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Kidd joins City cashwagon

September 7, 2009 Tags: , Shorts No comments

Brian Kidd, the former Manchester United player and assistant manager, has joined the oil-fuelled revolution at Manchester City as technical development manager for the club’s academy. Kidd will act as both coach and mentor in the club’s academy, returning to the game after a brief spell as Portsmouth’s assistant manager under Tony Adams and Paul Hart last season.

Kidd played more than 200 league games in an 11-year playing career at Old Trafford, scoring in the 1968 European Cup final as a teenager. He later had three seasons as a player across town at City, before spending a decade in coaching roles under Sir Alex Ferguson, eventually becoming the manager’s assistant.

But Ferguson voiced his doubts about Kidd’s ability to succeed him at Old Trafford in the book Managing My Life. Kidd responded by damning the book as a fantasy. The row, which erupted in 1999 when Kidd was manager of the soon-to-be relegated Blackburn Rovers, ruined a successful relationship between the two men.

Later Kidd took on coaching roles at Leeds United, where he suffered significant abuse from the club’s fans, England, Sheffield United and Portsmouth.

Ways to follow Rant

September 7, 2009 Tags: Opinion No comments

If you’re new to United Rant, here’s the lowdown. The website is a Manchester United fanzine, offering daily news, opinion and analysis on Manchester United. Rant was born in early 2004 , during the difficult times of the 2004-5 season. We once called for the manager’s head. Not for the first time, Sir Alex Ferguson proved the doubters wrong. Today, Rant continues to promise honest commentary on Manchester United in good times and bad.

Enjoy the site, comment on the articles and if you’d like to join the Rant and write for this website, get in touch!

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Rooney accused over ‘dive’

September 7, 2009 Tags: Shorts No comments

Wayne Rooney has become embroiled in the latest ‘dive’ controversy, after being accused by Slovenian’s players of taking a tumble in the weekend’s international friendly at Wembley. The Manchester United forward was fouled in the 31st minute during England’s 2-1 win – a penalty which Frank Lampard converted.

“Rooney is a good player, but I did not expect this from a player with his quality,” claimed Samir Hamidovic, the Slovenian goalkeeper. “It was wrong for him to appeal for the penalty. It was not fair play, but this is football. It was a foul for us. In this situation the referee did not do well. He gave it because England is a bigger national team than Slovenia.

“Cesar will not play on Wednesday now and will be out for ten to 15 days. He is very important for us, but it makes us angry about the penalty, not the injury.”

Midfielder Nejc Pecnik, joined in the criticism. “It didn’t look like a penalty to me, but we must accept it. Rooney went down far too easily and because he is a big name it made it easier for the referee to make a decision.”

“Lots of people dive in football, that’s sport, and if the referee whistles, it’s a penalty. Maybe he fell, but I don’t know. When Rooney went down he kicked Cesar and he’s twisted his ankle. We were very unlucky – our player was injured and somehow England got a penalty.”

There is a fresh focus on ‘simulation’ after the Arsenal striker Eduardo threw himself to the ground to win a penalty against Celtic in a Champions League qualifier. The Croatian was subsequently banned by UEFA for two Champions League games.

The penalty won by Rooney is certainly debatable. Although the Slovenian defender clearly has a handful of the striker’s shirt, the United player also appears to take out his opponent with his left foot as he falls to the ground. Penalty? No. Dive? Certainly not.

Fergie: Rooney must play centrally

September 6, 2009 Tags: Shorts No comments

Sir Alex Ferguson is not prone to stating the obvious but said today what many already know: Wayne Rooney must play in a central position. However, instead of recognising that his tactics often marginalised the young Scouser last season, Ferguson has blamed Rooney for drifting out of position!

“The boy’s got a real hunger and drive about him. He has so much energy that sometimes he overdoes it in the sense that he wants to use it all; he’ll drop into midfield or he’ll go outside left,” Ferguson told Inside United magazine.

