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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27
May

GIF: Romelu Lukaku is heating up for the World Cup

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Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku already looks in World Cup form.

The Everton striker (on loan from Chelsea) scored a hat trick against Luxembourg in the Red Devils’ first tune-up game, with his third being particularly impressive. Watch as he splits two defenders like a banana:

Okay, so we are only talking about Luxembourg here. But thanks to plays like that, Belgium’s Group H opponents are sure to have nightmares of the bullish striker in the weeks to come.

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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11
Apr

Manchester United fans experience every emotion possible in just 22 seconds

This season hasn’t been kind to Manchester United fans. After more than two decades of success under Sir Alex Ferguson, the sudden dip in form (and position on the table) has left Red Devils’ fans in a pit of despair.

When the once-fearsome club took on mighty Bayern Munich on Wednesday, no one expected Patrice Evra to score a stunner to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

Euphoria. Tears of joy. Cloud nine. Hope.

But just 22 short seconds later, United fans came crashing back to Earth. Mario Mandzukic shut down the party before it even had a chance to really get started.

It was hard enough for United fans watching from afar to digest what unfolded on their televisions; for the supporters at the Allianz Arena, the pain was tenfold.

It’s the hope that kills you.

(H/T SB Nation)

23
Mar

Loaned-out Man United forward scores superb volley

Manchester United disappointment Bebe has been anything but on his loan to Portuguese side Paços de Ferreira. He scored a breathtaking goal — one of several this season — that may give David Moyes something to think about as he tinkers with his roster for next season.

The talented 23-year-old Portuguese back-heel flicked the ball over his head and volleyed home against FC Arouca for a golazo that will surely be added to Bebe’s highlight reel.

H/T r/soccer

8
Mar

David Moyes’ open letter beautifully condensed by The Sun

You could read the entirety of David Moyes’ open letter to Manchester United fans about his and the Red Devils’ shortcomings, but who has time for that?

Leave it to The Sun to put it succinctly:

(Image: 101GG)

Short, sweet and to the point. Perhaps Moyes should have focused less on being verbose and more on how he’s going to get United back to respectable footing.

28
Feb

England fans petition to ban Tom Cleverley from World Cup

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It turns out that Manchester United fans aren’t the only ones that have been unimpressed by midfielder Tom Cleverley this season.

The 24-year-old was selected by Roy Hodgson in the 30-man squad for the Three Lions’ friendly against Denmark next week. England fans immediately made their feelings known.

The online petition, which says Cleverley doesn’t possess any genuine qualities whatsoever,” has almost reached 5,000 signatures in just a couple of days.

Ouch.

23
Feb

Man Utd win the battle for Gundogan

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According to the Daily Star on Sunday, Manchester United are convinced they have won the £25 million race for Borussia Dortmund’s midfielder Ilkay Gundogan. If true, this would be the first piece of business in a busy summer of transfers for the Red Devils. The central midfield position has been a long-term target for United and they’ll be happy to get it sorted early doors.

For this rumor and the rest of Sunday’s transfer gossip, click here.