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RoM Reads

Scott writes for Bleacher Report about Solskjaer’s best moments at United.

The Guardian talks about the difference Mata will make to United.

The Independent talks about Solskjaer’s return.

The Telegraph says Mata’s signing suggests United are ready to fight back.

Stretty News has GIFs of the goals from victory over Cardiff.

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. NBI Red 21 says:

    This was an interesting post by a fan on the difference between SAF’s and Moyes styles and what it may mean for United:

    “As we all know there have been lots of very direct quotes from Moyes. He is not happy with the quality of the squad. He is going to buy better players. With an already bloated squad this means departures.

    Now, SAF is often quoted about managing the dressing room and building a team that have a good balance both on and off the pitch. The accumulation of Latin players was no coincidence – it was strategic and calculated. Not just in terms of nationality – but in terms of style and personality. I think Moyes is planning an equally strategic shift in the opposite direction.

    He’s already shunted out Anderson and Fabio, having barely showed any intention of giving them playing time earlier in the season. Hernandez and Nani* have also struggled to get minutes on the pitch. Valencia is currently getting plenty of game time but Moyes is quoted as wanting to play with flexible, interchanging players, and was also caught on camera bemoaning Valencia’s lack of a “fucking left foot”. It seems logical that Moyes is looking to move a couple, if not all three of these players on. I don’t think they fit into his vision for United.

    SAF liked his players to go out and express themselves. He was always a big admirer of South American flair. He liked individualistic players who he built teams around alongside workhorses, or limited players who had one or two great assets. Moyes is supposedly more methodical, more statistical in his approach to matches and recruitment. I believe he prefers more efficient players rather than individualistic players. I believe he prefers players with a well rounded skill set. He also supposedly demands more physically from players in training. I don’t think Moyes has time for any player who doesn’t pull their weight. It’s no surprise he didn’t have any time for Anderson. He doesn’t like players who play with a smile on their face.

    All managers have a preference for the type of player they sign. So far most players Moyes has shown interest in have been Spanish – the nationality that all football statos admire the most. This is the direction I believe that Moyes wants to take United down long term – pressing, possession football. SAF never showed much interest in Spanish players. He never really went for Italians or Germans either which is strange considering these are 3 fine football nations. SAF admired French, British, Northern European and South American players the most. My prediction is that Moyes will bring in more Spanish, Italian and German players during his time at United. I think he’ll bring in less flair players and less one-dimensional players.”

  2. sir matt martin says:

    Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola has suggested that supposed United target Toni Kroos could be on his way out of the Allianz Arena.

  3. gra mar says:

    Thats a good post NBI…there are clear differences between the two. Ferguson would have loved to get Ronaldinho and was close to getting Gazza. I oouldn’t see Moyes going for this type of player.

    As for saying ‘Valencia has no fucking left foot’ I’m sure Fergie said it a millin times too and it’s just that he wasn’t caught on camera saying it.

    Valencia overcomplicates simple situations too often. Last night on a few occasions he had it on his right foot ,pulled it back….the defender knows he’s either going to go back onto his right or lay it off.
    He needs to be more decisive. As soon as it’s on his right foot then just get it in with not messing.
    With a couple of small tweaks hius attacking couldbe so much better. He’s fast and strong and I think a real asset to the team and I think he fits the Moyes mold.

  4. NBI Red 21 says:

    @ gra mar – Agree on Valencia, he could be better than he is, one footed and all, remember when he was crossing onto Rooney’s head for fun and that coincided with Rooney’s top scoring season for United, then Valencia had a lazer guided foot, since his leg break he has just not been the same beast.

    Agree on targets, I think SAF loved his flair players and so does United historically, lets see what the future brings on this, so far “flair players” seem to be given less time. The way SAF analyses players was top, his comment about Henderson having a short career as he runs too straight still has me laughing, he analysed the bloke like he was a donkey. Which he is. Can’t stand bloody Liverpool being above us in the table, I am sure Stevie me is dreaming of levelling on titles with us. One thing we cannot allow is Liverpool to get back on level terms in titles, my God, how bloody unbearable would they be then.

    Also comparing Sturridge and Welbeck, Welbeck needs to start competing ruthlessly consistently at top level, really hoping he continues his run and is given a chance to develop and does not get benched now R&R are back.

  5. samuel - united WE stand says:

    Even with quality at his disposal, however many they may be, I still get the impression plays with restriction. He really needs to lay down a clear style of play and let players get out and express themselves, it is the only way to get the best out of top players. Modern game has shifted towards inter-changing of position and controlling of possession, united are not immune, the club needed a new dimension which isn’t neccessarily constant wing play. I think it’s important for a club to have different tactical initiatives and it’s even more important yo have players that can adapt instantly within a game. I don’t think you can permanently eradicate wide play, width of a difffetent type which does not neccessarily come from marauding fullbacks is essential, you always need to make a change and not be one dimensional. I think the inter-changing and flexible tactics will be there just as the more direct wing play.. A bit of both in your locker. I think if united want to flexible inter-changing of position football then imaginative, clever and technical players are needed and I would advocate for that…. It is the way forward.

