Transfer News: Aaron Ramsey Set to be Manchester United’s New Summer Signing

June 3, 2008

It seems as though this kid has been garnering praise and adulation for most of the season as England’s new stand-out youth player set to launch himself onto the world stage. As soon as the season ended the countdown was on and as you can see, Fergie & Co. have already jumped on the Cardiff teenager. There are rumors swirling that Arsenal have also had a bid accepted, but if Ramsey has any hopes of playing for the English national team, he knows that Old Trafford is the only real destination.

Since he’s being loaned back to Cardiff for next season, he will likely make his united debut in the 09/10 season (jesus that sounds futuristic). He’ll be taking to the field with Rooney, Ferdinand, Carrick and Hargreaves and this exposure to the upper echelons of English footballers will do wonders for the boys confidence and technical ability. Fergie’s system has churned out so many excellent young players, that a well-developed lad like Ramsey could very well be the jewel in Sir Alex’s cap upon retirement. I also think that Fergie’s trump card will be playing the Welsh card. Giggsy will likely be dispatched to convince the kid to sign on the dotted line. Ramsey is a Welshman and there aren’t many held in higher esteem that Welsh Wizard they call Giggsy.

There is a faint scent of Michael Owen about the place. I hope that we can wrap up the deal shortly. The kid would be retarded to go to Arsenal.

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Transfer Rumors: Who is Manchester United Looking to Sign During the 2008 Summer? Micah Richards, Michael Owen, Klaas Jan Huntelaar or Dimitar Berbatov?

May 12, 2008

With David Gill confirming to all media parties today that Fergie will be provided with whatever funds he needs to strengthen to squad, the time has come to start the silly stuff- transfer speculation. The Andrewisahater blog was founded on transfer speculation (and leaked jersey photos) so its something we take pretty seriously around here.

Last season saw us purchase a dearth of midfield talent alongside the rights to Carlos Tevez. This year, an out and out goalscorer and defensive reinforcements seem to be the immediate priority. Currently, the names being touted are all (relatively) proven commodities with the odd surprise thrown in along the way.

MICHAEL OWEN

To be honest, I think that Michael Owen is the oddest selection up there. Presumably we have already made a bid for him, and I know he’s keen for a move away from St. James Park. However, we would effectively be purchasing him as a replacement for Louis Saha- a striker who has seen his better days and is incredibly injury prone. Sound like somebody else you know? To be honest, I think Owen would likely be spending the entire season about two feet away from being ruled offside. Our team is about dropping deep, assuming positions and then executing precision movements. Owen seems somebody who is good at banging the ball into the net, but not much else. I am unconvinced that he would add an element to the team. However, if he was content to be used as an impact substitute, I think he may be worth a punt for under 10 million.

MICAH RICHARDS

I think that Richards is a long-term successor to Gary Neville and I think he would be the perfect compliment to Evra on the opposite flank. Both can get forward, score goals and create them; while offering up effective defending options at the same time. My only problem with the pursuit of Richards is that his appearance (and subsequent drop directly into the first team) would probably unsettle Wes Brown, who has been immense in the latter part of the season. His price tag will be high, but this player is quickly becoming an established England International and he would continue our tradition of fostering English talent. It would also put a smile on my face to snake Man City’s best player right out from under their noses.

KLAAS JAN HUNTELAAR

He has been linked with us for the past few summers and while the hideous Dutchman is a proven goal-threat, I am unsure whether he is up to our quality and whether he would actually compliment our existing squad. A different type of player to Rooney and Tevez, Huntelaar would offer some new options going forward, but I’m unconvinced at the end of the day about whether he would be worth the money.

DIMITAR BERBATOV

This guy will not be playing for Spurs next summer, that much is true. However, I’m also not sure whether he’ll wind up at Old Trafford or not. I don’t really know if, mentally and personality-wise, he would be able to fit in with the rest of the dressing room. He seems prone to sulking and disappearing acts, however, his goal threat can’t be underestimated. He is a classy player at his best and an irritating sod at his worst. I think he is a similar player to Anelka- somebody I am extremely happy we didn’t sign last year. Berbatov’s approach to goalscoring is effective, but I don’t know if it exudes the confidence and class that I expect from a Man U player.

