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UNITEDRANT

Rant’s Premier Predictions 2012/13

August 18, 2012 Tags: Opinion 20 comments

Each year Rant predicts the outcome of the season to come – winners, losers – Manchester United and others. There have been mixed results in over the years – 2009/10, 2010/11 and 2011/12.

Add your predictions in the comments section below and we’ll revisit this post at the end of May 2013 to find out how we all did. No cash prizes – just glory to the winners, and likely humiliation for Rant.

United’s Season

  • Premier League: second
  • Champions League: quarter-final
  • Carling Cup: quarter-final
  • FA Cup: winners
  • Player of the Year: Wayne Rooney
  • Reserve Player of the Year: Jack Barmby
  • Academy Player of the Year: Mats Moller Daehli

Premier League Top Ten

  1. Manchester City
  2. Manchester United
  3. Chelsea
  4. Arsenal
  5. Liverpool
  6. Newcastle United
  7. Tottenham Hotspur
  8. Everton
  9. Sunderland
  10. Fulham

Relegated

  • Southampton
  • Norwich
  • Reading

Champions League

  • Winners: Real Madrid
  • Runners-up: Bayern Munich

Europa League

  • CSKA Moscow

FA Cup

  • United

Carling Cup

  • Arsenal

Player of the Season

  • Wayne Rooney, Manchester United

Young Player of the Season

  • Eden Hazard, Chelsea

Sack Race

  • Brian McDermott, Reading
  • Chris Hughton, Norwich
  • Sam Allardyce, West Ham United

20 comments

Matt - August 18, 2012 Reply

Pl, utd, Chelsea, city, arsenal
Fa cup – Chelsea
Carling – Liverpool
CL – Bayern

Spudiator - August 18, 2012 Reply

United’s Season
– Premier League: Champions!
– Champions League: Semi-Final
– Carling Cup: Fourth round
– FA Cup: Winners!
– Player of the Year: Nemanja Vidic
– Reserve Player of the Year: Robbie Brady
– Academy Player of the Year: ?
Premier League Top Ten
1. United
2. City
3. Chelsea
4. Arsenal
5. Tottenham
6. Newcastle
7. Liverpool
8. Everton
9. Sunderland
10. Aston Villa
Relegated
QPR
Southampton
Norwich
Champions League
Winners: Real Madrid
Runners-up: Barcelona
Europa League
Arsenal
FA Cup
United
Carling Cup
Newcastle
Player of the Season
Gareth Bale, Tottenham
Young Player of the Season
Oscar, Chelsea
Sack Race
Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool
Mark Hughes, QPR
Martin Jol, Fulham

United Rant’s original returning eternal optimist!

Max - August 18, 2012 Reply

United’s Season:
Premier League: Champions
Champions League: Final
Carling Cup: quarter-final
FA Cup: quarter-final
Player of the Year: Wayne Rooney
Reserve Player of the Year: Davide Petrucci
Academy Player of the Year: Mats Moller Daehli
Premier League Top Ten:
Manchester United
Manchester City
Chelsea
Arsenal
Tottenham Hotspur
Newcastle United
Liverpool
Everton
Sunderland
West Bromwich
Relegated:
Southampton
West Ham
Reading
Champions League:
Winners: Real Madrid
Runners-up: Manchester United
Europa League:
CSKA Moscow
FA Cup:
Liverpool
Carling Cup:
Arsenal
Player of the Season:
Wayne Rooney, Manchester United
Young Player of the Season:
Kagawa, Manchester United
Sack Race:
Brian McDermott, Reading
Mark Hughes, QPR
Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool

Damian Garside - August 19, 2012 Reply

This is more difficult than last season, even with a couple of possibly misleading opening match indicators in already. 
What interests me is who will prove to be the surprise team and could a surprise team (meaning this season anyone other than Utd or City) win it. For many Utd fans the very thought of City being favs for the title gas a living in a parallel universe feel to it. 