  6. gra mar says:

    re: Valencia The leg-break is a good point but what I’ve noticed is that he seems more combative since the leg break but his crossing and technical play has gone backwards. Usually after a bad injury like that players might shirk the physical side a bit but he seems more physical than ever. If he could just get some decent balls into the box like before.

  7. sir matt martin says:

    I wonder if sir alex is doin anytin at all to help Moyes succed, and have that his wining mentality.

  8. Mark Reid says:

    Anyone know is Nani still injured?

  9. Blacksocks says:

    Great post NBI Red – couple of points

    Football at the top level is changing and United need to keep up with changing times. Very few of the best teams now play with old fashioned wingers (ala’ Valencia). Instead attacking full backs provide the width. This allows teams to pack the midfield with players who excel in playing a relatively short and quick passing game. They are equally good at winning the ball back quickly.

    Also, the days of the ‘big lad’ up front are at an end. The best strikers these days (Ronaldo etc) attack from deep with the ball at their feet. Some teams (Barcelona) will play without a striker at all! Instead relying on possession from midfield.

    442 has morphed into a 4231 although in reality the 3 will often drop deep and narrow to provide the defending team with plenty of players in midfield.

    Some teams play possession (Arsenal) and others specialise at defending deep and hitting on the break (Liverpool) but the best do both. For me – as painful as it is to admit it that is currently City. United need the players to not only match City – but better them. City have a heavily influenced Spainish style and it makes sense to me to take United in that direction too.

  10. Tommy says:

    And Solsjaer has won it ……… Cant believe Scott missed Oles 4 goals in 15 minutes against Forest coming off the bench!

    I tend to agree with the Guardian, It was not a great debut by any stretch of the imagination, Mata did not have a bad game dont get me wrong, but he looked like he he was short of match practise which is understandable giving his little game time recently, but its given the whole place a lift, and ashley young has boasted his perfomance, which is a good sign if it lifts all players around him!

    You are my Solsjaer,My Ole Solsjaer, You make me happy when skys are grey, Oh Alan Shearer was fucking dearer, please dont take my Solsjaer away!

    More big signings will be made in the summer, I have no doubt about that, We will be back to competing for the title this time next year, put your morttages on it lads!

    A couple of good goals, Great ball in from Ashley Young who impressed all night, and Valencia had a great climb and was very unlucky not to score when he hit bar and then RVP finished it off the 2nd time of asking, and the 2nd was a great individual goal from Young who cut in and smashed it in (I was sat behind the shot and it was in as soon as it left his boot)

  11. Blacksocks says:

    Tommy – spot on as usual, those 4 goals against Forest show just how devestating Ole was as a sub. Unlike many on the subs bench, he concentrated on the game, watching the opposition defenders carefully to spot any weaknesses just in case he came on! It’s no surprise he has become a manager and I wouldn’t put it past him to keep Cardiff up.

  12. edcunited1878 says:

    Moyes isn’t going to abandon his rigid and flat defensive methods. I watched the match again and he’s drilled the team into two defensive banks. It’s his MO. If you draw a line straight across the midfield when United defend, there’s four to five players usually within five yards that try to get behind the ball. The players run back behind the ball and exert so much energy getting into defensive position and pressing/chasing the ball when the ball is ahead of them. The teams that defend the best are able to retain an attacking threat and press the ball as a team.

  13. Fletch™ says:

    Cheers lads, Great to be talking about a win, even though it was against a team that had no chance.

    Mata, Did more in the middle than many of late and sprayed the ball with skill on a couple occasions, first goal in particular. Young again showed what he has in his locker, just needs to express himself more.

    Lots of attacking from both wing backs which led to loads of chances for Cardiff as well. There were times when both Evra and Rafael seemed closer to the cardiff box than any of our forward players. Heart in hand me, but we still got the clean sheet.

    For me, you have to have clean sheets and goals. Not doing enough of either this season. But against -21 goal differential sides like the blue birds, you’d be expecting only one result.

  14. Fletch™ says:

    Interesting quotes from your “fan” but still think Moyes is after a certain type of player and happy to get them from anywhere if they show enough promise.

    Last week we had scouts looking at Felipe Luis, and some much respect United Journos even saying we were going to bid for him.
    Moyes seems desperate for a Left back, and for proper left footed players.
    Fabio, talented on both feet, but right footed, just wasn’t ever in his plans. But Luis would be like for like in terms of “Brazilian”.

