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Manchester United 2013-2014 preview

Preview 2013 2014 small1

Ahead of the 2013-2014 season, The Republik of Mancunia has produced a top quality preview to cover all areas of what we can expect from Manchester United this season.

Published writers, who also happen to be red, take a look at the appointment of the new manager, the areas of defence, midfield and attack, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of our title rivals.

This country’s finest journalists have given their season predictions, looking at the decision to appoint David Moyes, the absence of Sir Alex Ferguson, the problem with Wayne Rooney as well as their suggestions for our most important player.

Several fans discuss their thoughts on the pre-season, which areas of the pitch they would like to see improved, who they expect to shine and overall predictions for where we will finish in the table.

Also, with tomorrow’s Community Shield against Wigan in mind, there is a brief look at United’s history in this season opening game. United were the first team to ever win the (then named) Charity Shield and in the past 30 years have played in this game an incredible 19 times.

Contributors: Darren Richman (@darrenrichman), Doron Salomon (@doronsalomon), Nooruddean Choudry (@beardedgenius), Lucia Zanetti (@roughestatedate), Callum Hamilton (@callum_th), Daniel Taylor (@dtguardian), Henry Winter (@henrywinter), Oliver Holt (@ollieholt22), Mark Ogden (@mogdentelegraph), Musa Okwonga (@okwonga), Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon), Rik Sharma (@rbsfeatures), Mike Keegan (@mikekeeganmen), Rob Dawson (@robdawsonmen), Iain McCartney (@iainmccartney), Justin Mottershead (@rffh), Fino (@fino76), Luke Smalley (@tattooed_2).

This book is available for just £3.80 at Amazon UK. You can buy a print version of the book for £8 from HP MagCloud (which also includes a digital copy of the book).

If outside the UK, you can also purchase the book from Amazon US, Amazon India, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Spain, Amazon Italy, Amazon Japan, Amazon Brazil and Amazon Canada.

The 2012-2013 RoM review ebook, Not Nineteen Forever, is now reduced to just £2.50. 400+ pages of great content reflecting on Sir Alex Ferguson’s last season in charge.

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.

View all posts by Scott »



  1. Rukky says:

    @Proverb, Ok cant really agree but only time will tell with phil. On the other hand the 4231 formation is the new trend in football im actually suprised moyes hasnt tried it. But even for it to work with kagawa in (who is less physical not a real striker like roo)we still need a proper DM like the teams you mention earlier and also fantastic winger who can score goals(less valencias like we saw with his performance yestaday) @ojm i dont get why you wont want your team to absolutely dominate the opposition, because its boring? Please…. Does anyone remember the 07 /08 season;the ronnie, wazza, tevez days when u were almost assured of a 3 goal lead in a game? Well i say its good the heart lol

  2. MUTID says:

    I’m not going to write an A4 article depicting united to be the team that we are; some how frequently written off to be a team of the past with dark clouds hanging on the horizon of old Trafford.

    We are united and our weaknesses can easily become our strengths, and it is the character that defies critics and boo boys, not forgetting the “prawn sandwich” fair weather fans.

    To expect anything but a serious title challenge, garnished with cup glory is an insult to the club and other passionate supporters.

    We are what we are and the season will be what it is, but mark my words it does not matter where we are at the end of the preseason, or the start of the league.. It matters only where we finish.

    The Impossible Dream, we shall see.

    Lets get behind the players that play and the manager: United till we die.

  3. danielandthebus says:

    Holy trin, maybe coz we don’t wanna be tiki tika like barca ya kent

  4. Diego says:

    So, a week until the season starts, and we are still one injury to Carrick away from being royally screwed. With Rooney most likely going (probably after we play Chelsea in the league, leaving us very little time to get in a replacement if that’s the outcome) an injury to RVP would leave us with Welbeck and Hernandez as our only strikers. Well, I guess Moyes knows our history with not winning the league in a world cup year and instead focuses on 14/15.

  5. Rukky says:

    No! I dont want tiki taka!! Big no, I just want dominance performance wise. Do people actually realise unholy shiit is used to abuses already, please ignore the manutd obsessed lad.