“But he’s young, and young players tend to sometimes be that way – they want to spend all their energy on the pitch.

“But if he concentrates like he did at Wigan and spends more time in the central areas rather than the wide positions then he will get goals. There’s no doubt about that.”

Ferguson spent much of last season arguing Rooney is more dangerous coming into central areas from the left. Many, not least Rooney, will be grateful that Sir Alex has seen the light.

International round-up

September 6, 2009 Tags: Opinion 10 comments

Manchester United have 16 senior players plus several juniors out on international duty this week, leaving Sir Alex Ferguson with time to attend the Elite Coaches forum in Nyon, Switzerland and the old guard holding the fort at Carrington. While Messrs. Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes have time to take it easy this week, then most of United’s squad is off fighting for World Cup spots.

Ben Foster, Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Wes Brown are with the England squad this week. Firstly for Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Slovenia and then for the Group 6 World Cup tie at home to Croatia on Wednesday. While Foster sat on the bench, Ferdinand will not play with a thigh injury and Brown not picked. Carrick meanwhile had a half against the Slovenian’s in the centre of midfield, while Rooney was at the heart of the action for 80 minutes.

Typically Rooney was at the heart of both the action and headlines after being felled for a controversial 31st minute penalty. Running into the box, Rooney tussled for a loose ball only to go down under a shirt pull. The Slovenian’s cried ‘dive’. It wasn’t but the penalty was certainly soft.

In Scotland Darren Fletcher captained George Burley’s team to a 2-0 victory over Macedonia at Hampden Park in European Group 9. The win keeps Scotland’s World Cup hopes alive until they are soundly beaten by the Dutch on Wednesday and dumped out of the competition. Rest easy next summer, Darren.

Meanwhile, John O’Shea played for the Republic of Ireland in the nation’s fortunate 2-1 victory over minnows Cyprus in European Group 8. The late Robbie Keane winner in Nicosia saved the Republic’s blushes and keeps open the country’s hopes for a spot in South Africa next year. Ireland sit second in the table behind Italy but several points clear of Bulgaria, who are in third place. The green army is likely to finish second and be forced to qualify via a playoff after Wednesday’s qualifier in Turin. Darron Gibson was an unused substitute.

In the same group Dimitar Berbatov scored from the spot in Bulgaria’s 4-1 win over Montenegro. The United striker scored Bulgaria’s third in the win, although his team are five points behind Ireland in the chase for second spot.

In Group 3 Jonny Evans delayed an ankle operation to play at the heart of Northern Ireland’s central defence in their 1-1 draw away to Poland. It was a huge result for the Northern Irish who still hold hopes of securing second place in the group and therefore a play-off spot. The Irish next face group leaders Slovakia followed by a crucial away fixture in the Czech Republic.

Portugal’s increasingly forlorn hope of qualifying for the World Cup took another blow as they drew with Group 1 leaders Denmark. Nani came on as a second half substitute in the 1-1 draw in Copenhagen in which Cristiano Ronaldo also played. Carlos Queiroz’ fate is likely to be sealed with two matches against second placed Hungary on Wednesday and then in October.

Elsewhere Patrice Evra played for France in their 1-1 draw with Romania. France, who are second behind Nemanja Vidic’s Serbia in Group 7, could still qualify automatically but face a crucial match against Serbia on Wednesday in Belgrade. Zoran Tosic also features in the Serbian squad.

Finally in Europe Ritchie de Laet made Belgium’s squad but mercifully didn’t figure in the country’s 5-0 defeat to Spain. Belgium have no chance of qualifying.

Outisde of Europe Park Ji-Sung set up South Korea’s final goal in their 3-1 win over Australia. Both Korea and the Australians have already qualified for the finals next year.

Luis Valencia wasn’t so lucky as his Ecuador side lost 2-0 against fith placed Colombia in Medellin. Ecuador still have a chance of qualifying however, as fourth placed Argentina are only two points ahead.

