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Manchester United 2015-2016


Re: I only worked with 4 world class players - Sir Alex Ferguson

Xavi Hernandez called Scholes the best central midfielder in the world he had seen in the last 15 to 20 years and Zidane called Scholes his toughest opponent. But then what do these blokes know? :biggrin:


Agreed for Cantona, Giggs and Ronaldo but not Scholes.

Beckham was just as good as Scholes but neither are World Class players. Also interesting that Rooney didn't make his list who I also think isn't world class.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Re: I only worked with 4 world class players - Sir Alex Ferguson

Xavi Hernandez called Scholes the best central midfielder in the world he had seen in the last 15 to 20 years and Zidane called Scholes his toughest opponent. But then what do these blokes know? :biggrin:

Don't get me wrong. Paul Scholes was a decent enough player in his prime but world class? No way. He also walked away (i.e. retired) from England duty earlier than he should have.

My definition of 'world class' is a player who can change the outcome of a game just with his mere presence at the very highest (international) level.

Pele and 'Dirty' Diego Maradona are the best examples of this. Maradona won the 1986 WC for Argentina by himself. His second goal against England is probably the finest indiviudal effort from any player I have seen.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Re: I only worked with 4 world class players - Sir Alex Ferguson

Looks like Man Utd will top the EPL tonight. The first time since...I don't remember.
Heading for a win against Sunderland.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Louis van Gaal: Man United's Premier League rise helped by player exits


Louis van Gaal believes that his decision to show a host of players the door helps to explain Manchester United's surge to the top of the Premier League table.

United took over from neighbours Manchester City at the summit on Saturday after beating Sunderland 3-0 at Old Trafford, with Manuel Pellegrini's men having lost 4-1 at Tottenham earlier in the day.

But although Van Gaal has brought in six players this summer -- including Memphis Depay, the scorer of the opener against Sunderland, and Anthony Martial, who has delivered four goals in five games -- he believes those moving the other way have also helped the club to rebuild.

The Red Devils parted company with Angel Di Maria and Robin van Persie in the summer, while Javier Hernandez, Jonny Evans, Rafael da Silva, Anders Lindegaard, Angelo Henriquez, Saidy Janko and Reece James were also sold. Tom Cleverley and Ben Amos departed on free transfers as Adnan Januzaj was loaned out and Radamel Falcao's temporary stay was not extended.

And in the summer of 2014, Ryan Giggs retired as a player, while Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Danny Welbeck, Shinji Kagawa, Alexander Buttner and Bebe left Old Trafford, before Darren Fletcher, Wilfried Zaha and Anderson moved on in the winter transfer window.

Van Gaal told reporters: "You need luck, but the balance of the team is better than last season.
"Because of that we need to win our games. We shall improve every week, yes. I don't see it every week, but see that we are better as a team and a selection.
"I rotate more now because I can. Last year, in my opinion, I didn't have the balance. I have let 20 or 25 players go. So it's a new team."

Van Gaal had earlier spoken of his pride at seeing his United side sit top of the Premier League table.


Alfrescian (Inf)



  • Venue: Old Trafford
  • Date: Wednesday, 30 September
  • Kick-off: 19:45 BST

Manchester United will be without midfielder Michael Carrick who missed the last training session before facing Wolfsburg in the Champions League.
Fellow midfielder Ander Herrera and winger Antonio Valencia are doubtful for the game with minor injuries.
Defender Paddy McNair could return after he recovered from an injury that sidelined him for the last two games.
Wolfsburg will be without midfielder Luiz Gustavo who has a knee injury, while centre-back Robin Knoche is out.
Winger Vieirinha and goalkeeper Koen Casteels are both doubtful after missing the Wolves' last five games.
United's first group game saw a defeat for Louis van Gaal's side, losing 2-1 to PSV Eindhoven despite being 1-0 up.
Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg are currently fourth in their league, but suffered a heavy 5-1 defeat against Bayern Munich last week.
They defeated Russian side CSKA Moscow in their opening Group B game.
Match stats

  • No German team has kept a clean sheet in their last 16 Champions League games against Manchester United.
  • Bayern Munich were the last German team to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Champions League (April 2001).
Manchester United

  • Have only lost four of their last 65 Champions League games at Old Trafford (won 46, drawn 15)
  • Have never lost their first two games of a Champions League campaign.
  • Striker Anthony Martial has yet to score in the Champions League (505 minutes).

  • Have lost all three of their trips to England in European competition, conceding eight goals in the process.
  • Have only failed to score once in seven Champions League group games.
  • Striker Julian Draxler had three shots in the first group game against CSKA Moscow. All three were on target including the only goal of the game.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Bastian Schweinsteiger: I can't understand Liverpool poet Wayne Rooney's 'scouser accent'

MANCHESTER UNITED midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has revealed he doesn't always understand Wayne Rooney because of his "scouser" accent.

