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Manchester United
Posted by Mark Payne on 09/16/2010

Amid all of the hyperbole, there are several men with a point to prove this Sunday at Old Trafford. We look at the competitors whose work so far this season has not been up to scratch.

Wayne Rooney

Mr Rooney has filled more column inches than the Iraq war in recent weeks and will be champing at the bit to make headlines for the right reasons. Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to omit him from the Everton match was a strange one and suggests that the young striker’s temperament may still be suspect. He could bring Liverpool’s defence to its knees, he could just as easily be sent off for something unnecessary.

Fernando Torres

‘Diabolical, just diabolical’, those were the words used to describe Torres by former Liverpool midfielder and Tv pundit Jamie Redknapp this week. A man widely regarded as the world’s most lethal striker 18 months ago has had a miserable run with injuries and played like my nan during the World Cup. He looks an extremely unhappy figure at Anfield right now but maybe a reunion with Nemanja Vidic will stir him up again. His attitude is seriously in question.

Roy Hodgson

In the same way that Buddhism is the nice guy on the religious shelf, Roy Hodgson is seen as the nice chap amongst the grim gallery of Premier League managers. He is not, however, a proven bloodthirsty winner. The jury remains firmly out on his appointment at Anfield and after Liverpool were dismantled by Manchester City the fans will be desperate for a result to cheer.
Woy. Nice bloke. Dodgy hair.(C) Getty

Dimitar Berbatov

Four games into the season and Berbatov is finally looking like the awe-inspiring £30million player he is supposed to be. He is still yet to turn it on in a big game and this is his chance. It is unlikely the Bulgarian will ever be spotted tracking back but if he can score a goal or two in this fixture he will go a long way to improving his standing with the fans.

Rio Ferdinand

Rio has been in and out of the team for the last 16 months and the questions over his fitness are fast becoming resigned shrugs of shoulders. After United’s late, late no-shows against Fulham and Everton he will be expected to marshal the defence better that it has been in his absence. No longer a spring chicken, but surely keen to prove he isn’t past-it yet either.



Posted by Raizzen on 09/16/2010

The last few games have been awfully painful to watch.

I think we were good enough to win in Everton despite not having Rooney and Valencia in the team. So there I was thinking - Yes, finally this is it.

Only for Valencia to dragged out of the field and for the whole season. I will keep my fingers crossed, but wont be too hopeful for this season. For I think its safer to be realistic.

Posted by Maverick on 09/16/2010

Scholes should be in the line up. He has been fantasic so far this season. Would like to see United with the desire to win big and cut the slag defending. I have alot of faith in SAF. I just have this strange feeling that he has mellow alot. I would like see him injecting some fear by shouting and harassing our players.
He deserve that respect and to win SAF should do what he do best. Spread fear.

Posted by firezer agegnehu on 09/16/2010

even the current result of Man Untd misrepresents the real team performance i hope united beat liverpool which in the real trouble .

Posted by Gerald on 09/16/2010

Ronny sure has something to prove.But not only Ronny but also SAF.He is the greatest enemy of Manchester United and not any other team in Europe.We fear no foe but SAFs selection.That has been our undoing over the years.Someone tell him,the future is Now and not 10years from now when he has retired if he will!

Posted by unwana obot on 09/16/2010

liverpool is not the problem, with no are to handle this.last man standing is back, so everything is cool.

Posted by Irfaan on 09/16/2010

Come on Man U!!! All in all it hasn't been that bad a start to the season. United normally start a little slow, just give it some time things will start to click into place soon. Hopefully a good result at home to Liverpool will be catalys for the remainder of the season. Chelsea are looking formidable at the moment but the season still has
many many twists waiting to unfold.

Keep the Faith it won't be long before we get our
Hands On title No 19.

Posted by Saint on 09/16/2010

i am really worried.we need a miracle and since there are no miracles in football i jst do nt see united lifting any silverware soon.Evans is starting to prove he is the weakest link,hopefully Rio will be fit and heaven forbid he gets injured.With Valencia gone we'l be without our best right winger which means Giggs comes in and he is just getting old for me!

