Season review and ratings 2012/13

Robin van Persie

What to make of a season that ended with the Premier League trophy being returned to its frequent resting place at Old Trafford? Certainly, regaining English pre-eminence is success by any measure. Yet, while the drama of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement masks everything in the narrative of the campaign, premature defeat in three cup competitions, especially the Champions League, leaves a just modicum of anti-climax come the season’s the close.

Indeed, the Premier League was captured with such ease that it is tempting to wonder what might have been in Europe, or perhaps the FA Cup, which Manchester United hasn’t captured in almost a decade. Regrets can wait for now  – certainly over trophies lost – with Ferguson having captured more than 30 during his time at the club. It is, after all, a campaign that will be remembered primarily as Ferguson’s glorious last.

But amid the tears over the Scot’s departure – and celebrations over title number 20 – it is easy to forget quite how shambolic was  United’s start to the campaign. Defeat on the opening day at Everton was followed in rapid succession by chaotic defensive performances in victories over Fulham and Southampton. The latter brought a comically missed penalty and then a hat-trick from expensive new acquisition Robin van Persie.

But it wasn’t so much United’s early season results that drew concern than the propensity to ship goals in such quantity. Three goals conceded in home defeat to Tottenham Hotspur as September drew to a close proved to be a pattern too often repeated, rather than a defensive watershed.

True, injuries to Jonny Evans, Nemanja Vidić, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling left Ferguson’s back-four in constant flux during the autumn. But there was a larger, structural, problem too, with Michael Carrick often exposed by a lightweight midfield, and an almost suicidal attacking ethos from wide positions. It was a philosophy much changed after the Christmas break; Ferguson had little other choice.

Yet, the European campaign started in positive fashion, with the Reds claiming victory over CFR Cluj and Braga twice to seal early qualification for the knockout stage that had eluded Ferguson’s team a year before. Defeat to Galatasary and then Cluj in dead rubbers mattered little, although served as a pointer to the fragile complacency that crept into the Reds’ play towards the season’s end.

Whatever United’s defensive weaknesses the side’s ability to rack up points through the winter proved decisive. Defeat to Cluj in early December, with a much-changed side, was not repeated in any competition until Real Madrid won at Old Trafford in controversial circumstances in February.

Meanwhile, rivals Manchester City lost to United, Sunderland, and Southampton during the same period as Ferguson’s side created a healthy league lead. It proved to be an advantage too great for City to claw back this time.

However, the domestic cups proved far more disappointing than the league campaign. United’s youngsters lost to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the Capital One Cup, although Ferguson’s bravery in using his substitutions to blood ever more inexperienced players should have brought greater rewards. That the west Londoners also removed United from the FA Cup in one of the Reds’ most insipid displays of the campaign proved a season low-light.

And whatever United’s frustration on the road to Wembley it paled into comparison with Ferguson’s much-publicised anguish over Madrid’s victory at Old Trafford. Nani’s controversial red card, followed by two rapid-fire Madrid goals, dumped Ferguson’s side out of the competition and ended the Scot’s hopes of a final European fling. Ferguson’s pain in defeat was surely only amplified by the Reds’ positive performances home and away against Los Merengues.

The consolation was substantial at least with the Premier League secured by mid-April; a full four games from the finishing line. In that the campaign will be remembered fondly – for the decisive victory over City.

Yet, Ferguson’s side has rarely reached the heights of performance to go alongside those excellent results. In the great Scot’s last season the abiding memory is of a team that captured glory through substance rather than style. Much like Ferguson’s team of the early 2000s this side is perhaps just two high-quality acquisitions away from greatness. It is quite possibly an Eric Djemba-Djemba away from mediocrity as well.

Premier League victory should lead to another crack at Europe next season, although Ferguson’s retirement and significant back-room changes may undermine that lofty ambition.