    Another thing that Moyes is big on is size in the back. 2 ways of thinking about Smalling at RB. First is that Moyes wants him to get games to build him into a CB with the passing ability and confidence on the ball that Rio had. But I think he is also there for size. With Evra the first choice LB, it has been rare to also have Rafael, Cardiff aside. In games where Vidic was being tested, Smalling has been at RB with an eye to subbing vidic for Jones (only 6ft even). Don’t know if I have that quite right, but all the LBs that we are looking at add a few inches to the back 4 over Evra and Co.
    Just a thought. Luis is 6’0″, Shaw is 6’1″ (Contrao, out of the picture but clearly a target 5’10″)

    For Moyes, my thinking is that size matter in his back 4.

  15. Fletch™ says:

    Mark Reid,
    Nani is injured. Still doesn’t stop the silly season rumoring about his impending transfer to this or that broke club.

    Today, there are reports in Italy that Nani is going to Inter on loan.
    Forgetting that he is injured and would have to pass a medical by Friday,
    Forgetting as well that we pay him 7.5M/ year and inter have a salary cap of 2.5M.

    Silly season! Expecting Nani to be back in the squad when he sorts out his injury.

    Others still injured
    Carrick, looked really bad when he went over, suggesting torn ligaments and couple weeks out.

    Vidic still has one more game out from that ridiculous red he got v Chelsea

    Over the moon to get a Robin and Wayne back to match fitness. Jones coming along as well.

  16. RedOne says:

    Fletch, when are the reactions to Cardiff match coming?

    I think our game yesterday was warm-cold. Have to give credits to Smalling. When I saw him in the first-half with a couple of blurry decisions, I thought, here we go again, but then he got comfortable and kept things calm. He was decisive and looked very good. Nice job. Hopefully he`ll get regular playing time as centre-back. Just no right-back please. Defense in general looked good, with the exception of Evra who is complacent for a long time now.

    Our midfield as was….Jones looked like he still needs playing time to get into his familiar motion. Still job well done, helping def. Giggs as expected, didnt provide cover, but his willingness to move the ball forward and press the opposition defence is always welcome. Young scored a stunner and had a fine game, but still would like to get him sold. Hopefully, Sam was watching the match yesterday=) Valencia as usual…cant expect more from him….

    Mata did a good job yesterday. Not having played for a while, he looked good on the ball….well the ball seemed to stick to his feet=) Still needs a bit more breath, but he ll come as superb signing for us. Now we have one more player that is able to switch the side with his balls. As for RVP, I can only say he is excatly what we missed in previous matches. When Rooney came in, he seemed to forgot that he is supposed to play a striker role=) He just adapted a n10 role and we had 2 players in that position.

    So Im hoping to see the switch from 4-2-2 to 4-2-3-1. Its the only option if Mata, Rooney and RVP are to play together. With Fletch and Carrcik or Jones in the midfield, this would be managable. Still hoping for at least one new midfielder this transfer window.

    Was great to see Ole again and yes Cardiff didnt play bad yesterday. We could have scored a couple of more, but i can say that im pleased with 2-0 win. Definitely a better times ahead of us.

  17. Fletch™ says:

    Breaking several fronts

    Wayne Rooney signed a new contract at Manchester United worth £300k/week and lasting 4.5 years.

    Warning: Not verified on any of the top sources, SKY, BBC, CLUB OR ROONEY.

  18. Tommy says:


    I heard that Nani link earlier from an Italian reporter, Would you not be interested in a loan exchange, Nani for Guerin? We need a midfielder, their is talk on whether Guerin is good enough long term but hes better than what we have currently got in midfield and will help us make top 4, Inter were going to swap him for a Juventus player but the deal callapsed so clearly they are willing to let him go, on the medical you mentioned, players have moved when injured before, look no further than Wayne Rooney, who didnt play for weeks after signing due to being injured and we were paying a lot of money for him, Inter would be getting a loan player so theirs not much risk taking him on loan with regards to his injury!

  19. Fletch™ says:


    Guerin has said he’s not going anywhere. Of course it would interest me. The problem with all of these rumors it that they hold interest. Just find it beyond daft to be calling each other names because some person comes on here and says this and then some other lad says that, and then the first lad calls the second lad an idiot because he’s not a proper supporter.
    Present company excepted of course.

    Betting Nani will still be in red next week. But you can do what you want with your coin mate ;)

  20. Tommy says:


    Im with you mate, He will more than likely stay, but if the opportunity arrises that we could get a midfielder in by loaning Nani I would take it, anything can happen on deadline day, people just turning up at clubs training grounds looking for a move and getting no further than the car park like Odemwingie did last year haha, I wont be sticking any money on Nani moving to Inter especially as he has went from 40/1 to 4/6 in the last few hours, my money is staying in my pocket mate lol

  21. Mark Reid says:

    Cheers Fletch.

