Category Archives: Football

David Beckham’s UNICEF Match for Children

Went to the David Beckham UNICEF Match for Children at the weekend. As soon as I heard about the match I wanted tickets and put it in the diary when the tickets went on sale. As well as it being for a good cause, it was a great chance to see some great former players play and David Beckham back on the Old Trafford pitch and Fergie in the dugout.

Here are some of the photos I took:

The match was GB & Ireland v Rest of the World. Zidane was supposed to be captaining the Rest of the World team but did not because of what happened in Paris on Friday. Also, Petit didn’t come either. Completely understandable. (A few French players did play – Silvestre and Pires).

Before the match Andreas Bocell sang. I think he sang a couple songs – we arrived to hear him sing Nessun Dorma – incredible. Here is a video which I recorded of some of it.

Most of the Class of 92 played so that was good. Also, one of the favourite United players Solskjaer played but unfortunately he didn’t play for long – injury? There were quite a few United players actually – could have made a pretty good team – although not many defenders so a very attacking formation – like a Garth Crooks team of the week team!

Van Der Sar
Neville, Silvestre
Butt, Beckham, Giggs, Scholes
Owen, Yorke, Solskjaer

Subs: Van der Gouw, Fletcher, Smith

Maybe next year they can get Gary Neville to play. Rio Ferdinand was supposed to play but pulled out with injury and Andy Cole pulled out because of illness.

It was good to see some proper legends of the game such as Ronaldinho (just effortless for him) and Figo. Had actually seen Figo play in another charity match. Here is the official teamsheet:


Great to see some legends of the game. It was a good atmosphere at the game and several good moments.

Loads of fans kept shouting at Phil Neville to do his stepovers everything he got the ball, whenever Liverpool players, in particular Jamie Carragher got the ball they were booed (but he seemed to take it well I think and as banter).

Here is his tweet after the match as proof:

Here is a Vine of his reaction to being booed after his 1st touch:

It was a special moment when Brooklyn Beckham came on for his dad as a sub – and also when they were on the pitch at the end at the same time. Just wish Beckham (David) had scored. Here is the moment Brooklyn came on –

And here is a video of Brooklyn taking a corner, David heading the ball – but unfortunately went over bar.

Some of the players have still got it, some not so much. It was a bit unfair for the RoW team to be fair with the GB/Ireland team having players who still play football – John Terry, Darren Fletcher, Peter Crouch, Ashley Cole. Although some of them can’t get a game nowadays but still good players (and much fitter).

RonaldinhoRonaldinho still has the skill,  Beckham still can cross a ball – could do with crosses like his in the United team, Michael Owen came on as sub near the end for about 20 minutes or so and looked sharp, some good skill and scored couple goals. He is actually only 35 but injury took its toll. Although he is a former Liverpool player so I heard maybe few boos when he came on, he did of course play for United and even though he didn’t do that much with injury etc, he did score THAT goal against City.

When I watched the highlights in the evening, I managed to notice a lot more. I actually didn’t realise that Brooklyn Beckham was in the line up at the start so was not a surprise to some people when he came on. Also, it was good how Ronaldinho kept trying to lob the ball over David Seaman – like he did many years ago during a World Cup.

I also realised that David Beckham was directly/indirectly involved in all goals.

First goal: Cross to Scholes to score. It was actually a Class of 92 move. Butt passed to Neville, Neville passed to Beckham who crossed for Scholes to head in.

Second goal: Cross to Scholes who passed to Owen,

Third goal: Passed/cross to Cole who crossed ball into box.  Owen knocked it in after mistake by keeper.

One good moment which happened during the post match press conference was when a reporters phone started ringing in front of Beckham – so he answered the phone (but they hang up).

Here is the full post match press conference –

Manchester United – transfer crazy! Players leaving – including Kagawa and Welbeck :(

It goes without saying that United have been busy in the transfer window! During the summer, we have bought Herrara (£29m), Shaw (£27m),  Rojo (£16m), Di Maria (£59.7m), Blind (£13.8m) and Falcao on loan.

The right players bought??

One of the areas which United have needed player(s) for ages is central midfield. You could argue we have not really bought the right players. We have apparently been after Vidal all summer but there was some doubt because if his knee and if he was fully recovered. (The other day he aggravated his knee injury while on  International duty so maybe right decision made). There is rumour is that Van Gaal will try and buy Strootman in January.

Defence (or lack of?)