 

Sir Alex Ferguson – Fergie’s final season brought victory at least for the 71-year-old. The Scot was determine to retire “a winner” and that ambition came in emphatic style. Yet, this final team is one of function above all else; a side not good enough to play with freedom lest a brittle defensive unit cracks under the pressure. It is a side that scored less, conceded more and gained no more points than the previous year when City captured the title at the death. This despite van Persie’s expensive capture. In misty-eyed reminiscence this season will be remembered fondly. Just not for the quality of football. 7/10

- – -

David de Gea – 41 appearances, 0 goals – a tremendous season of growth for the Spanish youngster who by the campaign’s close was voted the PFA’s goalkeeper of the season. That assessment, in truth, is based on growth from the autumn onwards, but the 22-year-old is certainly now one of the best in the Premier League. Now far more confident under physical pressure and less prone to error, de Gea can thank outgoing goalkeeping coach Eric Steele for the strong improvement in performances. 8/10

Anders Lindegaard – 13 appearances, 0 goals – the Dane began the campaign challenging de Gea for Ferguson’s attention. He ended it having been offered the sympathy vote by the retiring Scot. In truth Lindegaard has only himself to blame; a calamitous performance against Reading in December consigning the Dane to the beach for all but two games between Christmas and April. The former Ålesund player returned for the final the matches of the campaign, but only due to Ferguson’s mistaken belief that the player required 10 Premier League appearances to earn a medal. 5/10

- – -

Rafael da Silva – 40 appearances, 3 goals – the Brazilian’s finest campaign yet in four years at Old Trafford. Rafael’s natural attacking instincts are now allied to a greater sense of positional awareness and superior discipline. Where the youngster was once guilty of letting his impetuousness dominate, a sense of maturity is slowly growing. The red card received against Chelsea is ammunition for the few critics remaining, but where Ferguson was once loathe to trust the former Fluminense player, Rafael is now solidly United’s first choice right back. 8/10

Patrice Evra – 43 appearances, 4 goals – much criticised following a dip in form during the 2010-12 campaigns, the French left-back was near his best in the campaign just concluded. Foraging runs, encouraged by Ferguson’s decision to afford his full-backs plenty of freedom during the first half of the campaign, enabled Evra to contribute four goals and five assists in the Premier League. It was by far Evra’s best haul for the club. Add just three defensive errors all season and the Frenchman is perhaps the ‘best of the rest’ in Ferguson’s squad. 7/10

Alexander Büttner - 12 appearances,  2 goals – it took, perhaps, two appearances to work out Büttner’s essential problem – he’s not a full-back, and certainly not one able to perform at the very highest level. After all, defenders are normally required to defend – a requirement far outside Büttner’s skillset. But there’s plenty of willing and an attacking mindset that could yet prove useful against lesser opponents. It’s hard to foresee a long-term future for the Dutchman at Old Trafford. 4/10

Rio Ferdinand – 34 appearances, 1 goal – logic dictates that injury and age should have ended Ferdinand’s time at Old Trafford before now. Yet, the 34-year-old will stay into his 12th campaign as a United player – surely one of the very best central defenders to have graced the club. Indeed, Ferdinand’s form in 2012/13 was central to United’s cause – an outstanding, largely injury-free contribution, especially in the second half of the season. Ferdinand has his critics, but his performances have been without peer for more than a decade. 7/10

Nemanja Vidić – 23 appearances, 1 goal – the Serbian is not yet back to his very best and it is tempting to speculate that the 31-year-old may never regain the powers of old. Two serious knee injuries have taken half-a-yard from the player’s pace, although all the old defensive instinct remain. The summer’s rest may yet invigorate Vidić, but it remains an open question whether he can still play with Ferdinand, especially when each needs to drop a little deeper than in the past. Needs to stay fit after two injury disrupted campaigns. 6/10

Jonny Evans – 30 appearances, 4 goals – injury disrupted the defender’s season at a time when the Irishman is coming into his playing peak. Yet, mature performances and a new sense of confidence mark a very solid campaign. Evans is now firmly established in the defensive triumvirate including Ferdinand and Vidić. Fitness permitting, Evans should take over as United’s first choice central defender during the coming season. For now, the 25-year-old will be happy with a solid campaign. 7/10

Chris Smalling – 22 appearances, 0 goals – there is so much potential that will remain unfulfilled if the former Fulham defender cannot complete a season without time in the physio room. Injury affected his campaign once again, although Smalling can at least look back on some creditable performances. Yet, with Ferdinand and Vidić ageing there is a significant opportunity for Smalling to claim a regular starting place in new manager Moyes’ team next season. Can the 23-year-old remain fit enough to realise his considerable talent? 6/10