  22. edcunited1878 says:

    To supplement Fletch’s (correct) assumption that Rooney is finalizing a new United contract (for better or for worse), here’s a spot on article about the situation. Personally, I think Rooney is holding back the team and certain players if he’s going to be a first choice center forward by status.

  23. NBI Red 21 says:

    I agree with Ferdinand, this whole concept of holding MF players stemming from Makalele is not what Clubs need, you need 2 end to end MF players and when one goes one tucks in, none of this DM, HM, CM fluff. United at its best always had 2 MF players who were end to end and when one went the other held, right now both Carrick and Cleverly tend to sit to far back in their own half –

    @ edcunited – agree with you on that, its retro overdefending for a team like United though may work well for weak lower table teams. He needs to adapt, get new ideas. Joyce should replace PNev as coach or get Quiroz back at least to give a different view.

  24. Fletch™ says:

    I do think it is worth discussing the point of whether the manager favors certain countries players.

    There is a clear pattern of failing to sign German, Spanish and African internationals under Fergie.

    People actually call it the German Hoodo and relate it back to 1999 or even to Munich.
    The African thing could well be down to the ACN, but we were clearly in for John Obi and no fault of our own that Chaves wanted to pay us 14m for a player we had only paid a couple m for.

    It is saying something to consider that Mata is the first fully Spain International outfielder to ever pull be bought by United.
    One can hope this will start to break the deadlock and we will see more, Germany as well.

    My personal feeling is that it won’t do much.
    The footballing economy in Germany and Spain are too strong and that economy will favor lads staying home unless disgruntled or out of favor, of silly money involved.

    We will see what the future brings.

  25. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    LOL Rooney is absolutely NOT holding back the team. Rooney is the person who actually gets this team going. When everyone is lax and just feels like fucking up, he’s the one who gets angry with everybody and tries to rev the team up. We played without him yesterday and everything just felt slow and vapid even though we won. This team is better with Rooney IN IT than out of it. The only thing I hat about him is the fact that he doesn’t care who he has to shaft to get his next paycheck but as far as the footie goes, he’s an absolutely brilliant and extremely important player for this club. Hopefully we see him Mata, VP AND Januzaj against Stoke and then you will see what I am talking about.

  26. Gary Mitrovic says:

    Watching the Spurs City game and we could actually do with City winning this one. Not cheering them on by any means, but City are out of sight for us this season and we need to start closing the gap on Liverpool, Everton and Spurs.

  27. sir matt martin says:

    Dembele, is a beast, i wonder why sir alex did not sign him.

  28. DeGeaWeTrust says:

    Fletch – some of the stuff fergie put down in his book baffles me to this day, like he wanted to sign Ashley Young to compete with Barcelona, so not signing Mata and signing young instead and not strengthening the CM, was a way of challenging barca? I do think fergie lost it in the last 4 years of his managerial career, has you saw the lack of maintenance of the squad, which obvious was a combination of both the owners and fergie

  29. DeGeaWeTrust says:

    edcunited1878 – rooney went on the so called record he wants to play up top, not the number 10. So united could easily play rooney up top, and perhaps play a midfield 5, pending on the quality of the midfield. Do not forget how effective rooney was playing the number 9 in the 2009/10 season

  30. NBI Red 21 says:

    @ DeGeaWeTrust – Rooney was effective leading the line for one season, but generally he is not great at it as he drops too deep and we lose an attacking outlet and can’t capitalise on breaks. He can do it but there are much better players to lead the line than him at United, he lacks positional discipline and this is generally seen as his weakness on player rating sites. Sometimes his roaming helps us othertimes it hurts, when RVP or another striker is playings its OK otherwise no.

  31. m09538061 says:

    Nothing changes some of the players struggling to find any consistent passing of the ball if you cant do that against the bottom team then forget it .

  32. Fletch™ says:

    Transfer Updates:

    Gonçalo Lopes claiming that Fernando to City is 90% done.

    Filipe Luis rumor is now dead and buried as he was stretchered off for Atleti with torn ankle ligaments.

    Not a good day for the ITKs then :twisted:

  33. gra mar says:

    @DeGeaWeTrust – I think Fergie saw that Barça had a little fella on the left wing called Pedro that was tearing fullbacks a new arsehole week in week out and decided he needed his own little left winger and bought Ashley. Deluded indeed.

    In fairness to Young he’s bucked his ideas up a bit but still goes in the wrong direction too often.
    To his credit he has started getting a few goals and assists to his name.

  34. Chris says:

    I can’t believe we are offering Rooney a four or five year contract on £300k a week, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever financially or otherwise. I will be disgusted if we bend over for that cunt again.


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