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RoM Reads

By Far The Greatest Team argues why Rio Ferdinand should be in the England squad.

The FA has an interview with Gary Neville.

Norman Whiteside talks to the Belfast Telegraph about the RvP-Rooney partnership.

The Daily Mail reports that Ashley Young has returned to training.

FIFA report on Joe Hart’s claim that Wayne Rooney should be the next England captain.

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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  1. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Far statement from Hart. Both Wayne and Joe seem to be acting quite the statesmen towards each other with Wayne claiming Hart is the best keeper in the world and Hart saying that Wayne is far and away their best and most senior player.

    Wonder if it is as rosy as all this?

    Speaking of kicking off, there is a fun read in the Guardian on footy feuds. Personally appreciate the last bit on the feud betwixt Brian McClair and arsenals Nigel Winterburn.
    Top stuff from Brian. “Within a few min the Red Mist had disappeared!”. They later reconciled with handshakes years later. Think the article missed a good on in the feud between Keano and Viera. But then, you could spend a book on the feuds of Keano….. Hard man to please 8O

  2. FletchTHEMAN says:

    *** Fair Statement from Hart **** :roll:

  3. markynorbs says:

    Nice words from Norman. I had the pleasure of meeting the guy on the odd occasion. He’s a top blog!
    My old man went to the 85 cup final against Everton. But managed to miss Norman’s winner in extra because he went for piss. Unlucky Dad :)
    Great interview with G Nev as well.

  4. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Great Read: DeGea claims Keepers get no respect! Last keeper to win the Ballon d’Or was Lev Yashin, in 1963.

    Should be a Golden Glove as well.

  5. markynorbs says:

    Happy 75th Birthday to Sir Bobby Charlton!

  6. edhardy says:

    This is waaaay of topic but is it true that Ryan Betrand of Chelsea has pulled out of the England match because of a sore throat? If its true then that’s just amazing.
    A very happy birthday to the legend and I mean a real legend to Sir Bobby Charlton

  7. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Rooney to captain England according to the BBC.

    2nd Milestone for the lad this week! Good luck to Roo!

    Rooney to captain England v San Marino.
    For England: 76caps, 29goals.

  8. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Speaking of Sir Bobby’s 75th, there is a nice video up on

    Happy 75thBirthday to Sir Bobby Charlton. The man who defines the term “United Legend”

  9. Proverb says:

    Great shout there by david de gea regarding goalkeepers not being given enough credit, they are often disregarded when it comes to winning the ballon d or
    I absolutely agree with him, there have been many great keeper who more than anyone deserved to atleat make it to the top 3 in years gone by but as it is often the case on goalkeepers they have quit football with most regrets in their careers!!!

  10. Bobby Charlton's combover says:

    Keepers are definitely under valued. Yesterday at work I was talking football and he talked about the outfield ‘players’ and the goalkeeper. I told him they were all players but he felt he had to differentiate between them. It shows the general esteem we hold them in and probably helps to explain why they are never balon d’or candidates.

  11. Bobby Charlton's combover says:

    ‘he’ in that post refers to a co-worker who supports Bilbao. He’s not smiling as much now compared to when they were dragging our sorry arses all over the pitch a few months ago.

  12. Proverb says:

    Haha do you think they can still run the current team ranged if we faced them again? @Bobby Charlton’s Combover
    Imo don’t think so, last season we were terrible in europe its something we don’t want to be reminded of, early exit which is rare absolutely horrendous display.
    I think this yeah we’re going all the ways even the might catalans will struggle to stop us

  13. Proverb says:


  14. WeAreUnited says:

    Andrew Cole: Chicharito can rediscover his form by following Solskjaer
    Javier Hernandez should take his lead from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as he searches for the spark to rekindle his debut-season form.

    Chicharito has swung from unknown bargain buy, to second-season syndrome sufferer, to the fall guy following an expensive new arrival.