Posted by ivan on 09/16/2010

Please can someone remind Ferguson of the retirement age-he is way past it.His team selection has been diabolical an amateur could have done better.Everyone keeps praising his achievment in the past, which is fine but when its time to go, accept it, and move on.we played Everton, have a back four and then there's O'shea,can someone tell me what position he was playing in-i'm confused.We play Rangers who have one striker up front,we have four defenders,one of which (FABIO) has a great game bombing up to support the attack, so what do we do we remove him -why ? did we need to secure our defence just in case? which means Ferguson was accepting a draw.Surely it would have been better to put in ANDERSON of even another striker to push for the win.COME ON Man U fans we are better than this-OUT WITH FERGUSON .Oh can someone tell PHELAN to stop wearing boys shorts how embarrasing, are they from his school days

Posted by SOLOMON WUOD NYOBEL on 09/16/2010


Posted by BD on 09/16/2010

If you are truly looking at "competitors whose work so far this season has not been up to scratch", then surely Berbatov has no place on this list. He has been right up there with Drogba as the best striker of the fledgling season so far.

If I may, I would add Gerrard to this list. So far this season, he has not upheld his previous high standards. This is a big test for him.

Posted by Peter sam on 09/16/2010


Posted by Giggsy on 09/16/2010

The whole entire utd team have something to prove NOT only SAF or Rooney. The whole squad have something to prove not only to themselves but to the entire league. These past two weeks have just been absolutely horrible in the way we've GIVEN AWAY points. Nani, Evra, Berbatov, and o'shea should be ALL back in the lineup and yes Rooney should start. I see him finally breaking his duck of not scoring against pool. If we honestly don't get all 3 pts from this game we are in serious trouble.

Posted by Prince on 09/16/2010

Plz SAF should talk to his boyz not to make the same mistake they did against Everton again this season if they ever think of winning anything and if they don't want to cause us high-blood pressure.
However ALL the FANS are solidly behind the boyz and the manager to make us proud again by lifting the trophies on offer this season again as they are known for!
UNITED FOR EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by essey on 09/16/2010

i think the main utd man to watch in this game would be vidic especially if torres features for liverpool.i'm a united fan but still i'm weary of vidic's " a-little-more-than-respect" he has for torres he's gotta be on his toes. don't give him any hope he can score. glory glory man utd

Posted by Franklyn 'Mianki' on 09/16/2010

I believe SAF want the best for United.He chose a second string team against Rangers because he has a point to prove against Liverpool just as the media has been writing these past few days.Sunday is the d-day,so let's wait and see! Hope to see United stroll past them.

Posted by Fernando Torres on 09/16/2010

I own you.

Posted by GentleJosh on 09/16/2010

The game against Liverpool will be like any other..i think they will win manU.....wait could it be a draw?...wait...i will make up my mind when i see the line-up for manU...i dont trust that Drunk called SAF.

Posted by tom on 09/17/2010

Man U will thrash Liverpool, no doubt about it. Can anyone tell me when is the last time you see Man U not winning for 2 consecutive games? The trend is when Man U played badly the previous game, they will play well in the next game. I see Man U players all fired up this Sat...and I can only hope Liverpool to lose by 1 or 3 goals.

RIP Liverpool.

Posted by Fan of United on 09/17/2010

Typically United start of the season with 2 or 3 points from the first 4 games. So we are in a relatively more comfortable position than this time last season. Yes, Torres/ Vidic match up might be the telling story in the game. For what its worth I hope we win, but dont besurprised to see us score an early goal and then going on to lose 2-1. Knock on wood!

Posted by Jithan on 09/17/2010

"Out with Fergusion"?

Wow, some of you guys are really losing it. These are some of the most idiotic comments I have ever read.

This guy just won us a CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TROPHY amidst THREE (yes, THREE) premiership titles in a row (07, 08, 09). Last season, we lost out to Chelsea in the league by 1 points. One season without a major trophy and this is what people say?

Please explain yourself. Or don't. Not that you'd be able to properly anyway.

Posted by valentine on 09/17/2010

for God sake we are not happy with SAF team selection.. he is proving nothing.. taking off a defender supporting tha attack and bring in another defender when we are playing nine men behind.. whar do you think.. he is getting too old... should retire. we need a result couch

Posted by Frank Faru on 09/17/2010

Fagie Make sure you beat Riverpool this weekend dont make Mistake like what you did when we were playing aganst Everton by taking Evra out and bring Park in What kind of sub was That?