let me say that it would be unexpected if the title does not come to either the blue or the red half of Manchester. Chelsea are weak at striker but with possibly the best midfield around. Torres has recovered somewhat, but he is not the player he was and he is certainly not the fearsome blend of Mike Tyson and Usain Bolt that was Drogba in his prime. Defensively, too, they have problems but their morale is huge after the European triumph. Could sneak 2nd but would need the following two demons to descend on the City of Manchester: the blue demon of dissension in the ranks too mess up City with their ultra-volatile players Tevez and Balotelli, and then the red demon of injury to derail us, with RvP, Vidic, Valencia, Ferdinand and Cleverley possible targets. Presuming RvP stays reasonably fit and is none-too-absent then I would say that at least one, possibly two from: Rooney, Kagawa, Cleverley, RvP and perhaps even Nani could have a absolutely brilliant season which could lift us to the title. For City to win, it would be a victory made in Argentina. Let me say it here: Aguero is the X factor for them, if we had him I would back us to win the European title. Wonderful what a difference a week makes: RvP is signed and our morale shoots through the roof: Fergie sounds like his old self again, like he had a transfusion or something   Suddenly we are jiggling new formations ( I saw an article suggesting that Fergie had at least 7 formations to choose from/ experiment with). I was castigated on Rant for bemoaning Unitwd’s performances and failure to score on tour; it being pointed out to me that “they don’t mean anything”. Well maybe they meant something to AF because suddenly we have RvP and can cause huge problems to opposing teams.

Arsenal have some very good players coming in, but it will be a while before they can recover from having lost so much talent since the beginning of last year. Liverpool are also a work in progress. The interesting thing will be the young managers who have brought in very good overseas players for a modest outlay and have already caused ripples on the opening day.

Could be a great year for us at the end of the day, but what interests me is the kind of football we play and the excitement we can generate. And a feast of goals: that that would be good goes without saying !

squigs - August 19, 2012 Reply

Commenter said:
I was castigated on Rant for bemoaning Unitwd’s performances and failure to score on tour; it being pointed out to me that “they don’t mean anything”. Well maybe they meant something to AF because suddenly we have RvP and can cause huge problems to opposing teams.

Pre Season means little. The RVP deal as I pointed out months ago was not out of the blue the player wanted to come here for a while and the club wanted to sign him for a while. You were castigated because you were putting too much into pre-season performances that are not important.

Damian Garside - August 19, 2012 Reply

Not important: but an indicators or the forthcoming season: otherwise why the hell play them? Last season we saw the margin between triumph and coming second was very, very slim and anything that can be learned even from ore-season games may play a huge role.or maybe you haven’t heard about chaos theory? Let’s see how we do at Everton tomorrow: a victory there fired by goals by RvP will set the tone for the rest of the season, as will a defeat where we are overrun in MF or outmuscled at the back.

marlon - August 19, 2012 Reply

United’s Season
– Premier League: Second
– Champions League: Semi-Final
– Carling Cup: Winners
– FA Cup: Semi-Final
– Player of the Year: Nani

Premier League Top Seven
1. City
2. United
3. Arsenal
4. Chelsea
5. Tottenham
6. Newcastle
7. Liverpool

Champions League
Winners: Barcelona
Runners-up: Real Madrid

FA Cup
Newcastle

Carling Cup
United

RobDiablo - August 20, 2012 Reply

I predict that United will finish without a trophy again this season, because, like last season, Sir Alex has failed to address the need for a CM or two, a position at which United is arguably weaker than it was at the beginning of last season (Fletcher gone, Scholes back but, like Giggs, another year past what should have been his retirement from playing). For the second summer in a row, the additions have made United a marginally better side than they were the previous season, but a hollow center continues to make United unnecessarily vulnerable.

In the League, United will romp to victory only in games where sides who ought to know better (think Bolton in game 5 last season) come on to them. Any side willing to work to get eight or nine men behind the ball and hit on the counter will stand a decent chance of taking points off them. This will be even more true in the UCL, where most sides will have the kind of finishers that Norwich and several other EPL sides didn’t have last season, thus sparing United’s blushes on several occasions. Sir Alex’s youth and OAP hybrid sides (where at least half are playing out of position) will see that United do not reach the semifinal of either domestic Cup competition.

Premier League Champions: City (United to come second, thanks—literally and sarcastically—to Sir Alex)
Champion League Winners: Real Madrid (favorable draws could see United reach the quarterfinal stage)

Alfonso Bedoya - August 20, 2012 Reply

I’m not as negative as I was about the lack of a centre mid scrapper…

I think we’ve now got the players to play some awesome attacking football, without the need for a dedicated ball winner.

