United’s identity under scrutiny – twas ever thus

Radamel Falcao

Identity. It is a topic on many lips in the wake of Manchester United’s spending spree this summer. United unloaded around £150 million on six high-class imports during the window, and yet the deal that generated most copy was Danny Welbeck’s departure to Arsenal. The end of more than 130 years of youthful tradition or the reaffirmation […]

Van Gaal’s ‘modern’ wing-backs

Ashley Young Antonio Valencia

Deploying a ‘wrong-footed’ winger is no longer a radical concept – in fact it is now fully mainstream. Wingers cut inside, vacate space for full-backs to run into, enabling attacking teams to get more bodies into the middle whilst retaining some width. Even lowly Sunderland regularly use inverted wingers these days. More interesting, perhaps, is a […]

Media Digest: departures, arrivals and the Kings of Leon

Media Digest

Media Digest is United Rant’s weekly round-up of Manchester United-related news and blogs. This time, with the transfer deadline coming on Monday, we cover a little bit more than a week – including reaction to what was surprisingly the busiest day of a busy week. Blogs Blogs resemble airport lounges at the moment – it’s all […]

Reds depart as Van Gaal makes squad his own

Nani

There is little surprise in supporters’ obsession with the transfer market; new faces, new names and the hope of better results to come. In Manchester United’s recent decline this fixation has become all the stronger – a collective yearning that fresh blood will cure many of Old Trafford’s ills. Certainly, United’s summer spending will revitalise […]

The beginning is the end is the beginning

Angel Di Maria

It is the metaphorical morning after Manchester United’s humiliating defeat to Milton Keynes Dons in the League Cup. Probably, one of the club’s worst performances in recent memory; right down there with any from the David Moyes era. Even considering that Louis van Gaal’s team was comprised mostly of youngsters, too few grabbed their chance […]

Ponderous Reds yet to find a new identity

Wayne Rooney, Michael Keane

“It’s a process and that process needs time,” pleaded Louis van Gaal on Friday. It is perhaps the key message for Manchester United supporters to digest after Sunday’s turgid draw with Sunderland on Wearside. Van Gaal has promised that his methods will bring success; on the evidence of two Premier League fixtures this season it may very well be a […]

United’s failure is a belief in the alchemy of youth

Cristiano Ronaldo

In the cold light of Manchester United’s fateful dawn one can still feel the intoxication. Like a Saturday night drunk, stirring on Sunday morning amid the cold pizza and lager cans strewn across the wreckage once called home. Yet, United’s hangover from Cristiano Ronaldo’s wild ride still throbs, blurring clear thought and obfuscating the truth. Like […]

Rojo deal papers over another clusterf*ck of a summer

Marcos Rojo

These are celebratory times indeed. Not only has Manchester United’s executive vice chairman Ed Woodward closed a deal, some 12 days before the summer transfer window shuts, but in a position where the Reds are desperately short. United’s calamitous showing against Swansea City last weekend served only to highlight just how desperately the club requires […]

Season preview 2014/15

David Moyes

English is a language richer than most; an idiom to suit almost every nuanced turn of meaning, situation and experience. The language of Shakespeare, Morrisey and, well, Wayne Rooney. Take, for example, the belief that lightning never strikes twice, at least not in the same place – a subtle turn of phrase indicating that the unlikeliest of occurrence rarely repeats. While climatologists have, in reality, proven that lightning often does strike in the same place, Rant suspects that you get the gist.