  6. Warringtonred says:

    It looks as though Neil Ashton has been appointed by Chelsea to provide the propaganda for their pursuit of Rooney. It’s a good choice. He is the anchor of Sunday Supplement, writes for the Daily Mail and is also a Talksport presenter. I see today he has intricate details of Rooneys training session with the reserves, from what he wore to who else was present and how they trained.

    As we all know, Carrington is impregnable so his information can only have come from Rooney himself. Last week he also had details of the new bid being 25 million and 3 million in add-ons. He did say Rooneys camp would lodge a transfer request this week. Well there’s only 27 hours left of this week so it’s not looking likely just yet.

    He did though admit today that Rooney has asked to leave verbally. We all know he asked 3 months ago. Fergie told us. Today they are saying he is being held captive by United and Jose will rescue him.

    Who will rescue Jose when the Glazers tell him to FUCK OFF?

    I can see it now. Chelsea strikers not scoring. Jose blames the board for not getting Rooney. Abramovich loses it and out goes Jose by Xmas.

    Chelsea operate on a knife-edge. Jose having to face the season without his big signing will make for some brilliant fun. As will Moyes grabbing Neil Ashton by the throat and throwing him out of the press room.

  7. Chelsea fan here says:

    Hi, I was just wondering about any Man Utd fan’s opinion on who’s gonna win the league – personally I think Man City’s squad is really strong and both Chelsea and Man Utd need a few signings before the window ends. Also, what’s your opinion on Rooney, as I think he’d be a great addition to Chelsea’s squad (Rooney, Lukaku, Ba and Torres leading the line would be formidable) and him leaving Man Utd without a replacement would be a serious dent to your squad. Thanks.

  8. OJM says:


    I didn’t say I don’t want us to dominate the opposition – of course I do. I just don’t want us to play tika-taka just like Barcelona. Keeping possession by passing sideways, backwards, forwards, sideways, backwards etc. is boring. Constant slow probing of the opposition while looking for a chink in the armour is not in our DNA.

    I want us to attack with pace, width and fury as is the United tradition (like the Roo-Tev-Ron times you mentioned).

  9. OJM says:

    Chelsea fan here:

    – Hi Glory, glory holy trin.

  10. Wee Toms Ligaments says:

    Wow. First @Diego and then @Holy Trin. Just need @Truth for the trifecta!

    The three amigos of doom and gloom!

    21 this season will make it all the sweeter with ABU wums like these on board.

  11. Sigurdsson says:

    If Mourinho is so serious about getting Rooney, then he should pay up or offer Juan Mata in exchange. An offer of 25m pounds is a bit of a piss take IMO. It’s not like he’s in his last year of contract.

  12. Wee Toms Ligaments says:

    Does Chelsea really want Rooney? Or are they trying to unsettle United?

  13. NBI Red Moyesy says:

    We paid £29mn for RVP age 29 in final year of his contract.

  14. The Truth says:

    @Chelsea fan

    Your lot will win the league at a canter. United probably second. City will always be a joke, their signings are nothing special. I’ve always liked Jovetic but I don’t see him doing much at City. Back on the plane to Italy within two seasons I reckon.

    I agree that Rooney would be formidable at Chelsea and I’m sure he’d get you 25-30 goals this season. He’s no use to United as he doesn’t want to play for us. United might keep hold of him and let him rot rather than sell him to Chelsea. Gary Neville said last night that there’s no way United will sell Rooney to Chelsea and I wonder if that’s more than just his opinion, in other words he has inside info from his contacts at the club.

    I would be very happy to go into the season with “just” Van Persie, Chicharito and Welbeck as our strikers, so I’m not bothered about United replacing Rooney. What we need is a proper midfielder, something your team (and everyone else not named Manchester United it seems) have an abundance of.

  15. slim says:

    Just watched the replay of the Rio testimonial. Bad result but some positives .
    Adnan is going to be pushing the seniors. Boy,he is some talent.
    There’s a lot of creativity and guile but not enough steel. This side could surprise if the “balance” is worked on. I’m keeping my fingers crossed on DM bringing a CDM in before the season opener

  16. The Truth says:

    Yes, that’s what I meant to add. Chelsea’s bids for Rooney have been pathetic. If Mourinho wants him so badly he’ll need to bid upwards of that 50 million you paid Liverpool for Torres. I think the Glazers would find it hard to turn that kind of money down, especially to get Rooney’s astronomical salary off thier books.