Posted by dennis on 09/17/2010

well, with man utd disappointing results, both in everton and at home to rangers, coupled with chelsea and arsenal blossoming performance recently, being a man utd fans just bring me more shame than pride..come on devils, show us the spirit that you have, show the world we will be the team ending the season with another EPL title, and hopefully a final victory in Wembley next may..come on guys, dont slip up again..or else we will all lose our faith in the team..and ending up watching other teams celebrating with their success..give us a result of Man Utd 4-0 Liverpool this sunday..come on!!!

Posted by Vortex on 09/17/2010

Fergie is losing the plot. He believes the current squad is good enough to do the job. I disagree. He sold Ronaldo for 80 million and got rid of Tevez. He then signed Obitan,Owen and Valencia last season. Only Valencia gets regular play. He now signs Bebe for 7 million when Rafael Van Der Vaart was available from Real Madrid for the same fee!!! Van Der Vaart >>>>>> Bebe. He has not strengthened the defence. (Smalling is not that great). Rio is injured way too often and this will continue to happen. Midfield lacks bite and creativity. Owen Hargreaves is finished. IF Fergie believes Harg will come back and be the player he was, then he is delusional. Carrick is no holding midfielder. Man u look very weak this season. I will be surprised if Man U finish as runners up. I think it will be Gunners and Chelsea fighting for honours this year. I feel Man u will do well to finish 3rd this year.

Posted by jewel haizel on 09/17/2010

For GOD sake we need players who can play 90min our match against everton,i couldn't even eat,i luv man u all my life.

Posted by Krystnika on 09/17/2010

I totaly agree with Jithad...I'm in shock how much nonsense can be posted here...everybody shut up and leave the man alone(and by the way it's not SAF,it is SIR, yes I repeat SIR Alex some respect) he's done it for us over and over and over again and I'm damn sure he'll do it again.We are just a little rusty in the beginning but that's alright nothing happened yet Chelsea and Arsenal will screw up also soon and for us Rooney will be back at some point and I have the feeling this is going to be a big year for Nani and my boy the Bulgarian power Berb superb.The force is still strong with us, so just sit back, relax and enjoy THE RED ADDICTION!

Posted by femi o on 09/17/2010

Hey Mark, I was expecting another classic picture with this write up (U should take up some form of photography). Anyway I guess this is serious biz now. I sure hope Torres does not prove any point (I substituted Vidic in my fantasy football team just in case). It would be orgasmic if Rooney and Berbatov both get a brace! All the same I see us winning and then it wont matter much if any of the above prove their points or not.

Posted by ignatious on 09/17/2010

think all ur guyz need to come to the party on Sunday. Roo, Berbatov and the defence must be at their best. I ddnt doubt Fletcher's abilities to play SG out of the match but its all about Vidic's ability to for once get the better of Torres.

Go. Red Devils!

Posted by ignatious on 09/17/2010

think all ur guyz need to come to the party on Sunday. Roo, Berbatov and the defence must be at their best. I ddnt doubt Fletcher's abilities to play SG out of the match but its all about Vidic's ability to for once get the better of Torres.

Go. Red Devils!

Posted by Chuma on 09/17/2010

These bandwagon "fans" have gotten so irritating I'm ALMOST tempted to wish for a string of mediocre results for the team just to see if they'll switch to Chelsea or something. If you support a club, you do so through thick and thin not only when they're winning! Bloody weather-vane "fans"!! Anyway, agree with your analysis as usual Mark.

Posted by Alex on 09/17/2010

Man utd just needs the self belief that was in the team before when it was its not over until is all over. the 2 goals against everton show that evans need to concentrate especially in the ending stages what we are known for is a goal can come within ten secs to go thats what we shud still be noted for

Posted by ivan on 09/17/2010

Come on Jithan, remove your blinkers.Your a typical Ferguson fan(he does no wrong in your eyes).
We will never win the champions league with our current team and his selection.
Do you realy think we can compete with Barcelona,
Real Madrid, Bayern, Inter etc etc.
Ferguson made his name with a bunch of unknown youngster yet today is too scared to let them stand on their own two feet.We buy players and they disppear, either on loan or get sold down the line. We now rely on veterans who are past it but Ferguson now believes we must have the experience.We now have the oldest team in the Premier league.Come on move with the times.
We drew with Everton because of Gary Neville, both goals came from his side, but we will persist with him, we will persist with o'shea who is not up to standard and giggs who has not got what it take any more.BERBATOV???????
This is not a MAN U team that I have supported for the last 40 years-sorry this is a shadow of what we are used to.

