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Rant Cast – Summer Special Three: Michael Cox of Zonal Marking

July 18, 2017 Tags: Rant Cast 1 comment
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For the third of this summer’s Rant Cast specials, Paul gets Michael Cox of Zonal Marking on the line, to talk about his excellent new book The Mixer: The Story of Premier League Tactics, from Route One to False Nine. It was a really entertaining chat, highlighting just how much Manchester United, and Sir Alex Ferguson in particular, have dominated that particular story.

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Preview: summer tour 2017

July 15, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 2 comments
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By the time the Manchester United take to the field on Saturday night it will have been just 53 days since José Mourinho’s side beat Ajax to secure the Europa League. That victory earned the Reds a second major trophy of the season and a place in the Champions League. It turned a six out of 10 season into something better, relaxing some of the pressure on Mourinho to end four years of failure since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement. There is much more to do, of course, with Mourinho’s side finishing sixth in the Premier League last season. Improvement is certainly expected, with pre-season critical to ensuring United starts the new campaign on the front foot.

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Rooney leaves with a whimper, to be remembered as one of the best

July 10, 2017 Tags: Opinion 20 comments
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Gary Neville might have said it best: football is a cynical industry, and Manchester United is a cynical club. It’s something about the bravado and thirst for success. Past greats are celebrated, but the club moves on. Better players than Wayne Rooney have left Old Trafford; better loved players too. Gone, not forgotten, but with a focus shifted quickly. The king is dead; long live the king. Yet, history will also record the new Evertonian as one of the finest to have played for the club.

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Rant Cast – Summer Special Two: Adam McKola of Full Time Devils

July 10, 2017 Tags: Rant Cast 3 comments
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A couple of weeks ago, Paul sat down with Adam McKola of Full Time Devils to chat about his history with the club and his very specific job as the man who asks United fans what they think just after games. They talk the early days of United Rant, Beckham, Giggs and Andy Tate, accompanied by the sounds of Handsworth Park, where the interview was recorded.

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Captain Courageous: Reds need more than another Roy Race

July 7, 2017 Tags: , , , Opinion 3 comments
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A few years ago, The Blizzard’s Scott Murray had an interesting take on the influence Melchester Rovers’ Roy Race had on the English game. It was bluntly titled “How Roy Race Ruined English Football.” For the uninitiated, Roy Race is the protagonist of the comic Roy of the Rovers, a footballer who could always be relied upon to bail his team out of trouble with last gasp show stopping strikes.

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Pereira’s Predicament

July 4, 2017 Tags: Opinion 9 comments
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With Manchester United’s transfer activity stuck in limbo, somewhere between frustration and anticipation, José Mourinho may yet look towards his returning loanees to breathe some fresh life into his squad. Of the six United players who left the club on a temporary basis last season, it is likely that only one can force his way into Mourinho’s plans for the coming Premier League campaign: Andreas Pereira.

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Rant Cast – Summer Special One: Transfer Bonanza with Tom Coast

July 4, 2017 Tags: Rant Cast 3 comments
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We promised some stuff in your podcast feed during the summer, and never let it be said we do not deliver on our promises, except sometimes. Paul talks to Tom Coast of Sport Witness about the summer transfer rumours so far; what’s credible, what’s nonsense, and why Duncan Castles is reporting that Jose Mourinho is unhappy.

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Reds ready for return as pressure to deal mounts

July 2, 2017 Tags: , , Opinion 19 comments
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Picture the scene. Thursday, 17 December, 2015. Chelsea’s annual Christmas lunch at the club’s Cobham training ground has just concluded. The mood is downbeat. The Blues had lost 2-1 at Leicester City the previous Monday to record a ninth Premier League defeat of the season. José Mourinho’s low-key pre-lunch training session does little to lighten the atmosphere. The manager is sporting a newly shaven head and the stubble of a man too distracted to shave. As the players drift home, chairman Bruce Buck and director Eugene Tenenbaum arrived to sack Mourinho as Chelsea manager for the second time. A brutal assasination.

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United’s graveyard of potential

June 28, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 8 comments
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There are few things more exciting than watching a youngster showcase sky-high potential. Take Monaco’s latest prodigy, Kylian Mbappé, who injected fresh interest into the Champions League last season – a competition that has become stale in recent years given the domination of the continent’s biggest clubs, including Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Juventus. Young players bring unpredictability and excitement. Few outside France knew of the Frenchman’s talent before he burst onto the scene at the turn of the year. They know him now.

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Adieu Adnan

June 23, 2017 Tags: Opinion 9 comments
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“This is the end, beautiful friend, my only friend, the end” – The Doors.

It’s pretty safe to say that Adnan Januzaj’s United career can be filed in the ‘not quite good enough’ drawer. There’ll be a sense of bitterness, if there isn’t already, that a highly talented academy graduate will be moving on to pastures new, and perhaps a justifiable sense of anger that the Belgian didn’t kick on after his breakthrough season. Yet, perhaps the most appropriate feeling is one of sadness.

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