23
Jul

New blood: Shaw, Herrera open up about Manchester United’s plans

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Luke Shaw (L) and Ander Herrera (C) will hope to play key roles in Louis van Gaal’s plans at Manchester United this season (Photo: Getty Images).

Manchester United’s year of redemption begins on Wednesday night as they kick off their preseason against the Los Angeles Galaxy at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena (live, FOX Sports 1, 10:30 p.m. ET).

After the disastrous 2013-14 campaign, wherein the then-defending champions slumped to seventh place in the Barclays Premier League, veteran manager Louis van Gaal has replaced David Moyes and will endeavor to bring the Red Devils back to the top.

Ahead of the match, FOX Soccer caught up with United’s two big summer signings, midfielder Ander Herrera and defender Luke Shaw, in the first one-on-one interviews with each player since their transfers.

First up is Ander Herrera, who came over from Athletic Bilbao:

Leander Schaerlaeckens: Ander, what made you want to join Manchester United?

Ander Herrera: “I am in Manchester United because this is maybe the biggest club in the world. Because Man United have given me the possibility to play at the highest level. I am looking forward to playing here because Louis van Gaal is one of the best coaches in the world.”

LS: Have you spoken to van Gaal? What is he expecting from you?

Ander Herrera: “I think that Louis van Gaal wants that all the midfielders to always want to keep the ball, keep possession, to be an offensive team, always want the ball, never… One moment, I am going to search in Internet! [Pause.] One moment… [Pause.] Hide! Never hide from the ball! Always attack, because he thinks Man United supporters want always to win and be an offensive team.”

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The Red Devils attempted to sign Ander Herrera last summer but failed to complete the deal, with reports suggesting the transfer had been interfered with by pranksters pretending to act United’s behalf (Photo: Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images).

LS: Does he see you more as an attacking midfielder? Or more of a box-to-box guy?

Ander Herrera: “My qualities, my style is offensive. But I think that I can defend as well. I think that if we want to win, to achieve our objectives, we have to defend with all the team, all the players.”

LS: What is the most important thing United have to do this year to compete for the Premier League?

Ander Herrera: “We have to run like a humble team and be compact and work hard to be a good, professional team. I think Man United has a lot of qualities. If you defend hard, after you will be able to play like a big team.”

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21
Jul

Open champ and Man United fan Rory McIlroy booed by Liverpool locals

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Rory McIlroy dominated the Open Championship this past weekend, leading from start to finish en route to his third major golf championship of his career. But the 25-year-old did make one grave error: He took a moment during his acceptance speech to mention his allegiance to football club Manchester United.

The problem? The Open was held at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake. Whoops!

Needless to say, the Merseyside locals were none too pleased:

That’s a one-stroke penalty, Roy!

22
May

Bebe continues to score ridiculous goals in Portugal

The Manchester United man out on loan has done it again.

Bebe has made a habit of scoring spectacular goals for Paços de Ferreira this season, and this one is no exception. That sound you hear is desperate Manchester United fans crying out to Louis van Gaal to recall the striker for next season.

Even the opposing goalkeeper just froze and watched. What else was there to do? He was better off just gazing at the magical kick.

Perhaps the Dutchman may want to consider bringing the Portuguese man back to Old Trafford this summer — only he can save United from their doom and gloom. Maybe. (Probably not.)

11
May

Man United fans troll Liverpool on final day of season

imageImage: Reuters

Manchester United fans haven’t had much to laugh about this season, so a group of them felt they might as well find a way to depress their arch rivals as well. You never suffer alone, right?

With Liverpool having thrown away their chances at a first championship in the Premier League era over the past couple weeks, a pack of United supporters hired a plane — yes, again — to fly over Anfield with a cruel message aimed at captain Steven Gerrard.

Liverpool fans were not amused.

The banner, of course, refers to the number of Premier League titles Steven Gerrard has won - zero, or exactly 20 less than Man United.

However, Liverpool fans can throw a ‘0’ right back at ‘em: that’s the exact number of games United will play in Europe next season, while the Reds will strut their stuff in the Champions League.