Phil Jones – 24 appearances, 0 goals – the bombastic defender ended the campaign with Ferguson lauding his potential to become ‘the best player in United’s history’ – a claim that can be put down the post-match giddiness, or an over-eager sampling of the Brunello di Montalcino Riserva ’64. After all, Jones spent much of the season on the treatment table, in common with many of his defensive colleagues. But a very strong finish to the campaign augurs well for the new season, where the the former Blackburn Rovers man will want to nail down his favoured role in central defence. 6/10

- – -

Antonio Valencia – 40 appearances, 1 goal – it is hard to reconcile the player of 2012/13 with that of a year ago. After all, Valencia’s truly outstanding displays during United’s unsuccessful run-in last season saw the Ecuadorian attack with pace, confidence and genuine menace. On current form Valencia offers none of that and it is hard to foresee how or when the player of old will return. Yet, there is some hope, with the 27-year-old offering some improved performances late in the campaign, although there was little left to play for. 5/10

Ashley Young – 23 appearances, 0 goals – mediocrity thy name is Young. Ferguson’s temptation in signing Young surely owes it place to price, with the winger’s contact running down at Aston Villa, enabling the Londoner to arrive without the usual ‘English premium’. But Young has offered little in two seasons to suggest anything more than a squad place is merited. Add injury and poor form to the limited game and Young made very little impact in the campaign just concluded. 5/10

Nani – 21 appearances, 3 goals – a hugely disappointing campaign from United’s most naturally talented wide player. During the Reds’ unsuccessful run at the title in 2012/13 Nani contributed 10 goals and 13 assists. The numbers this season, impacted by injury and a dispute with Sir Alex, is three and five. Nani had always been inconsistent, but his numbers told a story; the Portuguese wins United games. Without the goals and assists Nani becomes a liability – just one reason is why Ferguson kept him on the bench this season. 4/10

Ryan Giggs – 32 appearances, 5 goals – the irrepressible Welshman just doesn’t know when to quit. But that’s enough about Giggs’ love life. On the pitch Giggs continues to contribute, especially through a patch of outstanding form in midwinter. True, he gives the ball away cheaply in central midfield and no longer has the legs to play wide, but in his 40th year it is remarkable that the player is still performing at all. Giggs is likely to play a peripheral role in Moyes’ high-energy direct brand of football, but he has earned the rest. 6/10

Michael Carrick – 46 appearances, 2 goals – another outstanding campaign from United’s only reliable midfielder. Carrick allies sound defensive instincts with a world-class possession game – recycling possession rapidly to convert defence into attack. United simply could not have won the Premier League without him – a fact finally recognised in song from the terraces. Carrick should benefit from Moyes’ apparent desire to strengthen United’s central midfield. 9/10

Anderson – 25 appearances, 2 goals – “Andersron” said the shirt in one of Albert the kitman’s more infamous moments. Back in August, with Anderson recovering from yet another injury, hope remained high that the Brazilian could get fulfil the potential that his talent suggests is possible. Yet, the campaign again proved to be a false dawn. In truth Anderson’s best performances for United are now five years thence. The club should cut and run, but does the new manager believe he can finally unlock the secret to the midfielder’s under-performance? 5/10

Paul Scholes – 22 appearances, 1 goal – one last hurrah too many, perhaps, with Scholes playing only a peripheral role in his final season as a professional. Injury disrupted the campaign of course, but by the New Year the 38-year-old maestro was firmly on the fringes of Sir Alex’ team in any case. Still, few United fans will think any less of the Ginger Prince for playing one season too many. After all, it has been a real pleasure watching him these past 20 years. 5/10

Tom Cleverley - 32 appearances, 4 goals – is it ok to use the bastardised cliché – ‘a season of two halves’ – about Cleverley’s performance this season? For much of the campaign the Basingstoke-born player seemed to be fulfilling supporters’ lofty expectations. Deployed in a deeper role, Cleverley’s ability to retain possession and then speed up the pattern of United’s play offered much to the midfield dynamic, even if the defensive side of his game needs some work. But then the wheels fell off amid unconfirmed reports of an unprofessional attitude towards his profession. There is much in the locker, but can Cleverley seize his chance under new management? 6/10

Shinji Kagawa – 26 appearances, 6 goals – there is magic in those dancing feet, although injury and Ferguson’s propensity to deploy the playmaker out of position severely impacted on Kagawa’s contribution this season. It is a scenario that prompted Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp to claim that his “heart cries” for his former charge. Does Moyes have the courage to deploy Kagawa at ‘number 10′ next season? The answer may determine whether United ever realise the Japanese player’s true value. 6/10