When fit, our defence is excellent… with 2 of Carrick, Scholes, Cleverly in front, we’ve got good protection but also very good passing technique… and now that we’ve signed van Percie and Kagawa, we can fill out a dynamic 4 man attack equally capable of passing and retaining the ball…

I honestly think we can field a team that’s capable of playing some of the best football we have ever seen United play…

Damian Garside - August 20, 2012 Reply

I would agree with you Alf. But think that we might have to try a few permutations to come up with the most potent team on the field. Also, since teams are about blending, a previously unsung player may be a perfect “fit” working better than a seemingly obvious choice (example: last season Cleverley and Anderson seemed to be a midfield match made in Heaven until the former got injured): what do we do if van Persie and Wellbeck work like a dream together, rather than van Persie and Rooney? But we are excited, posing questions like these instead of wondering how to scrape together from a bare cupboard.. Great!

Spudiator - August 20, 2012 Reply

Commenter said:
what do we do if van Persie and Wellbeck work like a dream together, rather than van Persie and Rooney?

We drop Rooney, simple as that. No player is bigger than the club. Remember Dwight Yorke was once our record signing (god that seems like a long time ago!), and Fergie had no hesitation in dropping him to the bench when Teddy Sheringham was in better form during the 2000/01 season. I would hope if that becomes the case, that Rooney would see it as a challenge to regain his place, rather than using it as an excuse to sulk, but only time will tell…

Damian Garside - August 20, 2012 Reply

I agree

RobDiablo - August 20, 2012 Reply

Alfonso Bedoya said:
I’m not as negative as I was about the lack of a centre mid scrapper…

I’d be less negative as well, if I could figure out a formation that utilizes Rooney, RvP, and Kagawa without forcing any of them to play wide. The one good thing about the possibility/likelihood of Carrick playing as a centre half is that, with Scholes and Cleverley in the center and Kagawa in behind the striker, United will be able to quickly play the ball out from the back and up the center of the pitch. Sides that pinch to protect against this will be more susceptible to crosses coming in from the wings. Only problem is: if RvP is alone up top, where is Rooney playing? I don’t want any of them playing wide because I don’t believe Kagawa or RvP will (or should be ask to) track back to cover for overlapping fullbacks too often caught out of position. I know Rooney will, but I don’t believe that that is the best use of his talent. So, I see Rooney in behind RvP with Kagawa on the left, wearing himself out covering for Evra and looking an awful lot like Park Ji-Sung did playing there until Sir Alex realizes that he needs to go with Nani or Young on the left.

Stevie D - August 20, 2012 Reply

My entry is a bit late (on stag-duty all weekend), but here you go anyway:

United’s Season
– Premier League: Second
– Champions League: Winners
– Carling Cup: Semi-final
– FA Cup: Winners
– Player of the Year: Nemanja Vidic

Premier League Top 10
1. City
2. United
3. Chelsea
4. Newcastle
5. Spurs
6. Arsenal
7. Everton
8. Liverpool
9. Fulham
10.Swansea

Champions League
Winners: United
Runners-up: Real Madrid

FA Cup: United

Carling Cup: Chelsea

Relegation:
– QPR
– Norwich
– Reading

Sack Race:
– Steve Clarke
– Chris Hughton
– Mark Hughes

Player of the Season: Yaya Toure

Young Player of the Season: Eden Hazard

Ben Hulston - August 20, 2012 Reply

Premier League – City, United / Chelsea, Arsenal
FA Cup – United
Carling – Arsenal
CL – Real Madrid

I think we’re likely to see a solid, if unspectacular season from United. City’s undeniable quality in midfield will be the differentiator once more. I suspect Jack Rodwell will be the new Yaya Toure in the centre, allowing for Y Toure to play further forward. Barry and Rodwell will take up the mantle of holding, meaning overall City look more menacing going forward. It will be a close run thing – I think City will try the old 3 at the back Mancini’s been testing in friendlies – which might be exposed on occasion. Zabaleta is not a centreback.

United will be scoring for fun, but against teams with a tough, athletic and mobile midfield we will struggle. If Cleverley stays fit, expect more guile than graft in midfield – I should hope to see Kagawa / Cleverley / Rooney link-up pron. At the back, however, I see the odd goal silly goal shipping dropping us points. I believe it will be close again, but not goal difference close.

A Cup will be a good win, and I really think this is the season Wenger needs to get a trophy or the shove will come – expect United and Arsenal to pick up a Cup a piece.

