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Day 1 in Oslo

The journey started at 4.30am which is earlier than anyone should ever be made to get up at. After a quick enough flight from Manchester to Amsterdam for the connecting flight to Norway, we finally paid attention to the fact our destination airport was Sandefjord, not Oslo. It was fine, there were shuttle buses outside… but they didn’t leave for another two hours. Instead of getting a bus to a train station we just waited an hour for a £20 bus that took us straight to the city and the hour and a half journey was a good opportunity to catch up on some much needed sleep.

Upon getting on the bus we learnt that Sir Alex won’t be with the team on Sunday as he has other club business to attend to. Your guess is as good as mine, although naturally all our thoughts go to Fergie hanging back in Manchester to convince Robin van Persie that we are the team for him. I read an article on the way here from an old Manchester Evening News by Stuart Brennan. The story goes that he’s a United fan, which seems very hard to believe when you read some of the stuff he comes out with. I can only assume his nonsense is a result of him swinging so far against United bias to appease the Evening Blues readers. Or he is just a blue. The headline read “Why Robin van Persie would be crazy to pick Manchester United over Manchester City”. There are arguments for and against him joining either club and most sensible fans, whether red or blue, can see these. Despite the headline, Brennan didn’t present even one reason why van Persie would be “crazy” to pick us, but claimed City were favourites.

The van Persie transfer would be a big risk for United given his injury record. Last season was the first in his career where he managed to play in more than 28 league games. That is pretty shocking. Given our financial state, you don’t want one of your top earners spending all their time in the treatment room. We saw how costly Nemanja Vidic’s absence was last season, with us eventually losing the title on goal difference, so it would be good if this season we can keep our best players fit. If he signed, van Persie would be one of our best players, without question, but will he ever recreate a season like last one? I doubt it. If there are funds available to pay a top salary, then that should go towards paying a top class midfielder, but if we do sign him, I obviously won’t be disappointed!

Tomorrow we will see Vidic back in action for the first time since December and I cannot wait. Whilst I think Jonny Evans, who is currently recovering from an operation, had a great season in Vidic’s absence, there really is no replacing the Serb. For now, he will partner Rio Ferdinand in defence, but it will be interesting to see what happens when Evans and Chris Smalling are back in contention.

I am most excited about seeing Shinji Kagawa in the flesh for the first time though. Having not spent much time watching German football, I’ve only seen bits and pieces of our new signing. He looked decent in the Far East part of the tour, with nice feet and good vision. You don’t get to be one of the best players for the German champions without having something about you.

Watching Brazil against Belarus at Old Trafford last week, I got to see the likes of Neymar, Marcelo and Oscar (and Lucas Moura for a few minutes). Neymar was a joy to watch but Chelsea have seemingly got themselves a great player there too. They’ve also added Hazard to the mix, whilst Arsenal have landed Podolski, probably Cazorla and possibly Sahin. Bringing in players like Kagawa isn’t just to try and match City’s challenge but see off the teams below us too. Let’s hope he lives up to the hype.

Off to sample what Oslo has to offer now but I will be around again tomorrow to give thoughts on the game. @r_o_m will have more regular updates.


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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326 Comments

  1. Busby babes says:

    cedars echo your sentiments m8 if fletcher is on the road back i,e light training then what great news bears has much relevance to me has vidic’s pending return, great work ethic about fletch which was clearly missed at crucial times last season

  2. utd_fc says:

    http://www.emirates247.com/sports/football/man-utd-s-xavi-returns-to-training-2012-08-05-1.470200

    Did a quick google search. Apparently our ‘xavi’ is doing some light training. God I hate that twat. Arrogant little prick. He’s good at what he does, there’s no denying that but his arrogance is his worst possible trait.

  3. utd_fc says:

    Oh and for what it’s worth, I’d rather we spend money signing a youngster with obvious potential rather than a 29 year old injury prone striker with a bad attitude problem.

    Sorry Cedars :P

  4. Atin says:

    seedars/ utd_fc : this is gonna be epic! Vidic and Fletcher back – Arsene’s gonna be shitting his pants at the very least :D :D anti-football my ass!!

  5. CedarsDevil says:

    Busby babes

    Yes mate, we have missed Fletch a lot………To me though its the sad state of affairs that kept him out, I feel for the lad and love him to bits…….He is one of our own after all

  6. utd_fc says:

    atin i couldnt agree more. fletcher has such a presence in the midfield. Him and Carrick should do well for us!

    yeah being a thorough united lad, makes it even sweeter when he’s featuring and DOMINATING.

  7. Costas says:

    Hmm, maybe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for Fletch after all. He still has a long way to go, but hopefully we will see him in a United shirt again.