Anderson didn’t make the Brazil squad, as the World Cup favourites beat Argentian 3-1 on their own turf in Rosario.

Outside of the of the seniors United sent 11 juniors to under-21, under-19 and under-17 squads this week. Man United youth report far better than we can:

England U21 – Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley
Italy U21 – Federico Macheda
Northern Ireland U21 – Craig Cathcart
Scotland U21 – David Gray
Serbia U21 – Adem Ljajić
England U19 – Reece Brown, Cameron Stewart, Matt James
Ireland U19 – Robbie Brady
Ireland U17 – Sean McGinty

Farewell Dwight Yorke

September 6, 2009 Tags: Opinion No comments

Dwight Yorke, the former Manchester United forward whose goals led the club to 1999 treble glory, has retired from football at the age of 37 and intends to become a coach. He is to take up the post of assistant manager of the Trinidad and Tobago national team as a first step into coaching. Yorke’s contract with Sunderland – his final club – was not renewed at the end of last season.

“It’s time to hang up my boots,” said the striker who scored 64 goals in 151 appearances for United.

“While I’m still in great shape, I’m not getting any younger. I’ve had the time of my life. I hope people will say that I played the game in the right way with a smile on my face.

“I’ve been blessed really. I’ve played alongside some of the greatest players the Premier League has ever seen in Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Peter Schmeichel, and played for the greatest manager in Alex Ferguson.”

Yorke eventually fell out with Sir Alex Ferguson over the player’s excessive lifestyle, but the player contributed fully to one of the most successful periods in United’s history between 1998 and 2002. In the player’s first three seasons the club won an unprecedented three Premier League trophies in a row and the 1999 European Cup.

It was Yorke’s partnership with Andy Cole that the Trinidad and Tobago international will be best remembered for. Yorke finished top scorer in the 1999 season and the combination proved devastating. Famously the pair one-two’ed its way through the Barcelona defence on way to United’s 3-3 draw in the Noup Camp.

It was a great return for Yorke, the man from the tiny island, who arrived at Old Trafford after nearly 10 years at Aston Villa. Despite leaving the club for United in a contentious £12.6 million deal – and later playing for Birmingham City – Yorke is still held in high esteem at Villa Park as one of their greatest ever players. So he should be. Yorke has always been the player with a smile on his face. Talented but also very much a man of the people.

Yorke’s off-the-field activities and the arrival of Ruud van Nistelrooy put paid to his United career after four seasons. The forward’s relationship with ‘model’ Jordan, with whom he had a son, was played out in the public through the tabloids – a scenario that Ferguson is never happy with.

The player was eventually sold for £2 million to Blackburn in the summer of 2002 but it was a sad end to a wonderful, if short, United career. He played out his days with Blackburn, Birmingham, Sydney FC and then Sunderland – reinventing himself as a deep lying midfielder late in his career.

But for such patriotic man it is perhaps the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany that was Yorke’s proudest moment. He captained the tiny Trinidad and Tobago to thier first tournament.

“I’ll always count myself lucky,” said Yorke.

“I was a boy on a beach from a little Caribbean island that got the chance to fulfil his dream of winning trophies at the highest level and captaining his country in their first ever World Cup Finals.”

Le Larve report United to FIFA

September 5, 2009 Tags: , Shorts No comments

French Ligue 1 outfit Le Harve have reported Manchester United to FIFA in the case of French under-16 captain Paul Pogba, who signed for reds earlier this summer. In a case with echoes of the one that Chelsea lost against Lens earlier last week, Le Harve will claim that Pogba had a contract with the French club and that United induced the player to break the agreement.

“The player had a no-hire agreement, and so had to sign his first contract in France,” Louvel told radio station France Info.

“But he didn’t sign it because Manchester United contacted the parents and made astronomical and excessive financial propositions for a 15-year-old boy.