  17. VivaUnited says:

    The truth just shut up man a true red would never say Chelsea will win at a canter.

  18. soccerisfootbal says:

    if you watch the replays of the goals sevilla scored, it’s easy to see the midfielders were out of position( on the first two goals. no one protecting the defense and speedy technical players racing unmarked into the box and picking passes into the gaps. i think the problem is we were not 100% as sharp as they were, but also the mids did not protect the defense and were caught out of position too frequently. the defenders didnt cover themselves in glory either but i think they were left exposed. we looked more solid with jones and carrick than with ando and cleverley. last goal was just because we threw bodies forward and because smalling was caught ball-watching and kept the last man onside- something you wouldn’t expect to see if he was 100% sharp and fit.

    I dont like this game that’s being played with rooney’s fitness, and the fact that we are 1 week away from the start but dont have reinforcements yet. i think this pre-season has been mismanaged but it’s to be expected with so many key changes with both Gill and Ferguson plus staff clearouts. we’ll learn from this i’m sure, and i believe moyes when he says we wll reinforce and i believe he has an eye for quality and will pick out players we might not be expecting.

  19. Mav says:

    Highlights of Adnan during the Sevilla match. The boy looks ready to play a part. Damn !

  20. enzophonics says:

    Re: Rooney to Chelsea – Mourinho has tapped up the ‘Great White Scouse Pele’ and seems this is coming to the point where he’ll ask for a transfer. Funny thing is how he and his camp have seemingly used the red tops as a mouth piece and thinly veiled statements on social media.

    Fabregas though called a c*nt has shown some class with the way he handled the bids from Utd – he may have played lip service via his agent to entice Utd, but never once came out. This may not be too dissimilar to the Rooney-farce but by coming out and saying he never entertained joining another club he saves face. Rooney on the other hand seems to want his cake and eat it – lie boldfacely that he never asked for a transfer – making out SAF as the ogre/tyrant yet cannott be arsed to make a comment denying he wants to leave.

    So he expects the fans to turn on the living legend/ best manager ever and make us believe he is entitled to our support? Numero 20 in the cabinet still warm, yet he f*cks about. So its SAF’s fault he turned up last year unfit and shows no signs of fighting to be the best? Blue-shirt syndrome is it? Fuxking ‘tard. If it takes Sir Bobby to gee u up for a team of Utd’s stature yet u can thank Woy of England for giving u a chance for a kickabout yet cannot be arsed to acknowledge the embodiment of the words ‘living legend,’ and humbly eat pie, swalllow a sword and be fucking geared up to turn up for a new manager u’ve worked with, screw-loose doesn’t begin to sum It up.

    Tired. So bloody tired. This is not even Carlos ‘Carlitos-the-fu*king-Judas’ level anymore. Its the Wayne’s World Me shown hosted by Stevie-GBH-show.

    Cried for signings, we bent-over backwards and bought Van Persie. Now we are the ugly-sister to a Chavski side cos of Mourinho and not Moyesinho? Are we fuck. Ask Shevchenko the meaning of losing the status of ‘one of football’s best’ to the ‘No where man.’ Better yet, ask ur new team mate to be Signora Fernanda Torres how it feels to be the forgotten man.

    Once a blue….

  21. midfield-man says:

    We will win tomorrow, not a shadow of doubt. It doesn’t show what will happen this season just as pre-season doesn’t show anything.

    Adnan needs to play tomorrow imo. He deserves it after his display.

    Our only challengers this season will be Chelsea, and I could see Tottenham doing well this season.
    The argument that we already have a title winning team so not really much is needed is flawed.
    For one, MO is in charge of Chelsea, he’s a great technician – 2 SAF is gone, and he was worth at least 10 points for us alone every season. Some of the fear factor of coming to OT with SAF’s presence around will be missing. Teams coming in feeling they now can really not just get away with a point, but win. This mentality will present a further challenge with home games.

    There are lots of other factors with some of our midfield problems, unsteady 11, key players like Carrick RVP etc being a year older etc. Can we win the league? I think yes, especially if we at least get another recognized midfileder – preferrably two. Will we walk the league? Not a chance.

