One nil to United

Javier Hernandez, Michael Carrick, Park Ji-Sung, Ryan Giggs

There have been times in Sir Alex Ferguson’s management of Manchester United over the past 25 years that the Scot’s side has been forced ‘back to basics’; when the necessity to grind out results overcomes the need to entertain. Think back to United’s campaign in 1996, for example, when Ferguson’s side chased down Newcastle United […]

Fergie lauds teen Pogba as Reds future but what of the present?

Paul Pogba, Manchester United

Manchester United’s failure to land a central midfielder this summer is with scepticism in many quarters, with the club’s inability to meet the wage demands of Wesley Sneijder and Samir Nasri pointing many critics towards a charge of Glazernomics. Yet, while United’s poor record the road last season was almost entirely down to a paucity of options in […]

Poll: Is United ‘net better’ than last season?

Wesley Sneijder, Internazionale

Sir Alex Ferguson claims that Manchester United’s business in the transfer market is concluded for another summer. Having overseen a busy transfer window, Ferguson insists that United will now focus on youth, with bids for Arsenal’s Samir Nasri and Internazionale midfielder Wesley Sneijder shelved. Indeed, the 69-year-old Scot says that United’s central midfield future lies […]

Fergie calls time on spending

Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson claims that Manchester United is unlikely to spend again this close season but it is the 69-year-old manager’s assertion that this summer’s retirements have financed the club’s spending that will raise eyebrows. While United’s Cristiano Ronaldo-sized cash pile has finally enabled Ferguson to loosen a vice-like grip on the Glazers’ cheque book, […]

Carrick’s midfield mission impossible

With Manchester United’s bid for Wesley Sneijder seemingly run aground on the financial rocks Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted this week that the Reds may not bring in a direct replacement for Paul Scholes. With United’s sights aimed high, Ferguson told press gathered on the club’s US tour that only the very best will do […]

No Sanchez, Modric, Sneijder, Nasri … nor any surprises

Alexis Sanchez

So the brilliant Alexis Sanchez is off to Barcelona, with the Catalan giants paying the best part of €30 million for the 22-year-old Chillean winger. Little surprise there, with most observers rating Sanchez as a player with genuine pretensions to join a very elite group of players at the top of the world game. Diminutive, […]

Wingless Ferguson

Antonio Valencia, Nani

Sir Alex Ferguson is on record stating that he has never used a traditional 4-4-2. It is true, however, that systems he has used over the years, including 4-2-3-1, are cousins of the orthodox 4-4-2. It is not true though that Ferguson is tactically inflexible; he has used variants of 4-3-3 and even three-at-the-back systems […]

A “Harg” one to take

Owen Hargreaves, Manchester United

After Manchester United compounded a bad week with a 3-1 defeat to arch-rivals Liverpool on Sunday afternoon those associated with the Old Trafford club are again forced to dissect another poor away performance and fathom where it is going wrong. Defeats to Wolverhampton Wanders, Chelsea and now Liverpool in the past month threaten United’s position. Supporters will […]

After defeat, what next?

Michael Carrick

The matches against Crawley Town and Marseille were unbearable for most Manchester United fans. Old Trafford, famous for fans loudly urging the team to attack, has become a boring place of late – a sad thought for anyone who has witnessed classic matches at the stadium. Despite United scoring more goals than any other side […]

C’est le milieu de terrain, stupide

Gabriel Obertan

When Rant mused last October that Sir Alex Ferguson had been negligent in his efforts to improve Manchester United’s midfield, the article drew a varied and passionate response. Four months on and little has changed, with United investing nothing during the winter transfer window and injuries starting to bite on Ferguson’s midfield options. Indeed, United […]