    The 24-year-old Mexican’s Old Trafford career since signing for £8m in 2010 from Chivas of Guadalajara mirrors that of Norwegian Red legend Solskjaer.

    United fans hadn’t a clue who the baby-faced 23-year-old was when United announced his £1.5m arrival from Molde in 1996.

    He slipped in almost unnoticed as Alan Shearer’s proposed move from Blackburn to the Reds fell through, leaving United fans distraught at the club’s transfer business.

    Similarly, the Old Trafford support were demanding more expensive imports three summers ago when Chicharito was brought over from Mexico.

    Solskjaer got his break when Andrew Cole missed the start to the 1996-97 campaign and the newcomer went on to become top scorer in his first season with 19 goals, well ahead of Cole and Eric Cantona.

    Chicharito took his first-season opportunity while Wayne Rooney was in dispute with the club and then disappeared to America to recover from an ankle injury.

    The young striker went on to become second top-scorer with 20 goals, but towards the end of the season he leapfrogged £30.75m club record buy Dimitar Berbatov in Fergie’s pecking order.

    But just as Solskjaer’s second term brought ankle ligament and thigh injuries, plus a virus and a subsequent dip to just nine goals, so Chicharito’s concussion and ankle troubles last term saw his impact and goal output fall to 12 goals.

    Solskjaer’s difficult second term led to Fergie paying a club record £12.5m for Dwight Yorke in the summer of ‘98, while this close season the Reds boss invested £24m in Robin van Persie.

    Months after Yorke’s arrival, with Solskjaer the back-up in the new four-strong strikeforce, United’s hierarchy accepted a bid from Spurs for the Norwegian. He chose to fight on and famously became the Nou Camp hero in the 1999 Champions League final at the end of that season.

    Chicharito is now behind the senior choice of Rooney and RVP with Danny Welbeck also in the mix.

    But Solskjaer’s lead should inspire Chicharito according to former United striker Cole, who was at the centre of the Norwegian’s challenge 14 years ago.

    “Chicharito has to accept the challenge and be patient because that is the only way forward, just as Ole showed,” Cole told M.E.N. Sport. “It is a challenge for everyone in the United squad. Everyone has their own battles when you have so much competition.

    “I was the fortunate one in that era because I was first-choice with Dwight Yorke and we were scoring a lot of goals together. But Ole got his head down and worked and it came right. I know what Chicharito is going through because something similar happened to me.

    “After joining Newcastle from Bristol City I scored goals and then we were promoted to the Premier League. In my first season at that level I scored 34 league goals and 41 in all competitions.

    “After that season people were saying watch out for second-season syndrome and all that and I just shrugged and said, ‘Yeah whatever!’

    “But then you realise they were talking sense and were dead right. The second campaign it was a lot harder. You maybe stop doing things you were good at, opponents also get to know how to stop you.

    “From an unknown you have suddenly become a player they will do their homework on and will know everything you did the previous season. It can be tough going. But you have to work your way through it. Chicharito will have found last year that opponents had wised up to him. They knew what to expect.

    “But it is all about learning from that and improving. I remember when I joined United from Newcastle and the then assistant Brian Kidd said to me, ‘If you think just 41 goals is good enough here at old Trafford, you are wrong’.

    “I thought Kiddo had grown three heads! But he was bang on. Yes, you have to score goals but it is also about being a team player. I had to learn that. It was part of the education.”

    Part of Chicharito’s education appears to be learning how to beat the offside trap.

    The Mexican is blessed with blistering pace, but too often falls victim to the linesman’s flag.

    “When you are anxious to score goals again and impress you tend to make your runs too early,” added Cole.

    “When you are on the shoulder of the defender and have his speed you just have to hang back and make your runs slightly deeper and bend the run.

    “That will come as he works his way through the challenge. He will get there because he is quality just like Ole was. The good thing for him is that he’ll get the games. The manager is trying formations, like the diamond, and is so good at ensuring his squad get enough matches.