PUBLISHED: 17:13, Tue, Sep 29, 2015 | UPDATED: 17:37, Tue, Sep 29, 2015


GETTYBastian Schweinsteiger says he does not always understand team-mate Wayne Rooney
Shweinsteiger was quizzed about his Liverpool-born team-mate after it was revealed he writes poetry for wife Coleen.
The German was asked to give an insight into life inside the dressing room at Old Trafford but stopped short of spilling the beans on any secrets.

However, he did open up on the difficulty he faces in communicating with his fellow United players.
"I never speak about what happens in the dressing room," he said.
"Sometimes I don't understand his (Rooney's) scouser accent."

GETTYRooney admits he writes poetry for wife Coleen
Fans will be given a glimpse into Rooney's personal life in a brand new BBC documentary entitled "The Man Behind The Goals."
The United captain will be seen spending quality time with his family and opens up on his relationship with his wife.

He reveals his love of poetry and confesses to penning some verses for the woman he has been with for 13 years.
The 29-year-old also gives a candid insight into his life as a footballer, with the England skipper admitting he should never have played at the 2006 World Cup.



Alfrescian (Inf)
Louis van Gaal: Champions League a 'realistic' aim


Manchester United have a "realistic" chance of winning the Champions League by 2017, says manager Louis van Gaal.

Dutchman Van Gaal, 64, replaced David Moyes as manager on a three-year deal in 2014, and finished fourth in the Premier League last season.
United last won the Champions League in 2008, and lost in the final in 2009 and 2011.

"Reaching the final is also an aim and winning the final, you need a little bit of luck," said Van Gaal.
Van Gaal, who won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995 and came runner-up with Bayern Munich in 2010, added: "It is not only quality [but luck, too], and I think Manchester United knows and remembers that fantastically when they won the Champions League in 1999.
"When you reach the final, it is a fantastic but in the media it is nothing. For me as a manager, when you reach the final, you have done fantastically and to win the final, of course, all the honours are going to your team and yourself but I know better."
When asked if United can improve enough to win the Champions League by 2017, he said: "I hope so. That is realistic.
Asked for his reasons why, he replied: "Because I did it everywhere."

United progressing under Van Gaal


Morgan Schneiderlin (left), Bastian Schweinsteiger and Matteo Darmian all joined Man Utd this summer

Wednesday's game against Wolfsburg marks the return of Champions League football at Old Trafford after the Premier League leaders failed to qualify for last season's competition.

Under Scot Moyes, the side finished seventh and failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since the 1995-96 season.
The Red Devils have slowly made progress under former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Van Gaal, who has spent more than £200m on new signings since taking over.

After returning to Europe's elite club competition with a top-four finish in 2014-15, they have lost just once this campaign to go top of the league, one point ahead of rivals Manchester City.
United signings in 2015-16
PlayerSigned fromFee
Anthony MartialMonaco£36m
Memphis DepayPSV Eindhoven£31m
Morgan SchneiderlinSouthampton£25m
Matteo DarmianTorino£12.7m
Bastian SchweinsteigerBayern Munich£6.3m
Sergio RomeroSampdoriaFree transfer

"We have made progressions in the maturity of the team and the balance of the team," said van Gaal. "We have improved when we compare with the team of last year.
"We have to improve to win the Premier League title or a tournament like the Champions League. We are still improving and I can see that every week."
Asked if could stay at the club beyond his current contract which ends in 2017, van Gaal replied: "Normally I shall leave after next year but what is normal in our football world?
"You never know so I cannot answer that question but I promised my wife to go with her to our paradise [villa in Portugal] so it shall be very hard for me to deny that promise.
"I was 55 and I go to Bayern Munich and next year I am 65 and say I stay a year longer, it shall be very hard to my wife."

'Wolfsburg a big challenge'


Louis van Gaal and Bastian Schweinsteiger were together in their time at Bayern Munich

Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger joined United from Bayern Munich in the summer, having won eight Bundesliga titles and one Champions League crown with the side.

The German feels "comfortable" at Old Trafford and says it is "an honour" to play for the side but has urged caution against opposition he is familiar with.
"I scored my first goal away in Wolfsburg so I have my good memories," said Schweinsteiger, 31.
"They are not easy to play against, they are always tough matches. They have a good team and in the last three of four years have improved a lot. It's a big challenge for us."


Alfrescian (Inf)
Champions League: Man Utd are suffering, says Louis van Gaal

Manchester United are "suffering" after six matches in 18 days, said manager Louis van Gaal after his side's 2-1 Champions League win over Wolfsburg.

Juan Mata's first-half penalty and Chris Smalling's 53rd-minute strike gave United their first Group B win.
The Premier League leaders, who visit Arsenal on Sunday, had to hold on as Wolfsburg pressed for an equaliser.
"A lot of players are very tired because of the accumulation of a lot of matches," said Van Gaal.

United lost their first group game against PSV Eindhoven, but victory over Wolfsburg means all four teams are level on three points after two matches.
"We have everything in our own hands and that is very important," said Van Gaal.
The Dutchman said his side showed "fantastic spirit" to recover from Daniel Caligiuri's fourth-minute goal.
"We score but after that it was suffering," he added.
"Arsenal played yesterday - one day more to recover. That will benefit them but we shall manage it."

