Preston v United: Reds seek style and substance

Preston North End v Manchester United, Deepdale, FA Cup, 16 February 2015

It is far from the narrative that Louis van Gaal seeks: criticism from supporters, pundits and ex-Manchester United players about his team’s style as well as its substance. After all, the Dutchman has guided United to just one defeat in the past 18 matches – a record that, had it not included eight draws, might […]

United v Cambridge: Mata demands respect

Manchester United v Cambridge United, Old Trafford, FA Cup, 3 February 2015

Cambridge United supporters have taken up more than 6,600 tickets for Tuesday night’s FA Cup fourth round replay at Old Trafford on Tuesday. Indeed, Us supporters might have made a more significant proportion of Old Trafford’s crowd on the night had it not been for the Glazer family’s universally hated ‘automatic cup ticket scheme’. The […]

Van Gaal retreats into philosophic accommodation

Cambridge United v Manchester United

It is the word that has become most synonymous with Louis van Gaal’s first six months at Manchester United: the “philosophy.” It is at one the Dutchman’s favoured “play style” and a system of coaching belief; his principles and a fundamental axiom. The philosophy has carried Van Gaal through two decades at the sharp end of […]

Cambridge v United: Friday night lights

Cambridge United v Manchester United, FA Cup, Abbey Stadium

Supporters waited years for an FA Cup draw against a lower league club and then two come along all at once. After dispatching Yeovil Town in the third round, with a little difficulty it has to be said, Louis van Gaal’s side faces League Two outfit Cambridge United under the Friday night lights in East […]

Yeovil v United: Van Gaal plans for all or nothing

Yeovil Town v Manchester United, FA Cup, Huish Park, 15.30 4 January 2015

It is more than a decade since Manchester United last lifted the FA Cup; a record unbecoming of the 11 times winners. Yet, in a season when Louis van Gaal’s side can realistically win nothing bar the world’s oldest football tournament, the FA Cup may well become a saviour. Indeed, for the first time since […]

Preview: United v Swansea City

Manchester United v Swansea City

It has been a decade in the waiting, but the FA Cup might just be important to Manchester United once again – for the season at least. The club last secured the famous old trophy on 22 May 2004 when Sir Alex Ferguson’s side beat Millwall at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. In the intervening […]

Preview: Chelsea v United

Wayne Rooney v Chelsea

Just 48 hours on from a laboured victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side hits the road once again on Monday. The Scot flew his Manchester United team home from the north east at the weekend, seeking any possible advantage ahead of United’s FA Cup quarter-final replay with Chelsea on […]

Preview: United v Chelsea

Manchester United v Chelsea - FA Cup, Old Trafford - 4.30pm 10 March 2013

Another game, another cup to chase, just five days after Manchester United’s devastating loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League last Tuesday. Chelsea, stumbling from one crisis to another, will hope that it is it a good time to face United; Sir Alex Ferguson has demanded that his team responds to the heaviest set-back […]

Preview: United v Reading

Manchester United v Reading - FA Cup, Old Trafford - 8pm, 18 February 2013

There was a moment during the chaos of Manchester United’s Premier League fixture with Reading in December that a 4-3 scoreline looked not only unlikely, but preposterous. The two sides would surely score far more than that. Yet, amid two of the worst defensive performances of the current se ason, the sides conspired to see […]

Ferguson trusts in squad as fans dare to dream

“Success is the result of what sociologists like to call ‘accumulative advantage’,” argued Malcolm Gladwell in the peerless Outliers. “Those who are successful are most likely to be given the kinds of opportunities that lead to further success.” It is a viewpoint with which Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson might agree. After 26 years […]