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Rant Cast 298 – The Sergio Romero Special

February 23, 2017 Tags: Rant Cast 3 comments
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Three appearances for Manchester United’s Argentinian No. 2 and three wins, with only one unlikely wondergoal conceded. Is the erstwhile World Cup finalist a contender for United’s No. 1 shirt?

No. Obviously not. Nevertheless, Ed & Paul look back over a week a half which featured three wins and progress in two competitions. There’s an interview with legendary illustrator Stanley Chow and a preview of the League Cup final with football writer and Southampton fan Alex Stewart.

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Rooney on the brink, we’ve been here before, but now it’s a matter of time

February 22, 2017 Tags: Opinion 6 comments
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To go, or not to go that is now the question. From the moment Jose Mourinho called time on Wayne Rooney’s special privileges at Manchester United the clock began ticking on the Scouser’s Old Trafford career. The inevitable is nigh. Now the club, although not publicly, is pushing Rooney towards a more rapid exit than previously imagined. China calls; will Rooney pick up?

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Mourinho dismisses Saint-Etienne’s ‘mission impossible’ as Reds head to France

February 22, 2017 Tags: , Matches 3 comments
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Manchester United might feel much of the hard work has been done in this run of cup games. José Mourinho’s side arrives in France following an unconvincing 2-1 FA Cup victory over Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, but Wednesday’s second leg at Saint-Etienne offers the chance to rest key players heading into Sunday’s EFL Cup final.

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Reds travel to Blackburn as fixture pile-up takes hold

February 18, 2017 Tags: , Matches 3 comments
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Manchester United’s 10 days of tribulations is now underway, opening with a trickier-than-it-looked victory over AS Saint-Etienne in the Europa League. The Reds take a 3-0 lead into the second leg in France, which should provide ample cushion to rest some key names as the fixtures continue to pile up. José Mourinho was not altogether satisfied with United’s display against les Verts, but two goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the closing stages – adding to his bizarre opener – means that the manager can look to Sunday’s FA Cup trip to Ewood Park against Blackburn Rovers in isolation.

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Crucial period begins with Europa League return

February 15, 2017 Tags: , Matches 1 comment
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It’s the beginning of yet another pivotal period at Manchester United. As the club continues to compete on all fronts, it was inevitable that the tests would increase for José Mourinho and his players. Four games across three competitions, including a cup final, all crammed into an intimidating 10 day package will certainly do that. Mourinho has challenged players to prove they are good enough to be at the club, and he will likely have drawn conclusions on who fits that criteria when the final whistle blows at Wembley in just over a week. First, however, the Europa League returns with the visit of French side Saint-Etienne.

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Retro revivalists Saint-Étienne kick off Reds cup charge

February 14, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 5 comments
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Three cup competitions, four games, 10 days. Manchester United’s Premier League campaign is on hold until March, with José Mourinho’s team focusing on the Europa League last-32, FA Cup fifth round, and the EFL Cup final for the rest of February. It promises to be a fascinating series of games that may culminate in Mourinho’s first silverware as United manager. First, however, is a tie with AS Saint-Étienne, the one-time grandee of French football, now fallen on leaner times.

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Rant Cast 297 – on obscure European sides from the 1970s

February 14, 2017 Tags: Rant Cast 2 comments
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The last time Manchester United faced Saint-Etienne the Red Army had a penchant for smashing up European cities and the Cup Winners Cup was still a thing. The glory days, the 1970s. Time has moved on and although Reds will behave far better at Old Trafford on Thursday and in France next week, the club is still participating in second rate European tournaments. Plus ça change

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Knowing Me, Knowing Vous – United vs Saint-Etienne Q&A

February 14, 2017 Tags: , Opinion No comments
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Manchester United returns to Europa League action this week and faces one of France’s most important clubs, Saint-Etienne.  The Reds entertain Les Verts at Old Trafford in the first leg this Thursday before heading to the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard for the return match next week. Rant had a grand tête-à-tête with French Football Weekly’s Jeremy Smith to get the lowdown on the team from the Rhône-Alpes.

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