The problem? The 'rat race'

Wins for United and Manchester City on Wednesday ended a miserable run for English clubs in Europe.
With Arsenal and Chelsea beaten on Tuesday, the four Premier League teams had lost five of their six group games this season.
When asked what he thought the problem was, Van Gaal pointed to the competitive nature of the domestic league.
"We have a rat race that is not always the same in other countries," he said. "We also have to play over Christmas."

'I am the first'


Mata's goal was his first for United in the Champions League

Wayne Rooney has spent most of the past few seasons as United's regular penalty taker, a position now taken by Mata.

England striker Rooney has scored 24 of his 34 penalties for his club butmissed from the spot during the Premier League game against Liverpool in March.

Mata said: "The manager made a list of penalty takers and I am the first right now, so I have confidence."
Van Gaal said: "I am responsible. Of course. I always communicate with my players. Everyone knows that."


Alfrescian (Inf)
How tonight? Gun down or get gun downed?:p

Barclays Premier League
Venue: Emirates Stadium Date: Sunday, 4 October


Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny is sidelined by a hamstring injury but Olivier Giroud returns after his Champions League suspension.
Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta won't feature because of a hamstring injury and a dead leg respectively.
Michael Carrick is fit again after sitting out Manchester United's midweek Champions League win with what was described as a minor injury.
Fellow midfielder Ander Herrera, also absent on Wednesday, remains a doubt.

Steve Wilson: "Single-minded managers of the biggest clubs in the Premier League rarely praise one another. These big beasts of the football world are embroiled in such a competitive environment that crumbs of comfort for a struggling rival are as rare as a show of clemency from a hungry lion to a stricken gazelle.
"Kind words are only dispensed when the opposition are deemed to offer little discernible threat.
"That's why Arsenal fans' hearts would have sunk when Louis van Gaal described the Gunners as 'the best technical and tactical' team in the Premier League, and yet one which 'hasn't won so much'.
"That will hurt - and it was meant to."
Twitter: @SteveWilson1967

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal on his side's recent schedule of six games in 18 days: "The solution is recovery - recovery, recovery, recovery. And that is why it is so difficult to prepare for the match against Arsenal.
"You want to prepare on the pitch, but you cannot do it because the players need freshness. So then the other solution is to change your squad. So we have to see how the evaluation is of my fatigue specialist."
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on his decision to play David Ospina ahead of Petr Cech in Tuesday's Champions League defeat: "I have two world-class goalkeepers. Do not come always back with that same story.
"I think you lack a bit creativity in the press, you all follow a bandwagon that is very, very, very, very boring.
"Look, stop that story, or we stop the press conference. If you question Ospina, I question your knowledge of football.
"It's depressing. Yes, the goalkeeper made a mistake, but we could still have won the game."
"We learn from victory and we learn from defeat. There are three points between the teams [Arsenal and United], we play at home in a big game. We have just come from a big win at Leicester and we want to continue our run."

Arsene Wenger will come in for some serious stick if his side lose this game too, but I have a funny feeling that Arsenal will end up winning on Sunday - it would be typical of the Gunners if they do.
Lawro's full predictions v former NFL star Osi Umenyiora

  • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round's Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.


  • Manchester United's 2-1 victory in the corresponding fixture last season was their first away win under Louis van Gaal.
  • United are unbeaten in the last four league meetings at the Emirates (W2, D2). They have never gone five games unbeaten at Arsenal in the Premier League era.
  • Arsenal's worst Premier League win percentage is against Manchester United (24%).

  • Only one of Arsenal's four league victories this season has come at the Emirates Stadium.
  • They have only won two of their last seven home games in the league.
  • Arsenal's five goals against Leicester last weekend doubled their Premier League tally for the season.
  • No player has more Premier League assists than Santi Cazorla's 32 since his debut in August 2012.
Manchester United

  • Manchester United are top of the table for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in May 2013.
  • They have scored three goals in four of their last six matches in all competitions.
  • United have kept clean sheets in four of their seven league games this season.
  • Wayne Rooney's goal last weekend ended his run of 1,000 minutes without scoring in the league.
  • Ashley Young has five Premier League assists in 2015, more than any other United player.
  • Anthony Martial has scored four goals in his last five matches.



Manchester United performance vs. Arsenal leaves Van Gaal 'amazed'

Louis van Gaal expressed his amazement with the way his side played in the first half of Manchester United's 3-0 loss at Arsenal on Sunday.

Arsenal comprehensively defeated the Old Trafford club on the strength of two Alexis Sanchez goals and a Mesut Ozil tally that came during a blistering 19-minute stretch to open the match.




I'm amazed that LVG is 'amazed' with the lads' performance. Without a doubt, LVG is a certified idiot. With a thin squad, he expects the same set of players to compete for the league and cup competitions. Prioritize you idiot!!!!