Anyways, I’ll be sure to keep my eyes and ears peeled and if any movement happens, we will be among the first places to get it online. Guaranteed.


Video Highlights as Manchester United Thrash Aston Villa 4-0 After Goals From Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney

March 29, 2008

Gentlemen, today I was privy to one of United’s finest displays in recent memory. Today’s absolute dismantling of Aston Villa has effectively proved that we a) have the best collection of players in the league, b) play the most exciting, attacking football that the Premier League has ever seen and c) that Cristiano Ronaldo really is the second coming of Jesus H. Christ.

Start up that embedded video and let’s get down to brass tax here. I can’t really come up with superlatives to describe the first goal. Only that boy Ronaldo could have put one in the net like that. I mean, the situational awareness and the fucking cheek to even ATTEMPT something so unbelievably audacious is testament to the brilliance of this man. Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous. A real contender for goal of the season and I don’t throw that shit around lightly.

Goal #2 was the polar opposite of goal #1 but just as skillful. It was the definition of a flowing team move and was rounded off with an absolutely scintillating finish from Tevez. Both sides of the pitch are used and Villa’s defense was well and truly hoodwinked by the speed, skill and sheer tenacity of the Red Devil’s Counterattack!

Now, goals 3 and 4- Mr. Rooney. If you haven’t read my comments on Steven (wankboy) Gerrard’s astonishing attack on Monsieur Rooney, you should probably check it out on the recent posts box. I think it truly showed Gerrard’s pettiness and the fact that if he puts ina shitty performance he tries to pass the buck. Fuck that. Rooney proved his class today. Let’s see Gerrard round the keeper like that. Seriously. I know Gerrard is a quality player, and he can create goals and score them once in a while. But Steven Gerrard cannot be Wayne Rooney.

Steven Gerrard can’t score goals like Wayne Rooney because Wayne Rooney is a more complete player.

The goals you see in that video are the type of goals Rooney should be scoring for England, but he isn’t. It’s not that he lacks the quality when he’s playing for England, he lacks the service. Rooney can do so much and when the England team isn’t playing up to snuff he takes it upon himself to start making things happen- because he can. And for Gerrard to criticize Rooney after the completely shite match that Stevie put up, just shows his true character.

Rooney’s two goals today are testament to a proper player playing in a proper team. The England team is in disarray (or at best a transition period) while Man U, frankly, is flourishing. Rooney remains the best England player of his generation.

Also, while I will be the first one to admit that my March 29/30 Premiership predictions weren’t spot on, you’ll have to admit that I was at least close. While I missed out on the correct scores, my other calls were pretty decent. I had Ronaldo to score, Rooney to score and have something to prove (which he proved in outstanding fashion), while in the Arsenal game, I correctly predicted a penalty and an Adebayor goal. Not rocket science, admittedly, but I had a go.


Why the Steven Gerrard Slating Wayne Rooney Controversy is Overblown Bullshit

March 29, 2008

I read about Gerrard’s relatively controversial comments about Rooney’s performance in the last England game and I was even further amused to find such depth of coverage in the Football365 mailbox this morning. It has seemed at times like I felt like Rooney’s only real booster, because I believe so firmly that he is the best English player of his generation that I will argue with anybody, anywhere. But reading so many people’s opinions, one after the other, when I found myself saying “spot on, man” I realized that many people share my opinion- Rooney is greater than Steven Gerrard despite the fact that they play in two different positions.

Face it, for Gerrard to blame his shitty performance on Rooney  “dropping deep” and not “playing as direct” as Fernando fucking Torres tips the bullshit scales so high that the machine basically goes back to 0.