Liverpool, Spurs, and Newcastle will be dogged challengers for the last CL spot, but Arsenal’s experience will carry them through.

In the CL, Real will smash all before them – a good draw will see United through to the semis, otherwise getting out of the group stages will be about all we can hope for.

League Top Scorer – RvP 25, Torres 24, Rooney / Tevez / Aguero 22 a piece
PL Team of the Season – J. Hart, A. Cole, Kompany, Vidic, RB?, Yaya Toure, David Silva, Y. Cabaye, Kagawa, RvP, Rooney

Alfonso Bedoya - August 20, 2012 Reply

@RobDiablo
“I’d be less negative as well, if I could figure out a formation that utilizes Rooney, RvP, and Kagawa without forcing any of them to play wide. The one good thing about the possibility/likelihood of Carrick playing as a centre half is that, with Scholes and Cleverley in the center and Kagawa in behind the striker, United will be able to quickly play the ball out from the back and up the center of the pitch. Sides that pinch to protect against this will be more susceptible to crosses coming in from the wings. Only problem is: if RvP is alone up top, where is Rooney playing? I don’t want any of them playing wide because I don’t believe Kagawa or RvP will (or should be ask to) track back to cover for overlapping fullbacks too often caught out of position. I know Rooney will, but I don’t believe that that is the best use of his talent. So, I see Rooney in behind RvP with Kagawa on the left, wearing himself out covering for Evra and looking an awful lot like Park Ji-Sung did playing there until Sir Alex realizes that he needs to go with Nani or Young on the left.”

A few years back we played some great football, with a front three Rooney/Tevez/Ronaldo, that swapped positions at will, mixing it up as they went, and tying defences in knots.
This year, I think we could see something similar, with van Percie/Rooney/Kagaway in a 4-3-3, or my hope for a 4-2-3-1, with van Percie in front of a fluid 3 of Kagawa/Rooney/Nani… there’s no reason for any of these players to be “stuck” out on the wing… they’re intelligent players,(aside from Nani) who can interchange on the fly, improvising and creating openings for each other… if they can find a common rhythm it could be outstanding… Nani will be the weak link… he’s got to get his head up more, and stop trying to win games on his own… or else he’ll find himself replaced by Valencia… and he’s got twice the talent Vaencia’s got…

“Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

Ben Hulston - August 20, 2012 Reply

I agree with your post btw Alf, I think we’re on the same page. I’d love to see that trust put in the forwards.

One thing I would say, as to why I would instintively trust Valencia over Nani, is consistency of end product. Yes, Nani is brilliant on his day, but it often seems to me that he just loses his way and the rest of the game is a frustrating nightmare. I believe Valencia is utterly brilliant – I’d personally play him as often as I could – but I can see real virtue in trying him out as a right back as a long term solution – Raphael and AV rotate, and AV / Nani rotate in the forwards.

As an idea – how adverse would everyone be to an Italian style 3 – 5 – 2, Carrick taking the De Rossi style position, Evra and Valencia taking the WB slots, Clevs / Scholes sitting, with Kagawa, Nani, Rooney, RvP filling the other slots as necessary? 4 – 3 – 3 would be my overall preference, but I see real mileage in a 3-5-2 with the players in hand – though I think Fergie loves the four at the back too much to change.

Damian Garside - August 20, 2012 Reply

If we are going to play 5 in MF with wing-backs it would have been better not to loan out Fabio

RobDiablo - August 20, 2012 Reply

Alfonso Bedoya said:
A few years back we played some great football, with a front three Rooney/Tevez/Ronaldo, that swapped positions at will, mixing it up as they went, and tying defences in knots.

This year, I think we could see something similar, with van Percie/Rooney/Kagaway in a 4-3-3, or my hope for a 4-2-3-1, with van Percie in front of a fluid 3 of Kagawa/Rooney/Nani…

Let’s hope you’re right. For me, it would have to be a 4-3-3 as I don’t see the difference between the 4-4-1-1 United have been playing and a 4-2-3-1, unless it is understood that the ‘3’ will consist of forwards not expected to expend a great deal of energy repeatedly tracking back all the way to the goal line. If this is so, and the fullbacks play accordingly, I could see this working. I’d be more comfortable, however, if United had the option of playing 4-3-3 as team selection and opposition lineup dictate, but that would require a quality CM of the type we do not currently have.

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