    “Once you get those opportunities you have to take it and make sure all the hard work pays dividends. As much as the manager will rotate you also find if you score goals for Sir Alex Ferguson then you will stay in the team. He’s not going to ignore that as Chicharito found to his advantage in his first season.

  15. Bobby Charlton's combover says:

    Andy Cole talks some sense.

    Things have changed Proverb. They are a shadow of last years team both on the pitch and off it.
    They were making headlines this week because Bielsa’s post match chat after losing the Spanish cup final was recorded and leaked. it makes for interesting listening as he gives the players a kind of whispered tongue lashing.

  16. DonLeoNeo says:

    its a shame that even if the likes of cleverly,carrick and even possibly rooney (in cm position like last game) play the game of their lives, because it is against san wont matter..the 2 remaining idiots of the old gurad(lampard and gerrard who cannot and will not ever play well together) will still get the nod for poland, and its as you were…if rio is too slow…THEN WHAT THE HELL IS lampard DOING IN THE TEAM….he is by now means a pirlo,xavi a scholes!

  17. Nafis says:

    Off topics:

    1) HBD to Sir Bobby!

    2) Wayne given captaincy for tomorrow: thoughts?

  18. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Very good read at “The Busby Way”.

    Is the Diamond hear to stay at United?

  19. utd_fc says:


    Seems like an interesting read mate. Unfortunately nothing opens when I click on it.

    On that note though, I think this new diamond formation definitely has something to it. Gives us more control in the midfield as shown against Newcastle and as a plan b taking one or two midfielders out for two wide men could significantly change things up. Having two fresh wingers on a tiring defense would stretch them out to no end I feel.

    Only thing is thar this diamond kinda doesn’t suit Kagawa. He looked pretty confused in the middle of the park. Wonder how we would fare if we pit Rooney and Vanpersie up front w Kagawa behind them and Clevs, Ando/Scholesy and Carrick in the middle. I feel we’d definitely miss Rooney’s midfield presence though, so both have their due pros and cons. Would love some thoughts on the matter.

  20. FletchTHEMAN says:


    So to diamond, or not to diamond. That is the question.

    The United diamond that Fergie has devised is really a 4-3-1-2.
    Or even a 4-1-2-1-2 double diamond, with Carrick sitting in front of the back 4 and Ando and Tom the key creative mids. This is what we also used v Arsenal to som extent. in terms of the back 7. What is new is the width is not coming from wingers, it is coming from the full backs and up top you can find room for all three of our most creative talents in Kags, Rooney, and Robin.

    Real question for me is what happens when we do get Valencia and Ashley back? Put them in the rotation for Fullbacks? With Valencia, it actually works :twisted:

  21. Adam says:

    “The Mexican is blessed with blistering pace, but too often falls victim to the linesman’s flag
    When you are on the shoulder of the defender and have his speed you just have to hang back and make your runs slightly deeper and bend the run”

    Just what I’ve been saying for some time.

    He’s definitely improved in this regard as of late, but still, if he can just hang back a bit deeper, he’ll still outrun the defender..

    My favorite chicho moment was in that 90 second tackle frenzie.. His contribution in that was so random and priceless..

  22. Warwick says:

    Fletch called up for Scotland. He looks good in training. Hope this rebuilds his confidence rather than distracting from his recovery

  23. Warwick says:

    ongoing recovery

  24. meatnpotato says:

    fucking hate hart the big headed bumlicked twat!!!! godd keeper though hopefully our spanish dave is that good in 4 years!!

  25. Adam says:

    So…why I’m thinking…why does DDG bother coming out…it seems to make everyone nervous including the defenders who he seems to get tangled with often…just stay in goal and use your cat reflexes when needed…

  26. Adam says:

    Fletch – to diamond in Europe especially, but have the flexibility to alter to wingers to completely alter or finish off a match. We could be deadly if we can alter formation seamlessly and really rock the opposition prepared to face us.