Also, with Rio, Vidic (and Evra) leaving this summer, we needed some defenders – this was especially clear after start of season with some awful defending. We should never have let Rio AND Vidic leave at the same time. For a start still good defenders but also lots of experience.

We now Shaw and now Rojo and Blind. I was hoping for a big strong central defender along the lines of a Vidic/Stam. Rojo and Blind are versatile players and can play in the central defence. It will be interesting to see what formation Van Gaal plays. I hope he changes now to a 4 at the back.

Players leaving

Plenty of players have left United this summer including some first team players – some very experienced ones. We knew we were losing Vidic for months (still annoyed Moyes let him leave and for nothing!). So we had time to find a replacement. We knew Giggs was retiring so thats more experience gone – but hes a coach now so not too bad. It was also likely that Evra and Rio were leaving – which they did. I was sad to see Evra leave but was prepared for it. Still a good player and great for the changing rooms. And he was always great in interviews – funny guy.

I wasn’t too bothered about Buttner leaving – he wasn’t good enough. However, annoyed about Welbeck and especially Kagawa leaving. Trouble is, with Falcao in squad, Welbeck would be 4th choice. However, Van Persie is getting on a bit and has injury issues it seems, who knows with Falcao (who missed the World Cup with injury) and at the moment Rooney is rubbish. Rooney were World Class on his day, the problem is it isn’t “his day” very often. Its made even more frustrating/annoying that he’s paid a ridiculous amount of money. I think Welbeck will do well at Arsenal (hoped he would have gone out on loan rather than sold). He will be the main striker and will get lots of good service from likes of Ramsey and Cazorla. With his pace he will trouble many teams. His scoring record from starts is pretty good and this is often playing out of position.

Bye Kagawa 🙁

I am more annoying Kagawa left. Top player, but it never really worked out for him. His 1st season with us was not too bad but he suffered with injury but also was not given the chance in the team – either by Moyes or Van Gaal. I would have loved him being in the United team and given the chance especially now we have players like Di Maria and Falcao. To make me more angry, we sold him for only £6.3m?!? We sold Buttner for £4.4m!! We somehow got £2.2m for Bebe who was rubbish and hardly played. Grrr!!!

(Good luck Shinji!)

Lawrence left too. I hoped he would go out on loan, get experience and then come back. He was sold for £1m I think. Would prefer good players from youth team stayed at United. I hope United still give youth a chance – they have said they will be. It wouldn’t be right if United turns into Chelsea and with no English players – no good for the England team – which is already in enough trouble. Recently, young (ish) players like Micah Richards have left to play for foreign teams. He was once the best right back in the country. But then he basically couldn’t get into his club team.

Going out on loan

Nani  left United but on loan. Nani is such a frustrating player. So much potential. If he does well in Sporting Lisbon, maybe he’ll come back. But maybe we won’t need/want him back! Zaha left too. A bit like Nani as a frustrating player with lots of skills. Just never happened. He didn’t play that often and rumour that his attitude was his problem.

Chicharito left on loan to Real Madrid. He could do really well with great service from likes to Ronaldo, Bale and Rodriguez. I like Chicharito but his form had been poor for United for ages. His 1st season for United was great and he was so happy to sign for United.

So many loans in the Premier League this  transfer window!  Is it in someway to comply with Financial Fair Play?

Ronaldo coming back in United (in the future)???

ronaldoIn an interview recently, Ronaldo said how much he loves United still and how he would like to play for them in the future. Some quotes

“I love Manchester [United]”

“Everyone knows that. I have said it many times.”

“Manchester is in my heart. I left many good friends there, the supporters are amazing and I wish I can come back one day.”

“I am happy in Real Madrid and have four more years [on my contract], but in the future you never know because they treated me unbelievably there. I really did love being at Manchester United.”

My Vine videos used on news web sites

I have started using Vine more recently – but only really to film some football related clips. Over the last few weeks, a couple of my videos have been embedded on some news sites.

First, a Vine video I took showing Joey Barton lifting owner Tony Fernandes on his shoulder and almost dropping him was on the Metro newspaper web site. This video at the time of writing has 72 tweets and 47 shares on Facebook. A couple likes and “re-vines”.

Then more recently, a Vine video I took showing a cameraman (or woman) during a World Cup match zooming on very quickly to a good looking woman. Anyway, to distract from the boring match.