Rooney is a forward in the process of becoming a midfielder. By the time he’s 30, you will be seeing many strikers in the vein of Torres and Huntelaar dominating at top clubs, but a true creative forward like Rooney will be in high demand. I think Wayne is the personification of the “new school” of football that is being played in England. The current  brand of Premiership footie hasn’t been seen before and young players are having to sink or swim, with the average drowning. Rooney is simply better than Gerrard because Stevie didn’t know how to play with him, despite Wayne being able to offer so much. Gerrard wants to play behind a lone center forward because it means that it’s Stevie G Glory time 24/7, which is how he (and the fans) likes it at Liverpool, but that shit simply does not work for the English national team and it never fucking will. Steve played like ass. Rooney is proving his class. Take it like a man.


England Lose Meaningless Friendly to France… Mediocre Football at Best but Watch the Highlights Anyway

March 27, 2008

Yeah, I watched the match yesterday and while I’m not one of those types who think we should abolish friendlies, yesterday’s game served as testament to nothing else. 1-0 to France, it should have been 0-0, but Calamity James, as per usual, showed up between the sticks as opposed to that bloke who actually does a fairly solid job for Pompey. I think if you see images of the foul, you’ll notice that dude is actually upside down at one point after James takes him out. You figure that James could have at least tried to play the ball, eh? Jesus….

So, my one real thumbs up from last night (aside from Sir Becks) was that wicked move that Rooney pulled when he runs through the three guys and of course the move goes to shit as soon as he passes it, but moves like that are why I argue that Rooney isn’t over-rated and he is, at the moment anyway, the only England player able to create something out of nothing and truly take on defenders.

So, the Beckham saga…. I think he will continue for a few more games, but I will also acknowledge that there is an outside chance that he may be on the bench in 2010. And I think the reason for that is the fact that he’s going to be playing football in America. Hear me out, if he was still plying his trade in the Premiership, he would be subject to the intense pace and brutal physical treatment of teams like Wigan, Blackburn, Championship sides in cup matches etc etc. Instead, he’s going up against the Colorado Rapids and the Columbus Crew… Every MLS team will have been told, either subtly or not-so-subtly “injure Beckham and it’s your ass.” He doesn’t have to fear bone-crunching tackles in his league, so if he can keep himself relatively fit I think he will be putting in those long balls to Crouch from the right back position for a few more years… Whether thats a good thing or not isn’t really the issue. Beckham doesn’t offer genuine width and I don’t think he should start games, but with a team relatively short of veterans (players w/ 80 caps or so early to mid 30’s) we need experience on the bench.

I may be lambasted for saying so, but last nights game was the type of England performance that needed a Mr. Paul Scholes raising hell in that area just 15 yards ahead of the opposition goal-box. Stevie G’s anonymous performance leaves no excuses as Lampard didn’t feature. Why wasn’t Steve there? Compliments to Mr. Hargreaves for another workmanlike Canadian performance. He does my whole country proud every time he plays. He has guile and grit in abundance, the type of football you can expect from a corn-fed Calgary boy. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hargreaves is the next in line for Capello’s rotating captaincy. Wouldn’t that be something?


Manchester United’s 07/08 Season in Review (Up ’til this point)

March 25, 2008

Gentlemen,

It’s been a while, a long while, but due to work hecticness and assorted insanity, I was out of blogging commission for the better part of the season. Truth be told, I find that during the middle of the English Premier League season, there is such a saturation of coverage that it almost isn’t worth it to blog about all the highlights and details. However, after this past weekend, the horse race is definitely on- this could be the most exciting three months that United, the Premier League and quite possibly the Champions League have seen in ages.

Anyways, things are starting to heat up, since the last post (which was early September, I believe) United have come a long way, to say the least. In my opinion, the two key factors that have thus far defined United’s season are a) the early season injuries to Giggs, Scholes and Neville, b) Ronaldo and Rooney redefining their positions.