But please, no more airplane banners.

H/T 101GG

6
May

Man United youngster steals Ryan Giggs’ thunder in final home match

imageThe start of a 24-year career at Old Trafford? (Getty Image)

Manchester United’s interim player-manager Ryan Giggs subbed himself on for one final run-out at Old Trafford on Tuesday, but it was a player just starting his United career — 18-year-old James Wilson — who stole the show in a 3-1 win over Hull City.

Wilson bagged a brace on his United debut to nab Man of the Match honors, while also becoming the first player in club history to score goals for the U-18, U-19, U-21 and first team in the same season.

When Wilson was subbed off (come on Giggsy, did you have to?) for Robin van Persie in the 63rd minute, the home crowd — which hasn’t had much to cheer about this season — even serenaded him with a “Wilson for England” chant.

Making his performance even sweeter, his parents were in the stands to witness it all. And they were besides themselves with happiness:

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27
Apr

Paddy Power brings David Moyes statue to Anfield, Liverpool promptly lose

The pranksters over at betting site Paddy Power were at it again this weekend, erecting a fake David Moyes statue at Anfield ahead of Liverpool’s title showdown against Chelsea.

Fans gleefully flocked to the statue to take pictures with the “Liverpool legend,” who led arch rivals Man United to their worst finish in the Premier League era, and played a small part in the Reds’ ascendancy this season.

But what started out as a clever joke turned into something dark and sinister by game’s end. Chelsea ran out 2-0 winners, handing Liverpool their first league loss in 2014 and taking away the Reds’ control of the title race.

The Curse of Moyes? It’s very much in play.

22
Apr

Must be the Moyesie! Man United stock price soars after sacking

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How much can the value of the world’s most popular club depend on a single man? Evidently, quite a lot.

When the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down as Man United manager last May, MANU stock nosedived from a share price of $18.44 to $15.16 in only a month! Under the disastrous reign of David Moyes, the stock continued to plummet, reaching a 52-week low of $14.26 in February.

But since March, MANU stock gradually rose once again. Coincidentally, this was around the same time rumors of Moyes’ possible firing first surfaced. Hmmm! And once Moyes did finally get the ax early Tuesday morning, United’s stock suddenly became a hotter commodity than rare Pokemon trading cards in a late 1990s middle school cafeteria.

Tuesday evening, MANU stock closed at $18.78/share after opening at $17.90. A week ago, the stock closed at $16.26; that’s over $2.50/share less. We are no financial experts here, but we do know that’s a big difference. In fact, the value of the club was at over $3 billion by market close Tuesday, an increase of $100 million since Monday, the last day Moyes was still in charge.

From The Associated Press:

Since 2012, when 10 percent of United was floated by the Glazers, the rise and fall of the club’s shares have been as keenly watched as the team’s results. Wall Street investors initially welcomed the dismissal of Moyes, with shares soaring by seven percent at one point after Tuesday’s announcement - reaching their highest level since Ferguson’s retirement.

”Following on as the successor to Sir Alex Ferguson was always going to prove a Herculean task … with arguably deeper disappointment at stake should the trophy cabinet remain bare for a second season,” said Andrew Wilkinson, chief market analyst at Connecticut-based Interactive Brokers.

As hip-hop artist Nelly might say, “Hey, must be the Moyesie!”

Illustration provided by FOXSports.com / Eddie Hon

21
Apr

Man City fans back under-fire David Moyes

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Hey, have you heard?

Manchester United are said to be on the verge of parting ways with David Moyes after yet another loss this weekend. Yup! Apparently, that might happen to you if, in your first season as manager, your club suffers its worst finish in the Premier League era and fails to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 19 years. Imagine that.

It’s not all doom and gloom for Moyes, however. He still has his share of admirers in England, even in Manchester! On Monday, rival club Manchester City fans came out in droves to not only root on their own team against West Brom, but also to shower their rivals’ manager with messages of “support.” Check it out:

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See, David? Everything will turn out alright. Even if you do get the sack, football geniuses don’t stay unemployed for long.