- – -

Wayne Rooney – 37 appearances, 16 goals – has the former Evertonian suffered a more traumatic campaign in United’s colours? True, the numbers stack up, with 16 goals and 13 assists claimed from a deeper role than in the past. But the sparkling performances of old have largely deserted the 26-year-old. In truth Rooney is at a watershed moment. He should have grown into one of the world’s finest players. He didn’t. But is there still time, and can it happen at United? Many, including Sir Alex, now harbour doubts on both fronts. 5/10

Javier Hernández – 36 appearances, 18 goals – remarkably the Mexican ends the season as United’s second top goalscorer, behind van Persie. The return is phenomenal given the low number of starts afforded the 24-year-old this season. Will that accolade satisfy a player who surely desires a more regular starting role? An answer in the negative leaves the new manager with just one season to use or lose the prolific striker – an outcome that would represent a terrible waste of talent. 6/10

Danny Welbeck – 40 appearances, 2 goals – the Longsight-born player has become an enigma; a striker that doesn’t score, a winger that can’t play wide, a squad player who is invariably picked for the biggest games. Welbeck has excelled at times this season, most notably in United’s draw with Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. The youngster possess a rare, multi-faceted talent and a physical presence that is a real asset in the modern game. Yet, with just two goals Welbeck’s output is shockingly poor. True, the United trainee is typically deployed out of position, but the quality of his finishing is also just short of the mark. Room for improvement on an excellent natural base of talent. 6/10

Robin van Persie – 48 appearances, 30 goals – an outstanding campaign from the Dutchman who joined United for £24 million last summer. Yes, expectations of the former Arsenal striker were high – as they should be for the lofty price. But van Persie’s experience, gravitas and goals has squarely contributed to United’s success this season. In fact United couldn’t have secured the Premier League without the 29-year-old’s considerable talents. More, the Dutchman has won over the fans off the pitch. van Persie does, says and seemingly thinks all the right things. Rant’s player of the Season. 9/10. 

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Comments

  1. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    I can go along with most of that… but a bit too generous with the established dross… Valencia-2, Nani-1, Young-0, Anderson-2… yeah, I like that better.

  2. Oliver says

    As usual our fans massively overrate Carrick. He was good, but no way 9/10 good. Consistency is one thing but to achieve that score you should really be putting in regular MOM performances a la RVP.

    Ando had a good year, and you were a tad harsh on Lindes, Büttner and Jones too. All the wingers deserved even less, as did Cleverly and Smelling (seriously, I don’t remember him playing).

    Also as much as I love him, 2 goals in 40 Welbeck appearances surely gets him less than a 6.

  3. AnantaxAnantax says

    Agree with 90 percent of the artiicle! Can nitpick over individual grades but I wont (this time)

    Sums up our season really..

    Great aryicle…

  4. Pikey McScumPikey McScum says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    I can go along with most of that… but a bit too generous with the established dross… Valencia-2, Nani-1, Young-0, Anderson-2… yeah, I like that better.

    Yep to the above

  5. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Commenter said:
    As usual our fans massively overrate Carrick. He was good, but no way 9/10 good. Consistency is one thing but to achieve that score you should really be putting in regular MOM performances a la RVP.

    Ando had a good year, and you were a tad harsh on Lindes, Büttner and Jones too. All the wingers deserved even less, as did Cleverly and Smelling (seriously, I don’t remember him playing).

    Also as much as I love him, 2 goals in 40 Welbeck appearances surely gets him less than a 6.

    “Ando” had a good year???

    Is that right?

    Anything else you write from here on will be ignored…

  6. Pikey McScumPikey McScum says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    LOL…

    I wouldn’t mind a good cunting… sounds very wet though.

    I’ll be over in five with the lube; put your snorkelling mask on and assume the fetal position

  7. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadffs says

    9 for persie
    8s for rafa degea carrick and rio
    7s for evans welbeck rooney and jones
    6s for the rest
    0 for young and valencia

  8. bman says

    Carrick was our best player by some distance, or certainly our most important at any rate. He spent the whole season with 3 or 4 useless fucktards alongside him in midfield, from the left side of the pitch to the right, and still we somehow managed to work well as a unit and have impressive stats in terms of possession, passing etc.

    RVP was undeniably excellent, but the fact is we scored more goals last season, so he was inarguably less vital than Carrick.

