van Gaal gets busy erasing Moyes’ legacy

Louis van Gaal, Wayne Rooney

There has been no word on David Moyes’ fabled iPad bunker. You know the one – the Scot’s replica of Everton’s Finch Farm transfer headquarters: whiteboard lists of targets and touchscreen analytics married effortlessly to interactive profiles on players from Aberdeen to Zenit St Petersburg. It was, we were told, the modernisation of United’s archaic […]

Everything you wanted to know about pre-season

Louis van Gaal

Louis van Gaal’s 25-man Manchester United squad set flight for California on Friday ahead of a three-week pre-season tour of the United States – a regular summer fixture with so many stateside with sponsors to please. Games follow against LA Galaxy, AS Roma, Internazionale and Real Madrid before the Reds return home for the Premier […]

Pre-season starts here

Friends Arena

David Moyes’ Manchester United squad left the city on Wednesday bound for Bangkok, with fixtures to follow in Sydney, Yokohama, Osaka, Hong Kong and Stockholm before the new season begins. The planet’s great footballing temples. And as ever, with commercial imperatives forefront of mind, Moyes’ squad will travel more than 25,000 miles before the Community […]

Reasons to be cheerful

Though last season’s climax will linger odiously in the minds of Manchester United fans, the summer which has followed is one easily forgotten. On the pitch, the absence of key players, due to international commitments at both the European Championships and Olympics, has seen United’s depleted squad score just three goals in five games against […]

Curb your enthusiasm

Sir Alex Ferguson, Oslo

A full strength Manchester United drew against a poor Vålerenga IF on Sunday afternoon in sunny Oslo, in yet another dire performance on this year’s money laundering pre-season tour. Football romantics, and those of a nostalgic bent, will remember when a pre-season tour was actually a means of getting into shape before the coming season. […]

Reds (almost) re-United in pre-season action as speculation mounts

Nemanja Vidic

Manchester United’s Euro 2012 contingent finally returned to action on Sunday as the Reds drew with Norwegian side Vålerenga in Oslo. With just two weeks before the big Premier League kick off, Sir Alex Ferguson’s players were reunited as an almost complete squad for the first time this summer after injury and international commitments disrupted […]

Shang-hi and bye

Didier Drogba, Shanghai Shenhua

Manchester United arrived in China this week on the back of two underwhelming performances against Ajax Cape Town and AmaZulu in South Africa, but a rip-roaring success off the field where column inches were garnered, back-to-back commercial engagements fulfilled and fitness gained. Goodbye Africa, hello Asia as leg two of United’s world tour gets underway. […]

Football, at last

Moses Mabhida Stadium

‘At last,’ sang the late, great Etta James, ‘my lonely days are over.’ And while Manchester United supporters may not be pining for a love a long gone, the wait for the Reds to return this summer hardly sped by. Two months and five days of waiting, to be precise, since United lost the Premier […]

Pre-season: a bluffer’s guide

Moses Mabhida Durban Stadium

Six games, five countries, 22,000 miles – Manchester United’s summer tour 2012 will be another money-spinning, publicity-building, sojourn for the Glazer family; whether so much time spent travelling is the right preparation for the team is another question. In either case, Ferguson’s men set sail for Durban on Monday morning, with match sharpness, open training […]

Reds face up to early season disruption

London 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson could face a challenging start to the new season, with Euro 2012, injury, and the Olympics disrupting Manchester United’s preparations ahead of the Premier League’s start on 18 August. Seven United players will miss the Reds’ pre-season tour of South Africa, China and Norway after appearing in the Euro 2012 tournament this […]