Stories about Manchester United

Força Chapecoense!

The Brazilian plane crash in Colombia yesterday has virtually left many in shock and tears. A sports fanatic myself, the news was terribly heart wrenching, considering an entire football team simply stopped existing, in a flash. The ill fated chartered carrier had 81 people on board, which included twenty two members of a Brazilian football club, Chapecoense Real. The team was supposed to play against the Medellin team Atlético Nacional in the first leg of the final of the Copa Sudamericana, the South American counterpart of Europe’s Europa League. The latest reports suggest that only six passengers survived the crash, including ...

Read Full Post

Is it time for Wayne Rooney to retire?

I have no qualms in admitting that there have only been two players ever that I have feared facing as an opponent going into a Liverpool match. One of them was the Welsh wizard, Gareth Bale from his Tottenham Hotspur days and the other is a certain Wayne Mark Rooney. Wayne Mark Rooney (left) and Gareth Bale (right) The golden boy of English football, he was a footballing force of nature during his peak. Rooney wasn’t just all pace or power like an archetypal English player, he also had the technique and flair of a Brazilian footballer ...

Read Full Post

What’s going wrong with José Mourinho’s United?

Manchester United – a team consisting of extra-ordinary individuals but performing below the ordinary level of expectations. After the disastrous derby day defeat, no one thought things with someone like José Mourinho at the helm could go this wrong. After the disastrous derby day defeat, no one thought things with someone like José Mourinho at the helm could go this wrong. Photo: AFP But bloody hell, (Fergie-style) we have been wronged. Mourinho got it horribly wrong in the first half of Manchester Derby. He really underestimated City, and above all, Pep Guardiola’s strength. Although United’s performance in the ...

Read Full Post

Wham bam, thanks but no thanks Sam!

Love him or loathe him, Sam Allardyce aka Big Sam is never far from the headlines. This after all is the same guy who bizarrely had designs on conquering the sport with his unique (read Neanderthal) style of football. “I’m not suited to Bolton or Blackburn, I would be more suited to Inter or Real Madrid. It wouldn’t be a problem to me to go and manage those clubs because I would win the double or the league every time. Give me Manchester United or Chelsea and I would do the same, it wouldn’t be a problem.” ...

Read Full Post

Will England’s revised bowling line-up be enough for a victory at Old Trafford?

As unbelievable and odd as it may sound initially, Pakistan have indeed beaten England at Lord’s, the Mecca of the cricketing world, and that too within the comfort of four days. Too many storylines were involved, too many controversies were fuelled by the English media and questions were asked, but Pakistan seemed to have the most fashionable of answers to everything. England vs Pakistan.Photo: AFP England were, naturally, displeased with the outcome of the much talked about encounter and were sour towards the post-match celebrations. Therefore, it can safely be assumed that England will be at their very ...

Read Full Post

The best and worst moments of Euro 2016

UEFA Euro 2016 signed off with numerous lasting memories. It is now time that we bid farewell to a tournament that brought a number of awe-inspiring moments and left the game with a healthy prospect. This year has been full of surprises in the world of football with underdogs breaking through the dominion of strong teams to claim prizes they previously never dared to dream of. Let’s look back at the tournament. Best moment: Of all the outfield players, Hal Robson-Kanu makes a Johan Cruyff turn During 55 minutes of flogging through a tied score-line against Belgium, Aaron Ramsey charges down the right flank, finds Robson-Kanu, who swiftly finds ...

Read Full Post

José Mourinho will be an instant success at Manchester United

José Mourinho, widely regarded as one of the best managers of the current era, is coming to the team he used to call “a giant club” – Manchester United. On May 27, 2016, Mourinho penned a three-year contract deal with an option to stay with the club until at least 2020.  Will Manchester United finally go back to its old form? It’s fascinating to see “The Special One” at The Theatre of Dreams. He has been there many times before, but now he comes there not to be on the opposite end, but on the touchlines to guide and lift the team to higher ...

Read Full Post

Did Louis Van Gaal’s failed philosophy cost him his job?

Almost two years ago, Louis van Gaal (LvG) was the centre of attention at the biggest football event on the planet – the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In the build-up to Netherlands crucial semi-final game against Argentina, BBC Sports justified Louis van Gaal being labelled as the tactical genius. No one would have thought that in two years’ time, the same man would be heavily criticised and eventually sacked for the very tactics that were once glorified. France’s 2-0 friendly win over the Netherlands in March prompted a tactical rethink by Van Gaal.Photo: Getty Images Van Gaal’s announcement as the new Manchester ...

Read Full Post

How I survived four and a half years in captivity

August 26, 2011, an ordinary day. I was driving to work on the same road in Lahore that I took every day, and my mind was busy with the mundane. A car blocked the road, but I didn’t give it much thought. Then five masked men put a gun to my head, pulled me out of the car and my world spun horribly out of control. Right now, I can’t tell all of the details of my capture or my release for security reasons. Someday I hope to be able to recount the full story. But I can say for ...

Read Full Post

Had Arsenal signed Karim Benzema, Gonzalo Higuain or Edinson Cavani they might have won

For an average Arsenal fan, this season is characterised by a number of vacillations. Cautious optimism in September followed by a false sense of superiority over other teams in January that was swiftly followed by a cruel realisation of another season of ‘what-ifs’ and regrets over what could have been but didn’t materialise in the month of April. It appears that the team doesn’t have the winning mentality, no real leaders in the squad, too many injuries at crucial stages, no adequate investment in the transfer window, a manager who is past his sell-by date, and the list goes on ...

Read Full Post