  9. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadffs says

    well if persie wasnt here rooney wouldve scored the goals, as he did last season when he scored almost as many as persie having played less games, because hes a class act

    yet you want us to sell him

    or is that bill

  10. Chris K says

    Welbeck 5

    Hernandez 6

    Hernandez is a little one dimensional and has less presence on the rest of the pitch but he gets the goals.

  11. RobDiabloRobDiablo says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    9 for persie
    8s for rafa degea carrick and rio
    7s for evans welbeck rooney and jones
    6s for the rest
    0 for young and valencia

    I’m having difficulty understanding how a side that played faffing, hoofball shite for large portions of almost every match (and I agree that this was the case) could end up with every player (bar two) having above-average ratings for the season. Surely the faffing and hoofball were not entirely the fault of Young and Valencia.
    I do agree with your ’9′, ’8′, and most of the ’7′ selections, but you are being too generous to some of the others.

  12. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    so says a pissed up taggart

    Right!

    The more I hear about this, the more it sounds like Rooney said no such thing… Ferguson just had one of his strops, and made it up… classy.

  13. bman says

    Do me a favour, it’s like all of these situations. If the player really wanted to stay playing for the club, they would just come out and say that very clearly and emphatically. Instead, it’s all ambiguous statements, he-said she-said gossip, and stories leaked to the press. I don’t deny that the club isn’t treating this like business, but there’s no way Rooney’s behavior can be interpreted as anything other than negotiating and maneuvering, maneuvering that undeniably carries the threat of leaving or else there’d be no point to it. So whether or not Rooney explicitly asked or threatened to leave, there can be no doubt that that wasn’t at least the subtext to his conversation with Fergie.
    Anyway I’d like Rooney to stay so long as he recommitted himself psychologically, but even in that event I could never feel very fondly about him. Essentially what happened here is that he decided that he was worth even more than the ridiculous amount of money he already earns to play football (even while his PR team cultivate the image of the lad who loves the game so much he’d play for free – BOLLOCKS) and also decided that he should be above competing for his place in the team, to the point of lumbering onto the pitch with burger grease staining his kit.

  14. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    Commenter said:
    As if our second highest scorer who was massively underused gets only a 6 out of 10

    I like this cunt..he’s spot on

  15. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    Ed said:
    What’s “a good cunting”?

    It’s what it is…rantesque verbal abuse that’s the digital equivalent to a shoeing/leathering

  16. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadffs says

    RobDiablo said:
    I’m having difficulty understanding how a side that played faffing, hoofball shite for large portions of almost every match (and I agree that this was the case) could end up with every player (bar two) having above-average ratings for the season. Surely the faffing and hoofball were not entirely the fault of Young and Valencia.

    I do agree with your ’9′, ’8′, and most of the ’7′ selections, but you are being too generous to some of the others.

    my six is your five, six is for just being there, darren fletchers career is a six

  17. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    bman said:
    Do me a favour, it’s like all of these situations. If the player really wanted to stay playing for the club, they would just come out and say that very clearly and emphatically. Instead, it’s all ambiguous statements, he-said she-said gossip, and stories leaked to the press. I don’t deny that the club isn’t treating this like business, but there’s no way Rooney’s behavior can be interpreted as anything other than negotiating and maneuvering, maneuvering that undeniably carries the threat of leaving or else there’d be no point to it. So whether or not Rooney explicitly asked or threatened to leave, there can be no doubt that that wasn’t at least the subtext to his conversation with Fergie.

    Anyway I’d like Rooney to stay so long as he recommitted himself psychologically, but even in that event I could never feel very fondly about him. Essentially what happened here is that he decided that he was worth even more than the ridiculous amount of money he already earns to play football (even while his PR team cultivate the image of the lad who loves the game so much he’d play for free – BOLLOCKS) and also decided that he should be above competing for his place in the team, to the point of lumbering onto the pitch with burger grease staining his kit.

    You’re basing your entire argument on the claim that “Rooney asked for a transfer”… it’s slowly coming out that Rooney “DID NOT”, ask for a transfer… he just complained about his status and the way he was being used in the team… and if he hadn’t, you could make the claim he didn’t care… everyone is so quick to point out, he’s had a poor season… but the stats show different… he may not have had a stellar year, but then his season was fragmented by injuries, and he was often used as a utility player to accomodate others… and he was still one of our better players… it’s frustrating as fuck, to hear the same Ranters, who would find excuses for the likes of Cleverly, Anderson, Fletcher, Valencia… but are ready to crucify Rooney, for a mistake he made 2 years ago.