Posted by nicky on 09/17/2010

Well its early days yet.... but lets admit the premier league has become more competitive that you need to hit the ground running.... no more experiments. You do that you will only realise when you are playing catch up. That team just has no depth. Only two world class strikers - a non-imaginative midfield except for Scholes(how long), and three world class defenders. Then we had the chance to bolster by bringing in a young and imagivative midfielder(Ozil) and he decides on Bebe. If we are not in trouble then i dont know what this sounds like.

Posted by Aaron Mark Hendrix on 09/18/2010

It's pretty amusing to see all this talk about removing our most successful manager ever.I know we've not played well,were lucky to only finish 1 point behind Chelsea last season,and are not really having a solid squad,owners etc.But we are Manchester United!!Let me go on record here to say that I would love to see what Mourinho could do as our gaffer,and cant really understand why we didnt make an effort to get Ozil,Van Der Vaart,or even Joe Cole for that matter,but im sure that the gaffer knows what he's doing.Whether it works or not,only time will tell.I dont think we're on the rise,but we'll always be there or thereabouts.We're Manchester United for crying out loud,not Manchester City!!As for the game,I sincerely hope that we trash the Scousers,and I mean thrash,something like a 5-0 scoreline would make em the happiest man,at least for a day.Whatever it is,in United and Sir Alex we must trust,as that's all we have....

Posted by Cantona is king on 09/18/2010

My girlfriend used to be a very unhappy person. Then she realised how awesome united are, and switched to following manc united. now she's much happier, and so am I because I o longer am going out with a scouse. As for the match tomorrow.... No contest. United by four

Posted by johanzul on 09/19/2010

Agreed on that SAF selection still depending on seniors players but fans must understand the pressure of maintaining or winning titles AND players development, see Arsenal for example, lovely plays, more youngsters BUT no cup for I can't remember, can MU Fans accept that? can MU Board of Directors accept that? So, agreed on SAF approach and strategy to loan youngsters to developed experience players and winning players but still maintaining senior players for title winning challenges.

Agreed on MU normally excel in big games after losing or drop points from previous games but MU need to see bigger picture, winning just big games but throwing away unnecessary points in non-big games will certainly left us out from any cup. I still prefer MU previous approach when we have Ronaldo, playing for draw on big games but smashing winning on other games. Winning 'em all is unlikely to happened of course. Anyway, end of the day is about who got more points with the right approach and strategy.

Posted by paul peters on 09/19/2010

Is Manchester TV still on or has it closed down

Posted by www Rooney on 09/19/2010

...United at home with something to prove=beat down for Pool. Let there be no arguments at the end about fouls, or added time...

...United 4-1 WIN!!!

Posted by Raizzen on 09/19/2010

Berba-top ! Yay !

(But am concerned that we keep conceding stupid goals.)

Posted by yoga1831 on 09/21/2010

Real will never sell VDV to Man Utd, juz like they reject the offer from Bayern.Last year they sell Robben and Sneijder to Bayern and Inter and they heading to the CL final.Real will not repeating the same mistake again.That is why they accept Tottenham low offer.
Although man utd mid-field look weak but the main problem face by man utd now is the defence right.Gary is too old for this position and rafael seem weak when defending.We need a strong right back.We not face problem in attack but our defend need to be improve and stop concern some stupid goal as well.Maybe a new goalkeeper will be nice for man utd.(Given is a good choice but i know it is not possible.)

Posted by Munguya Westone on 09/22/2010

We need to give both the team and the coach a little bit more time. The fact that Chelsea have been cruising since the start of the season should not prove anything. Their time is coming and it depends on our form wen we meet them. I strongly put my money on united for the EPL title this season. I see Rooney proving his worthy in the CL and instinctively believe he is gonna be the man to destroy Valencia, home and away. UNITED 4 LIFE.

Posted by jewel haizel on 01/08/2011

yes i can see rooney inproving i dream that man united to the of the season,it will left three games that they will as the epl united 4 u,man united 4 ever.i luv united.

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