Early on, none of us expected Anderson and Nani to have much to do this season except possibly a loan deal to a continental side or a few substitution appearances interspersed with reserve team duty. Speaking from late March you can only say two words: fuck that. Giggsy and Scholesy have seen themselves upstaged and replaced by the pace, vision and trickery of Nani combined with the raw talent and guile exhibited by Olivera Anderson. While both youngsters are far from the finished product, they have shown themselves able deputies for the two aging superstars, who are enduring the final few days of their playing careers. While both Giggs and Scholes have contributed much to United’s success this season, the torch was passed earlier than expected with the two Portuguese speaking players coping much better than we all expected.

Anderson specifically should be singled out for praise, and while I admit he can sometimes be wasteful, he shows a steely resolve and an ability to read the game that you’d normally see in a player more than a decade his senior. I expected Anderson to be a creative attacking player, but perhaps that particular part of his game only worked in Portugal. His approach to the Premier League has been that of a box-to-box midfielder- able to break down opposing attacks (Anderson is so adept at harassing the other team’s central midfielders)  and then play wicked through balls to release Rooney, Ronaldo, or Tevez in the blink of an eye. Anderson needs to stop shooting on the volley and start keeping the ball on the ground, I would personally like to see him run at players more, but if he seems himself developing in the mode of a Keane or a Gattuso- I say good on him.

Nani as a much more attack-minded player and the old adage definitely applies that while he isn’t necessarily a great goal-scorer, he is a scorer of great goals. Witness the one he banged in against Liverpool over the weekend and you’ll know what I mean. He’s only gotten four on the season, but they’ve all been hum-fucking-dingers.

The absence of Gary Neville has also been telling, as Wesley Brown finally came into his own and proved that he was a quality player able to run with the big dogs. Now he just needs to sign his goddamn contract and we’ll be good.

The second part of my season in review is to address the explosive play of Cristiano Ronaldo.  Everybody agrees that Ronaldo is redefining the role of a winger and I personally think its short-sighted to mention that and not mention Rooney in the same sentence. A lot of people have said Rooney’s lack of goals this year prove that he is an average player similar to somebody like Dirk Kuyt. Nothing could be further from the truth.  What is happening here is something that would only come out of a system run by Alex Ferguson. Ronaldo is doing so well because he is a midfielder in the process of becoming a forward, while Rooney is playing well because he is a forward in the process of becoming a midfielder.

Look at Rooney’s performance in the match up against Liverpool this weekend, he set up both goals that weren’t from a corner with excellent off-the ball running and a creative range of passing. These are the characteristics of a world class midfielder. Rooney has always been a short battering-ram of a striker, and it worked very well for him in his early days because players simply didn’t know how to play against him. As opposition defences figured out Rooney’s style and learned how to stifle him, Rooney has upped the ante. This is how he differs from a player like Kuyt. Kuyt has gone from being mediocre up front to being mediocre on the left wing. Rooney has adapted to dropping deeper or leading the line and playing the role of provider instead of the finisher of attacking moves.

There have been many cases this season when Rooney would, in previous years, have fired a hopeful long shot at the keeper but instead he is now opting to play incredible passes into the direction of Tevez or Ronaldo and allow them to share in the spoils. Ronaldo would not have 34 goals this season if Rooney weren’t playing Cash to Ronaldo’s Tango.

And let’s face it, Ronaldo is a one-man gang sometimes. He is a proven match-winner and I can’t believe some people still slate him as over-rated. For my money, Ronaldo is the most exciting footballer in world and is the best attacking player in the Premier League. He will not be leaving United for some time as he is realizing that he won’t get more play or promotion anywhere else in the world. He is simply that good.

I also have to give hats off to the defensive duo of Ferdinand and Vidic, who have both remained healthy all year and I would genuinely put them up as the best central defensive pairing in the world. I firmly believe that the understanding between the two is something special with both players possessing power, pace and precision in abundance. Evra has been his fleet-footed self all season and he adds so much to our attack on the overlap. I think that over the course of his career, many people will see Evra as the natural successor to Roberto Carlos, except for one thing- Evra can actually defend.