  8. Busby babes says:

    Cedars
    agree m8 health first and foremost and lets hope that will provide him with the opptunity to wear that number 24 jersey, think his absence has re-affirmed his importance to the club embodies what the club is all about, and installs the value’s fergie’s implemented

  9. parryheid says:

    I wouldn’t read to much into Fletcher doing some ball work,we had the same scenario with Hargreaves every one thinking he was on his way back.Nah just write Fletcher of for this season and buy a replacement or we will rue the day.

  10. Giggs12Gerrard0 says:

    What would I give to see Fletch back in the side. Give me a fit Fletch and Carrick everyday of the week backed up by the ginger prince.

  11. Pratyush says:

    Fletch, recover well my friend!

  12. Costas says:

    Evra has left the tour because he’s about to become a father. Congrats Pat!

  13. Robbo says:

    Parry

    couldnt agree more. If Fletch does come back this season it will be in the new year at least. My concern has always been cover for Carrick.
    Yes, we have Cleverly, Ando, Scholes, Giggs and even Jones but one is stiil getting experince, one is fighting an on going fitness battle, the next two are close to 40 years old and Jones is a CB/FB. If Carrick stays fit we could get away with the 5 in support but if not, like you say, we will rue the day.
    Maybe there might be some truth in the Sahin rumour, but again the lad hasnt had regular football for two years.

  14. utd_fc says:

    As versatile as he is, a fullback Jones is NOT. Rather have Smalling there if we’re playing people out of position, but first choice should always be Rafael. The lad’s passion is brilliant.

    Jones might be able to cut it as one of two defensive mids but i don’t think he can cut the job alone. A younger Rio could’ve done a job there!

    Oh and congrats Paddyyyy!! Love that guy.

  15. Busby babes says:

    utd-fc rio there in that role blackburn game springs to mind when he got sent off lol see what you mean though

  16. 911_DEVIL says:

    Slow day on ROM today
    It tempt me to post more….

    While I was happy to sit back and scroll through :D

    Back to momentary topic

    Fletcher is a very hustling player
    Opponents hate such type of players
    I know that from my experience, I play street soccer and I know how its like facing player who are capable of breaking attacks
    Players that are always pressurising opponent…

    It would be a great boost if he could manage to get back to full fitness
    He’s not the most skilled of players, but can make our team dominate possession, and threaten opponents most often with his late charges to the box

    If something anderson lacks on his game its stamina

  17. TonyBee says:

    Cedars … Would have loved to see your renty mate waking up with MUFC all over his fucking chops …… Fucking good one you old bastard :lol:

  18. TonyBee says:

    And of course 911 …. you being such a fucking expert… It’s a wonder SAF doesn’t ask you for advice … Prick

  19. utd_fc says:

    Busby Babes

    Oh come off it now, you’re not gonna hold him to that are youu lolll. Honestly though when Rio and Blackburn are put in the same sentence it takes me to this past season where Yakubu had made his way to goal, I was yelling at my screen for Rio to “TACKLE HIMM, TACKLE HIMMM MANNNN WHAT ARE YOU WAITINGG FORR!!”

    Turns out he was waiting for the perfect moment to strike. And what a tackle it was. Right when Yakubu was about to pull the trigger in comes Rio sliding in to take it away from him leaving Yakubu in an embarrassed mess on the floor.

    God damn I love that man.

  20. utd_fc says:

    911

    Darren fuckking Fletcher isn’t skilled? Who the hell have you been watching? It sure isn’t Fletcherino.

  21. 911_DEVIL says:

    I’m too good tony
    But was just making my point if you loved it then good

    Its a shame I’m being called names
    I wonder the fucks
    My sanity its at lows but I’ll make you eat your words
    I’m second to mou…..

  22. 911_DEVIL says:

    @Utd_fc
    Did you even bother reading my comment??

  23. utd_fc says:

    Yeah. Basically you’re making him sound out to be some kind of muscle meat head. Oh very tough and all that but not very skillful on the ball. That’s not Fletcher.

  24. Busby babes says:

    utd-fc hold rio to that neverrr lol love the guy really composed on the ball, brings that composure to the back four has well

  25. CedarsDevil says:

    TonyBee

    It was funny as fuck mate, after I got your idea through James I walked to his room and wrote about 5 MUFC’s on his face……..Bastard was raging all morning and could not wash the red ink off his face! Every time he swore at me I just pissed my self……..And not only that, I put him up in a room with out air conditioning, he had sweat pouring out of his ass when he woke up! ha ha ha

  26. OHH AHH Cantona says:

    Glazers out

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