  27. utd_fc says:


    Look while we can agree that the diamond was devestating against newcastle that was also because we were essentially playing a 4 man midfield compared to their two, and later 3. Teams playing a 4-2-3-1 might have less trouble against us, especially teams w a strong midfield. But its interesting to see nonetheless. I’m very excited by this new face of United. It puts Rafa to good use and I guess if Evra can keep his Newcastle form up then it’ll benefit him too. But we need mobile central defenders for that. And Vida and Rio aren’t exactly the quickest guys around.

    Also there’s the question of Kagawa. He’s undoubtedly best used in the position Rooney is currently EXCELLING in. Its confusing to see, but then again, I don’t have the vision Sir Alex does. I’d like to think he has a masterplan which we’ll soon see.

  28. utd_fc says:

    Oh and btw the second link worked :D

  29. ididnotzeeit says:

    Just a couple of pennies put in on the “diamond” the “new formation” if you will, that we’ve been implementing as of late, so bare with me.

    From what I’ve seen SAF has decided and settled on a back five (including the “pivote” the or “Carrick” as we call him in England.) From there, it’s open architecture. Give me my best 5 after that and they can sort it out, modern footballers that can play a number of roles. Classic example, outside the Wayne Rooney can play anywhere comment, is Antonio Valencia. Sure, he’s one of, if not the best wingers (based on statistical evidence re: BPL stats) however he can and effective does play in a number of different roles. Danny Welbeck? Striker, Winger, Ball Winner. Cleverley? Winger, CM, CAM. Kagawa? RVP? If I remember correctly, back to our last successful Champion’s League campaign, Owen Hargeaves, for all his CDM abilities was actually playing right flank in a quasi 4-3-3 with Rooney, Ronaldo and Tevez up front. Footballers are footballers. Settle your back shop and let the hounds loose upfront.

    Settled back 5 and play your best footballers up front. Touch, grace, speed, flare, good ol’ fashioned attack, attack, attack, attack, attack!

  30. ididnotzeeit says:

    Oh, and John Terry is a cunt

  31. Ash says:

    Greatly said by andy cole about our hernandez. Not only him but we also need to be patient. Both hernandez and even Welbeck are still developing so we should not write them off. Danny welbeck is playing well , he just needs to concentrate on his finishing. He could be a lethal striker. Again patience is the key.

  32. Gopher Brown says:


    While criticising a player – and a Chelsea player at that – for pulling out of the England squad because of a sore throat, have you not thought that maybe that is the right thing to do?

    While a sore throat can have many causes, a virus is the most likely. As we have seen several times over the last few years, playing with a virus can affect the body’s heat regulation and this can lead to cardiac arrest. Doing intense aerobic activity whilst ill can have serious repercussions. If he has a virus then he is likely to be highly infectious and being in close proximity to other athletes would obviously be a bad idea.

    It’s easy to criticise him for not being a ‘real man,’ but actually pulling out is the most professional course of action.

  33. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Absolutely must reading for any United fan.
    Darren Fletcher’s interviews from the last couple weeks, in his own words.
    Gene has don’t a nice job of editing and it really makes compelling reading.

    You want to know who should be United ‘club’ captain? Read this. Probably won’t happen, but there wouldn’t be a word against it from me if it happened.

  34. FletchTHEMAN says:

    *** Gene has done *** sheeesh!

  35. rohan_19 says:

    regarding the 4-3-3.. wouldn’t be so bad if valencia started on the right of the midfield 3.. he has played there for his country and it would be a very flexible formation..

    —back 4—
    valencia clev
    rooney rvp

    it can switch to 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 with valencia pushing out wide right, kagawa wide left for the 4-4-2
    and rooney dropping back for the 4-5-1.. this would make us really unpredictable to play against. hope this is tried out


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