For many, Sunday is a day spent in the company of the family and friends, reading that unfinished book, or watching a new episode of a favourite show. Over at United Rant it’s a day spent catching up on the beautiful game. Join us, in Rant’s weekly round-up of United-related news and blogs – Media Digest.
Ahead of this week’s Digest, the new section of Manchester United official site called Made Of Manchester is well worth a read, even if it is another way for the Glazer family to cash in!
Can They Score – “Can You Believe It’s Not Büttner?”
Jonas from Can They Score on Alexander Büttner, the fighter.
Upon signing with Manchester United one would say he seemed nervous. United fans were laughing at he they called “Tom Cleverley’s evil twin” for his rugged appearance. Therefore it was a bit anticlimactic to hear the man himself stutter over his words, not seeming assured and generally seemed nervous when interview by MUTV after signing. The aura about him was that he was a badass, wasn’t it? The video of his home community throwing a huge block party in honour of their prodigy son had further spiked the assessment that here arrived this tough, take-no-prisoners bully who’d hack down any defender that had the audacity of trying to pass him. This just couldn’t be right. more
ManUtd24 – “Manchester United’s first, last and only line of defence”
ManUtd24 argues that United needs either to find a balance between defence and attack, or just keep scoring more than the opposition.
United’s failure to prevent Charlie Adam’s £10million crosses from coming into the box were neither Evans’ or Ferdinand’s problem; in fact, as dangerous as Stoke were from the cross, United’s defenders and David de Gea made sure to limit the end result of them after Wayne Rooney’s early own goal. It is far too simplistic a view to lump everything with those easiest to blame; but when Stoke attacked, and attacked well, it was because they took advantage of the way the home side set up in attack where even the midfield had wandered forward: and the back four would then find that they are indeed the first, last and only line of defence. Sometimes, you can get away with it. They did at Old Trafford. more
The Busby Way – “Thoughts on the Fallout of Rio Ferdinand’s Protest”
The ‘hot topic’ of this weekend: Rio Ferdinand’s refusal to wear a ‘Kick It Out’ t-shirt.
Rio Ferdinand has had a tough year; he saw racism in the game trivialised by the FA and the country’s judicial system when John Terry’s trial and disciplinary hearing for apparently racially abusing his brother Anton Ferdinand were postponed so as not to clash with the European Championships. He was dropped by Roy Hodgson from the England squad to placate Terry, saw a bullet and a death threat sent to his brother by post and was jeered by Chelsea fans for defending his brother during the matter. But this was only the public side of things. more
Red Rants – “What can Argentina teach Manchester United?”
For those of you who love arguing about tactics, there is an interesting article on Red Rants on Argentina’s use of the diamond.
Manchester United could do something similar, but switch the roles of the deeper striker with the tip of the diamond. If Shinji Kagawa plays at the tip of the diamond, operating as the number 10, with license to move laterally across the entire pitch and find pockets of space to receive the ball and play it forward to Robin Van Persie, who would play as the number 9, just like Gonzalo Higuain. The deeper striker would be Wayne Rooney, playing further forward where he can put his deadly goal scoring ability to use. Instead of playing laterally like Aguero did, he would take up the vertical role that Lionel Messi played. When needed, he drops into the midfield to receive the ball and help the build-up, then getting forward into the box to threaten the opponent’s defense. more
Red Mancunian – “Why a culture change is needed in English football”
Red Mancunian contributor Shaun argues that fans have to be patient with the new generation of England kids who are “adapting this country’s game to the top”.
Despite some fantastic and very long overdue changes to the grassroots structure in England recently, there are still old attitudes and practices that our game has to face up to before advancing to a new stage of development. Patience and education are the essence of this development but this is not something that the fans of the English game seem to have in abundance and this attitude towards the game seems to be an ‘old dog, new tricks’ scenario for many of the old guard of our national game. more
Meanwhile, The Busby Way highlights Henry Winter’s column on Rene Meulensteen’s work at Old Trafford.
Daily Mail – “Man United pin hopes on new £25m state-of-the-art medical centre to end injury nightmare”
Ah, here’s some fire for the good old “medical staff is responsible! – no, they’re not!” debate.
A £13m refurbishment of Carrington is almost complete and United have announced a five-year deal with Toshiba Medical Systems that will see the Japanese company provide equipment worth £12m. [Ferguson]: “‘This fantastic partnership will put us above most clubs in the world. But it is not just the supply of their medical systems, we’re also sharing the experiences together and the new ideas to come out of it. We already have a fantastic medical staff and they will relish the challenge of working with Toshiba. Sometimes maybe the supporters don’t see that. But we’ll see the benefits and the players will appreciate it. This is fantastic progress.” more
Manchester Evening News – “Time for David to become Goliath to win Manchester United keeper battle”
MEN has Gordon Banks’ thoughts on United’s goalkeepers.
England’s World Cup-winning legend Gordon Banks insists the United goalkeeper must toughen up in order to survive at Old Trafford. And he has some unorthodox advice for the Spaniard – recommending he take on a training regime more at home with Ricky Hatton than a Premier League footballer. Banks has revealed how boxing played an important role in his development from an 18-year-old rookie at Chesterfield to England’s greatest-ever No.1. And he believes it could be vital in helping de Gea get to grips with the physical challenge of playing in this country. “I’m positive it helped me,” said the Three Lions hero. more
SkySports reports that Shinji Kagawa is not satisfied with his performances for Manchester United. Mancunian Matters tells us all about Cleverley’s mum controlling the brand management. Daily Mail reckons Anzhi Makhachkala plans to offer Nemanja Vidic a £250,000-a-week after tax. ESPN reports on Nicky Butt’s return to Manchester United as a reserve-team coach. Data showing how much it costs to follow teams in the top four divisions of English football can be found on BBC.