    Rooney is not the villain here… Ferguson had to indulge himself one last time before he fucked off…

  18. bman says

    My point is that we don’t have to take sides in a Rooney-said, Fergie-said debate. If Rooney was not trying to angle for a transfer or an improved deal, he could simply say clearly on TV or in an interview that he wants to stay at United and is committed to United. Instead all the stories that he wants to stay come through unnamed “intermediaries” to give him plausible deniability, so it won’t be blindingly obvious that he’s a lying shit when he turns around and signs for PSG or Chelsea with absurd wages.

    There’s no mystery here, Rooney’s just doing what we’ve seen countless other players do all the time, like Fellaini is doing now with Everton. When a player really doesn’t want to move he just says it, though that doesn’t happen that often these days. Whether or not Rooney submitted an “official” transfer request or asked explicitly for a transfer is a load of bollocks, a distracting debate over a meaningless detail. It’s obvious that there was an “or else…” to his conversation with Fergie, whether implied or explicit is not relevant.

  19. Bill says

    So many low marks and we still win the league by 11 points! That is what you call a winning culture….

  20. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    bman said:
    My point is that we don’t have to take sides in a Rooney-said, Fergie-said debate. If Rooney was not trying to angle for a transfer or an improved deal, he could simply say clearly on TV or in an interview that he wants to stay at United and is committed to United. Instead all the stories that he wants to stay come through unnamed “intermediaries” to give him plausible deniability, so it won’t be blindingly obvious that he’s a lying shit when he turns around and signs for PSG or Chelsea with absurd wages.
    There’s no mystery here, Rooney’s just doing what we’ve seen countless other players do all the time, like Fellaini is doing now with Everton. When a player really doesn’t want to move he just says it, though that doesn’t happen that often these days. Whether or not Rooney submitted an “official” transfer request or asked explicitly for a transfer is a load of bollocks, a distracting debate over a meaningless detail. It’s obvious that there was an “or else…” to his conversation with Fergie, whether implied or explicit is not relevant.

    See… there you go again… there is nothing obvious to suggest an “or else”… you’re just so pissed off at Rooney, that you’re willing to accept any scenario that paints Rooney as the villain… in fact… it seems more likely to me, that he went to Ferguson complaining about how he was being played, and Ferguson told him to do what he was told, or fuck off… so Rooney said fine you piss head, I’ve had enough of your whisky breath, and the next thing you know, Ferguson is saying Rooney asked for a transfer… Rooneys accepts he’s off, so doesn’t come out to say he wants to stay, but when asked, he says he never asked for a request, and fans like you think he’s telling lies.
    I don’t know what the truth is, but Ferguson has a lot more form when it comes to bullshitting the fans than Rooney does… so until I know for sure, I’m not willing to take Fergusons word about anything… if that cunt says it’s pasta, I’ll check under the sauce first.

    “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.”

  21. marlon says

    Only thing Rooney’s people denied was handing in a written ransfer request. Would seem that he asked for a transfer verbally at least (or they wouldn’t have made the distinction). Doesn’t really matter who is the villain at this point. Clearly their relationship was part of the problem. Up to Moyes to decide if he’s worth the trouble now – that’s if Rooney wants to stay.

    So team of the season would be
    DDG
    Raf Rio Evans Evra
    Clev Carrick
    Valencia Kagawa Giggs
    van Persie

    Might’ve put Vidic in there, tough to say who should miss out though. Cleverley and the three in front are pretty much there by default. Can’t believe that team won the league so easily.

  22. ForeverRed says

    Ed – overall a pretty fair assessment. We can disagree over +/- 1 or 2 here and there, but what strikes me on reflection is the number of our players in the peak 24-30 age range who under-performed this season, leaving us to be carried essentially by the veterans & youngsters. Why were so many players who should be at the peak of their abilities not performing close to them (e.g. Nani, Anderson, Valencia, Young, & to some degree Rooney)?

    Moyes will be concerned that this vital core age group of players is contributing in a such limited way, which added to the fact the likes of Rio, Carrick, Vidic, Van Persie, Evra, are all at or around 30 or more and thus cannot be expected to each play 40+ games next season. To me this is a challenge as big as the midfield problem.