“We have submitted the case to Fifa. The letter to leave has not been agreed by the French Federation, so today Fifa has been referred.

“I hope we will get the same result [as in the Chelsea case], which could justify to those clubs they can’t do anything and they have rules to respect.”

Le Harve’s argument centres on the pre-contract agreement that the player is said to have signed, which states that his first professional contract will be with the French club. Gaël Kakuta also had a similar agreement with Lens, which is widely regarded as legally unenforceable in English law.

FIFA it seems has a different view.

Nonsense Rio to Spain rumours

September 5, 2009 Tags: Shorts No comments

Tabloid rumour mill The Sun today reports that Rio Ferdinand is set to quit Manchester United for the warmer pastures of Real Madrid or Barcelona next summer. The typically weak ‘exclusive’, which carries unattributed quotes from ‘a source’, says that Ferdinand is seeking to boost his business profile as he enters his 30s.

MANCHESTER UNITED are heading for a Ronaldo-style battle to hang on to Rio Ferdinand. The England defender is a target for Barcelona and Real Madrid – and knows a move to Spain will boost his growing business career.

Ferdinand is under contract until 2013 but United could be tempted to cash in on a player who is 30 and who has suffered from recent injury problems. A move to Spain would give brand Rio the kind of platform both David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo have exploited at Madrid.

A source revealed: “Rio can see the sense of it. Not only would it be a fresh challenge as he nears the end of his career, it would also fit all his projects off the pitch.

“Rio has big business plans, which are already taking shape, and would really take off if he moved to one of the big Spanish clubs.”

The laughably inaccurate story, which is based on little more that quotes from a presumably Spanish-based agent, is typical of the negotiation-by-media tactics used by Real Madrid in the past.

Rio Ferdinand is under contract at United until 2013 and is one of the highest paid players at Old Trafford. He has repeatedly stated that he wants to end his career at United.

Rant Cast 4 – Chelsea’s transfer ban

September 4, 2009 Tags: Rant Cast No comments

In episode four of Rant Cast regulars Ed & Paul talk about:

  • Chelsea’s transfer ban
  • United 2 – 1 Arsenal
  • The international break
  • Fergie being offered the Scotland job
  • Spurs away

Stream the episode below or click here to download the podcast (right click > save as).

Email all feedback to cast@unitedrant.co.uk.

Subscribe on iTunes now.

Fergie: ban diving cheats

September 4, 2009 Tags: , Shorts No comments

Sir Alex Ferguson has backed UEFA’s decision to ban Arsenal’s cheat Eduardo for diving and says that the punishment will send out a message to the football community. Arsenal’s Croatian striker ‘simulated’ a foul to win a penalty against Celtic in the Champions League qualifier, second leg. UEFA has now banned the player for two European ties, meaning Eduardo will miss Arsenal’s opening Champions League group matches.

It was followed by an outrageous Emmanuel Eboué dive that earned the Ivorian defender a yellow card at Old Trafford on Saturday.

“Quite rightly something should be done. You hope that message gets across,” said Ferguson, who is attending the UEFA Elite Club Coaches Forum in Nyon, Switzerland during the international break.

“Not one coach is proud of the fact that they have players who simulate to get decisions. Coaches can’t be proud if they have won the game that way. I certainly wouldn’t be,” the Scot added.

“We all agreed that education is the best way forward, from youth teams through to first team players. We all have a responsibility, particularly the players of today, on how it impacts on young people.”

But Ferguson backed Arsène Wenger’s refusal to condemn Eduardo’s blatant cheating.

“I wouldn’t say it publicly but I wouldn’t be pleased if it was my player who did that,” the United manager added in Wenger’s defence.

“When you make a public criticism of your players you are in danger of losing the morale of the dressing room. Your job is to protect the dressing room and keep it solid. You become insular and protective of your own players in your team. We’re all selfish that way.”