  22. Rukky says:

    Off topic, arsenal in reported £14m bid for gustavo. Whats ups ed

  23. The Truth says:

    Not being funny, is that a picture of Liam Gallagher on the front cover?

  24. soccerisfootbal says:

    ashley young, nani, and rooney aren’t in the squad due to injury, according to… freaking hell, young injured again! what a rubbish purchase. can’t believe he cost us 18 million with only 1 year left on his contract. i think it’s high time we sold him and brought someone else in.

    im guessing we will see this today based on the players who did not start on friday:

    ———–de gea

  25. King Eric says:

    The Truth. Will you stop fucking avoiding my invitation to meet for a pint at Chelsea game you fucking arsehole. Every cunt and his dog know you’re on the wind up. Turn it in you boring bastard. Furthermore I know you’re Gloryglory and possibly Diego. All rock up at same time. And you’ll be the Chelsea fan then answer yourself. You’re a sad cunt. Try getting a woman.

    Dolorious Red. Great insight into Moyes. He’s no mug.

    Warringtonred. Spot on. Appears Palace fan Ashton HAS become Chelseas mouthpiece and propaganda machine. Not a day goes by without him mentioning him.

  26. King Eric says:

    What’s this nonsense about Rooney training with reserves? Saw footage of him yesterday training with first team.

    City won’t do shit, they havent got the fucking heart.

    Midfield Man. Agree. Would love to see Adnan start today. Him and Zaha deserve their chance.

  27. Red Robin says:

    If we loss Rooney, we’d put the burden on RVP shoulder?

    Don’t we still have Chicharito and Welbeck? If we loss Rooney, we would give more chances to Chicharito and Welbeck. Chicharito has scored at least 10 goals a season in his three seasons of premier league so far. Welbeck will bang more goals, should he play regularly as a striker. And perhaps chances for other attackers: Henriquez, Lingard and Adnan as well.

    Another focal point when Rooney leave would be Kagawa. Will he play as proper No. 10 behind two strikers or as a second striker? I’d like to see Kagawa banging goals from perimeter.

    Formations like these won’t be think of when Rooney is still in the team, because the tendency to put Rooney as a second striker or attacking midfielder like in last season.



    Valencia Carrick Cleverley/Ando


    Chicharito RVP

    OR- 4-4-1-1


    Valencia Cleverley/Ando Carrick Nani/Zaha



  28. dasilvatwins says:

    this is how shits going to go down in regards the the premiership. city will start very slow out the blocks due to new players and manager, chelsea will start fantastically and the media will be so far up their asses and bend over backwards with mourinho, man utd will win first few matches but look very bad, pool chelsea and city games they will play awesome but drop points , ( maybe beat pool).

  29. Kings says:

    Mav – Thanks for that mate. The boy looks so comfortable on the ball and at Old Trafford, the biggest stage for any aspiring footballer. Turf out that fat cunt and give this lad the number 10 shirt. His pass for Henriquez in the first half was sublime and his perseverance in the second half set up Tony’s goal. I hope he starts today.

  30. MAN to the UNITED says:

    The negativity is shocking! What you need to realise is this is the first season for Moyes at Man United. In pre season he is trying to find a squad that he feels will work best. I always expected the pre season not to be great. Moyes had to experiment with the side. Other than Wenger (aka Mr Burns from the Simpson’s) Moyes now has the most experience in the premier league so he knows exactly how it works. I don’t feel that we will struggle at all this year. Yes it would help adding to the squad but the biggest signing to be at the mighty Theatre of Dreams is the fans! And with all this negativity u will not be helping!
    My thoughts on Rooney is he will leave United but not for another season. He will still work his ass off this season as its the world cup next year and he needs to get into the squad.

    My prediction for today is Manchester United 2-1 Wigan.

  31. WilliamAR says:

    @Chelsea fan

    United will win the league again and your lot second. chelsea have improved from last season but they were miles behind us last season and your improvements will probably be enough to get more points than you did last season but I don’t think it will be enough for you this year as your team will take a little time to gel properly. United’s team are proven winners and i don’t see our current transfer situation as a problem. united also have some great youth coming through to boost the team more. it might not be as comfortable as last season but united will lift the league again in my view. city will come third and arsenal will finish fourth ahead of spurs if spurs sell bale.


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