manchester United.
On the pitch, the past few years weren’t the kindest to Evra. His reluctance to track back and his loss of pace hindered the team, and many fans made sure to voice their opinion on the matter whenever they could. However, the bond Evra had created with the fans was such that, whenever he spoke off the pitch, much was forgiven.
Patrice Evra is a born winner, something Sir Alex Ferguson quickly picked up on, meaning it came as no surprise when the former Manchester United manager made him vice-captain. The past year has been a great example of this. During one of the most disappointing seasons in the club’s recent history, Patrice Evra always voiced his support for the manager. He knew the fans were disappointed and so, in turn, this disappointed him even more. Evra became, to a certain extent, Manchester United’s spokesperson and said all the things the fans wanted to hear; something David Moyes seemed incapable of doing.
With his contract up at the end of the season, Patrice Evra could have done something similar to Nemanja Vidic and sign for a new team on a free in January. Instead, he waited until the end of the season and left after Manchester United triggered a clause in his contract, allowing the club to make money from his move.
The fact that Ferdinand, Vidic and now Evra have departed from Manchester United’s defence is a huge loss in terms of experience, but the new manager won’t be too bothered. As the Dutchman said in his first press conference, “I’m not always convinced by the experience of players”.
The fans will be forever grateful that Evra did not leave the sinking ship half way through the season, but stayed until the very end, ensuring that, when he left, his departure wouldn’t be missed. The signing of Luke Shaw certainly shows that Manchester United are thinking ahead rather than relying on the old guard for the coming season, and with Louis Van Gaal in charge, it’s almost as if Patrice Evra knows that the Manchester United ship has found its new navigator.
He can now leave knowing the club is in safe hands.
World Cup #2: Come on Football!
Last time, we promised bite-sized podcasts during the World Cup. (Un)fortunately for you, the latest episode is more mouthful-sized. Nevertheless, we take a look back at what has happened in this wonderful World Cup, from a Manchester United point of view, as well as discuss the two latest signings: Ander Herrera & Luke Shaw. We hope you enjoy this week’s podcast.
World Cup #1: Spain 1 – MUFC 5
After much deliberation, we decided we couldn’t let a month of fantastic football go un-podded. In the first of our bite-sized World Cup podcasts, we look back at the first 5 days of the World Cup from a Manchester United perspective. We hope you’re enjoying the World Cup as much as we are!
#89 23 Great Seconds
During this week’s episode of the Can They Score podcast, we look back at over the 3-1 loss to Bayern Munich before asking and answering at length the important question “what’s next?”. We hope you enjoy this week’s podcast. Come on you Reds!
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