If you were to ask me who should be sold this summer, I would have to give you two or three candidates right off the bat. While there is still time in the season and I could very well be eating my words later, I would say that Louis Saha and Michael Carrick should probably be off-loaded while we can still get a decent price for them. Saha is too injury prone and just looks off the pace right now. His first touch is gone and the runs he used to make are now easily picked off by opposing defenders or the keeper. He can’t cut it at this level and he has to go. Carrick on the other hand hasn’t played particularly terribly, he just doesn’t really get the job done for me. He really has only had one outstanding game for us (second game against Roma) and his range of passing just doesn’t hold up when you compare him to the quality of Nani, Anderson and Hargreaves. I think Fergie has given Carrick too much of a chance at Hargreaves expense, but I think that Fergie is trying to keep Owen fresh for a long Champions League campaign.

That is definitely one thing that we owe Fergie for. Our team has probably been the luckiest big four club thus far in terms of injuries. Whereas in other seasons long term injuries to Neville, Giggs and Scholes would have proved disastrous, Fergie’s summer spending spree has proved fruitful. I think Darren Fletcher and John O’Shea have long term futures at the club. I am on the fence about Park Ji-Sung, but at the end of the day, he’s a solid guy and always gives 110%. He looks really stoked when he scores too. I say keep him.

From now on, I’ll be blogging the England and Man U games for the rest of the season. I’ll be back with a new video format and who knows, you might even see some of my other projects starting to show up around here. Rumor has it that there is an andrewisahater English cricket blog coming up.

Until then, it’s good to be back. Make sure to check back on the regular as I’m going balls out on the blogging again.  Congratulations go out to Rio Ferdinand for being awarded the England captaincy. Should be worth watching. What happens if we hammer France? Something to chew on.


Owen brace seals the deal as England beat Russia 3-0! Video highlights and full match reaction

September 12, 2007

ALL THE GOALS ARE RIGHT HERE! 

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to post but the past few weeks are over and done with, so let’s get back on with the football.

In the past six days, England have single-handedly saved their qualification for Euro 2008. Things were looking especially bleak leading into the Israel game and we should all be giving Steve Mclaren credit where credit is due- his gambles worked and effectively saved his job. I think England have now learned the benefit of using players who are in-form, not just the best 10 players from the big four plus Paul Robinson.

Think about it- the three key players (aside from the abso-fucking-lutely talismanic Steven Gerrard)  were Michael Owen, Emile Heskey and Gareth Barry. Those three play for Newcastle, Wigan and Aston Villa for christ’s sake yet we still spanked the Russians. Owen’s second goal was world class.
These past two games could have seriously damaged Frank Lampard’s guaranteed place in the side and as well they should have. Many of us have long suspected that Gerrard and Lampard effectively cancel each other out, and the injection of Gareth Barry into a more central “playmakers” role suited him perfectly. And to be honest, I’m not the biggest Frank Lampard fan, but I actually like the concept of keeping him on the bench for a while, possibly bringing him on as an impact substitute if things aren’t going our way in the last 30 minutes or so. Personally, the idea of Gerrard-Barry and Lampard-Hargreaves sounds like two great midfield partnerships.

John Terry likes to yell a lot, but I’ve never been a fan of captain’s leading from the back. I think Gerrard should have been given the England captaincy.

Micah Richards and Shawn Wright-Phillips are going to provide space and penetration down the right flank for the next 3 World Cups, at least. With these two, we have something that we never had with England coming down the flanks- genuine width. Richards is so good at unsettling defenders with his well-timed runs and overlaps that I think he has been extremely key to our victories in the past two games. Additionally, he is a bit of an unknown quantity on the international scene (one of the benefits of being a City player) and it was obvious over the past two games that both teams did not know what to expect from Richards. They both payed the price.

We now top our group and lead on goal difference. Steady lads. True British grit will see us scrape into another International tournament. Let’s just hope that Steve Mclaren has learned that form doesn’t lie.

All the goal highlights are available right here! It’s good to be back guys.

PS: Rooney trained with the Manchester United side today and could be on the bench against the Toffees this weekend.