TFN’s Hugo Greenhalgh thinks Wayne Rooney should be revered rather than ridiculed…
There was something reassuring about Manchester United’s comfortable 3-0 victory over Tottenham last Sunday. The ease at which United blitzed past Spurs was reminiscent of a Sir Alex Ferguson performance; the kind of game Fergie used to prepare for by telling the dressing room, “Lads, it’s Tottenham”, as Roy Keane revealed in his autobiography.
What will have been particularly pleasing for United fans was the display of Wayne Rooney. The England captain put in one of his best performances of the season, capping it off with a goal at the end of the first half. Picking up Nabil Bentaleb’s stray pass, Rooney danced past the remaining Spurs defenders and stuck it past Hugo Lloris with a nonchalance that recalled a player in his pomp.
The celebration that followed was a wonderful touch of self-awareness. There were shades of Robbie Fowler and Paul Gascoigne as Rooney showed the ability to laugh at himself – as well as the morning papers. It also served as a massive release for a player who has endured a significant amount of criticism over his career. Continue reading
Joe Devine’s 5 things in the Premier League this weekend include Gus Poyet’s lucrative new contract and an uncharacteristic slip of the tongue from Nice Guy Nigel Pearson…
Gus Poyet Handed Long Term Contract
After a fabulous season at the helm of big Premier League giants Sunderland, boss-man and all round good guy Gus Poyet has been awarded a new long term contract, with a greatly improved salary. The contract was announced whilst Poyet was live on BBC television, and the delighted Uruguayan basked in the glory of success. Apparently the contract is for 18 years, and included was a hand-written card, signed by all the board members, thanking Poyet personally for his amazing job this year.
Van Gaal Goes Mad for Rats
Manchester United manager, Louis Van Gaal, spent the week telling anyone who would listen that they were in “a rat race”. The Dutchman apparently discovered the 2001 Jerry Zucker film “Rat Race” in which Cuba Gooding Jr, Whoopi Goldberg and Rowan Atkinson rush through a troublesome and boring race for the money (the film was about racing too). Upon seeing the film, Van Gaal quickly adopted the “you’re in a rat race” catchphrase, and has since been unable to stop saying it. Luckily, Wayne Rooney delivered a powerful, emotive speech to his team mates, who subsequently decided to stop pissing around and play a good game of football. Continue reading
In the first part of a new series, Hugo Greenhalgh reveals why the Andy Kellett move is a damning indictment of player development in English football…
Anecdotally, it’s a brilliant story. Local boy gets shock move to European giants. It is little wonder Andy Kellett thought Manchester United’s move for him was a ‘wind up’. Theories did the rounds that Jim White had misread ‘Sheffield’ as ‘Manchester’ on Sky Sports News. The whole matter seems totally implausible, yet beneath the surface Kellett’s loan actually serves as a damning indictment of youth football in this country.
The January window saw seven young United players head out on loan to clubs in the Football League. This is where the emphasis now lies with youth policy for the big clubs; the U-21 Premier League offers little in the way of a challenge as the players are simply competing within their age group. Conversely, the Football League allows them a test outside their comfort zone, both mentally and physically. They get the chance to work with more experienced players than their contemporaries in the youth team and compete against tougher, stronger opponents. Continue reading
TFN debutant and Blackburn Rovers fan Felix Reed assesses the career of Phil Jones…
Phil Jones has recently found himself on the wrong end of some negative publicity because he’s taken a few corners and pulls a face that launched a thousand Sportbible-worthy memes. However, given that Jones turns 23 next month and that his current contract has less than 18 months to run, it might be time to have a more serious appraisal of where his career is heading. He still has some way to go if he is to fulfil Sir Alex Ferguson’s prediction that he could be the greatest player in Manchester United’s history.
Even as a fan watching Jones make his Blackburn debut as a fresh faced 18-year-old, his talent was apparent. Coming up against the 2010 version of Didier Drogba and Chelsea, his positional awareness, speed and tenacity were remarkable. One tackle he made on Frank Lampard will live long in the memory. When locally-born, 18-year-old academy graduates are making their league debut and absolutely smashing through established England internationals it does tend to stick in the memory. Continue reading
Joe Devine returns after a much-needed Christmas and New Year break to look at five things that may or may not have happened last week…
1. Steve Bruce Misinterprets Law
Ah, Steve Bruce. Everyone’s favourite pretend uncle Steve Bruce. He was my pretend uncle, a solid one at that. Always telling me it was going to be okay, and I loved it. That was of course before he questioned the conviction of rapist Ched Evans. Steve Bruce made a number of mistakes last week. First, he mistook “evidence” for what was clearly his late night reading of Ched Evans’ super fan site. Second, he accidentally, fleetingly, momentarily misunderstood the meaning of rape. And finally, he opened his big stupid mouth. Not only does Steve Bruce not know what “a rape” is, he is also guilty of thinking that “arson” was the crime of being a perennial underachiever. Continue reading
Joe Devine brings us five reasons why Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal could actually be dead…
“But he’s the current Manchester United manager” I hear you say. Yes, that’s true – but can you prove he’s not dead? I very much doubt it. The following is five reasons why we believe he might be dead.
1. He Looks Dead
Despite being reportedly alive and 63 years old, Louis Van Gaal does look quite dead. Remember Babs from Chicken Run? Well, Babs looked dead and Louis looks just like her. He also looks like that premier Nazi guy who melts in that Indiana Jones movie. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to smell him, but he definitely looks dead, and we’re happy to use that as evidence.
2. He thinks no one can see him
As shown in this photograph below, Louis Van Gaal appears to believe that nobody can see him. He takes this opportunity to stare right into the breast area of a Fox News reporter. Do you really think a man of 63 years wouldn’t be aware of when was and wasn’t an appropriate time for boob-gazing? Only someone who thought they were invisible would do this, and only dead people are invisible. Continue reading
In his first piece for TFN, Kammonke Obase-Wotta looks at why Louis Van Gaal is set to succeed as the new Manchester United manager…
As the World Cup comes to a thrilling end, it is time to say goodbye and turn our attentions to one of the most anticipated soap operas of the year; the English Premier league. As last season drew to a close after another drama-filled year, the news of David Moyes’ sacking came as no surprise and was greeted with sighs of relief from the Manchester United faithful.
I can remember vividly the last three games of the season and watching Manchester United’s poor performances. After one of the matches I got involved in a heated discussion about whether or not United would bounce back. I remember saying something like, “Manchester United has probably two to three years to bounce back, based on the fact that Liverpool flopped and were out of the Champions League for over four seasons.” Fast-forward three months and I am rethinking my stance. Why? It is quite simple – because of the virtuoso tactician, Louis Van Gaal. Continue reading