I found out that was on the Zoo Magazine web site from someone I follow on Twitter. That video has been much more popular. 7,649 tweets and 150 shares on Facebook so far.

vine-worldcupfan-zoomagazine vine-barton-fernandes-metro

Losing patience in Moyes. Actually, I may have lost patience now

Now you may say its easy to blame a manager when the results (and performances) are poor and that its the players on the pitch who are not playing up to standard. However, the manager does ultimately take most of the responsibility and something isn’t right when pretty much all the players are playing rubbish.

Is it the tactics? Do they not have faith and believe in Moyes and don’t want to “fight” for him??

It all starts so well…

This season starts well – the pre-season was pretty decent (I think so anyway). Then we convincing beat Swansea 4-1. Swansea were a really good team last season so 4-0 was a good result – although looking at how they are doing now, maybe it wasn’t so good.

The Fulham game

The problems with United and Moyes are adding up. Just in the last game against Fulham – who are bottom of the league, not won previous 5 games, scored only one goal, lost 17 out of previous 24 matches and lost of Sheffield United (who are in League 1 and struggling in relegation zone). The game ended 2-2 with us conceding a very late goal. I thought we had somehow got away with a 2-1 result but once again the defence fell apart.

It means in the last 4 league games, we have got 4 points. Only 3 teams currently in the relegation zone have taken fewer – and 2 of those games were against teams in the relegation zone!

Get the ball wide, cross the ball. Repeat 81 times

I am sure you have all heard the stats about the number of crosses United put in. If not, its was 81 with only 18 finding a United player. Moyes somehow tried to convince us we didn’t just cross – but then said it was in United’s genes to get the ball wide etc. So he’s admitting we did cross a lot?

He is right about this with United previously having the likes of Kanchelskis, Ronaldo, Giggs and Beckham. However, they were not just aimless balls into the box. And if crossing was not working, something else should be tried. Fulham manager, Rene Meulensteen said the tactics were very simple from United. Just get the ball into box from wide angle – and that was easy to defend. Especially with a 6ft 7in defender. In fact, this defence (Dan Burn) has commented that he’s not headed the ball so much since playing in the Conference league. So we are now being compared to the Conference league team!?

Record breaker/broken record

Moyes, after the game, said he had no idea how they didn’t win. Thats not encouraging! He has become a broken record saying the same things over and over again. He’s also a record breaker but not records you want to break. They include:

  • 1st Home Loss to West Brom since 1978
  • 1st Home Loss to Newcastle since 1972
  • 1st Home Loss to Everton since 1991
  • 3 Defeats in Row for 1st time since 2001

One of the things Moyes has said a few times (including in the programme notes for Fulham game was about injuries – specifically to Van Persie and Rooney.  Actually Rooney and RVP have made 34 league appearances between them. Suarez and Sturridge has only 3 more.

Know your position

Now of course its not helped having injuries and in other game when we lost our central defenders, that was particular unlucky. However, he insists on playing players out of their position. Why keep moving Rooney into midfield. Valencia keeps playing in right back. (Also I have an issue with Valencia and Young always seeming to play but Kagawa and in particular Januzaj (one of the few positives this season) not starting?!

I suppose we should have known what to expect with excuses when at the start of the season he moaned about the fixtures and hinted at some controversy.

Some people are saying the United should be patient. He’s won something like 18 of his first 30 games when Fergie won 12. However, Fergie didn’t have the likes of RVP, Rooney , Mata and Januzaj – not that I know of (I could be wrong of course).

Maybe he’s out of his depth. We all know he won nothing when at Everton. Fergie had already won trophies before he came to United.

Time for a change

The United team/squad is “aging” and it looks like several players could leave/retire in the summer. Thats not helped Moyes but these players won the league last season. Some people have said that United only won as other teams were poor (I said this too) but apparently City are only 1 point more at this point of the season, last season (United have 21 points less). There is a fair chance that the “first choice” back 4 for United could be leaving in the summer. We know Vidic is leaving, Rio probably and looks like Evra will be. There is a chance Rafael will go too. (You could argue they are not “first choice” now and after the Fulham game, may it is time??).

Our next league game is on Wednesday against Arsenal – who until recently have been very good. However, they lost badly to Liverpool at the weekend and certain players are out of form –  like Ozil. Plus they missing key players like Walcott and in particular Ramsey. I am not holding out much hope that United will get anything from the game. We need to win every game now till end of season for a chance to get 4th – and its only a small chance. Not only is it 9 points but Liverpool are playing really well. (Plus we would have to also overtake Everton and Spurs).