  23. Bill says

    Rooney wants to have his cake and eat it. Moans when we need better players, we buy one and he moans hes not playing enough. Ship him out so he can take his poor attitude with him. He’s not worth 250k a week and that’s a fact. Kagawa, Hernandez and Welbeck will more than fill Rooneys void with more energy and half the hassle.

    Use the cash to buy Fabregas, Thiago, Modric or Strootman to add to Fellaini who will coming anyway. That’s the midfield sorted, keep Nani due to the dire form of our other wingers. Anderson, Macheda and Bebe can be shipped out. Sorted.

  24. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    De gea

    Rafa Evans jones evra

    Modric strootman fabregas

    Bale rvp Ronaldo

    Ffs..you dreaming cunts

    Ffs

  25. says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    See… there you go again… there is nothing obvious to suggest an “or else”… you’re just so pissed off at Rooney, that you’re willing to accept any scenario that paints Rooney as the villain… in fact… it seems more likely to me, that he went to Ferguson complaining about how he was being played, and Ferguson told him to do what he was told, or fuck off… so Rooney said fine you piss head, I’ve had enough of your whisky breath, and the next thing you know, Ferguson is saying Rooney asked for a transfer… Rooneys accepts he’s off, so doesn’t come out to say he wants to stay, but when asked, he says he never asked for a request, and fans like you think he’s telling lies.

    I don’t know what the truth is, but Ferguson has a lot more form when it comes to bullshitting the fans than Rooney does… so until I know for sure, I’m not willing to take Fergusons word about anything… if that cunt says it’s pasta, I’ll check under the sauce first.

    Plus its a known fact that he can be a right vindictive cunt.

  26. says

    captainhormone said:
    De gea

    Rafa Evans jones evra

    Modric strootman fabregas

    Bale rvp Ronaldo

    Ffs..you dreaming cunts

    Ffs

    Football Manager line ups god I fucking hate them!

  27. Denton Davey says

    Alfonso Bedoya @ 7:15 “he may not have had a stellar year, but then his season was fragmented by injuries, and he was often used as a utility player to accomodate others… and he was still one of our better players”

    No question, TheWayneBoy is a real talent and his “off-year” would be a career-year for almost all other players. BUT, Chicharito, KagawaBunga and DannyTheLad aren’t “almost all other players”; these guys are having their noses pushed-out-of-joint by constant tinkering with the team-sheet to accommodate TheWayneBoy who has lost the dynamism and burst-of-pace that characterized his game a few years ago.

    For me – as I’ve written before – Job#1 for Moyes is sorting out the Rooney situation and I can’t see any other solution than convincing the guy that his future lies in taking over TheScholesRole or else playing him as a left-sided, inside-forward in an “attacking diamond” with RVP on the right, Chicharito at the tip and KagawaBunga at the base. Of course, such a formation would be notional because these guys would interchange – just the way that Carlitos, CR7 and the younger Rooney did in the team that won the EPL/CL in 2008; the big difference being there’s no longer a need to bend over backwards for Cristiano’s ego.

    If Moyes can convince that TheWayneBoy that a change in his game will benefit him (and the team) then I can see another trophy-winning season ahead of us. IF NOT then it becomes a real challenge to see how the on-field team will do better without Rooney.

    And, just to get in ahead of him, Pikey McScum can go fuck himself !

  28. Pikey McScumPikey McScum says

    Commenter said:
    no longer a need to bend over backwards for Cristiano’s ego.

    Don’t you mean “CR7″?

    Commenter said:
    And, just to get in ahead of him, Pikey McScum can go fuck himself !

    If I could, do you think I’d be on here goading the likes of you!?
    Plus there’s a queue a mile long of others who think you’re a Class-A twat too

    “Sometimes you look in a field and you see a cow and you think it’s a better cow than the one you’ve got in your own field. It’s a fact. Right? And it never really works out that way.”

  29. bman says

    uncleknobheadffs said:
    got nothing against denton tbf

    hes wrong about rooney though

    but most on here are

    It’s true that Rooney at 75% is better than most players at 100%, but you also can’t let a star player continue to operate with less than full commitment, it’s devastating to team spirit and morale. You only have to look at what happened at City this season to see the effects of indulging prima donnas.

  30. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadffs says

    why would an uncommitted rooney who wants to leave be unhappy about being left out of big games

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