Video Highlights: The 07/08 Manchester United Goals of the Year Featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez, Owen Hargreaves, Nani, Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes

May 13, 2008

The end of the season always means a flurry of new lists and commentary where people try to talk up their choices for the best goal of the season. It seems like this year, there hasn’t been much debate about it. Ronaldo’s incredible freekick against Portsmouth encapsulates the brilliance that CR7 has banged out consistently this season. Observe.

#1


You listen to the announcers chuckling and that’s when you realize… that’s all you can really do. Better than Beckham. Here’s what he had to say about it.

#2

While some may not agree, I think that this next one here was the definition of why United won the title: free-flowing football and lethal finishing. Watch this combination from Rooney and Tevez. I would say that their partnership is one of the most interesting and dynamic in the world. After this one, there was no doubt that these two would thrive alongside each other.

#3

Speaking of Tevez, here’s another gem from his performance against Birmingham. The pass from Cristiano Ronaldo is testament to how every attacking player on our team can score and pass at a world-class level.

#4

No goals of the season list would be complete without Wayne Rooney. In off the post for his first of the season.

#5

So now we’ve got Hargreaves against Arsenal. Everybody thought this was coming from Ronaldo, but Hargreaves pops up to score one of the most important goals of the season.

#6

Here’s another Ronaldo free-kick and this one comes against his boyhood club, Sporting Lisbon. Notice how he doesn’t celebrate, a true professional, he doesn’t forget his roots.

#7

Here we’ve got Scholesy’s magic strike to make the difference in the Barcelona tie. We did what needed to be done and ground out a tough, Chelsea-like victory over three hours of high-energy football. Magic stuff.

#8

Nani’s first wonderstrike. A sign of things to come once he sorts out his temperment.

#9

Nani’s second wonderstrike.

#10

Ronaldo knocks the wind out of himself with this one, but this was definitely the header of the season. Incredible stuff.

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Video Highlights: Manchester United Secure the 07/08 English Premier League Title!

May 11, 2008

Well, it’s done and dusted. I hereby declare this the greatest season in the history of the English Premier League. And appropriately enough, United have come out on top. Excuse me for a second here….

FOR BEST RESULTS, START THE FIRST VIDEO AND THEN FIRE UP THE SECOND.

EVERYONE AROUND THE WORLD- COME ON!
*shaky dance*

I really can’t express my pleasure at knowing Chelsea couldn’t finish the job at Bolton. How many times have the chavs allowed last second goals to demote wins to draws? I would say at least five times this season and that, my friends, is why Ronaldo & Co. hoisted the trophy and wore ridiculous chapeau’s.

I’m gonna be back later on to write up a full season in review and then in the build up to the Champions League Final I’m going to be putting together some lengthy run downs on individual players.

We did it. We are the best. Not on goal difference, but points.

Moscow. Looms. Large.

And if the vids go down, check out 1000 goals.com.


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.


Vidic thumps the Toffees as Manchester United beat Everton 1-0

September 15, 2007

VIDIC’S GOAL

Manchester United continue to work exclusively in binary numbers as we edged Everton in the early game today. It was really tight stuff for most of the match and there were times when I thought “aw shit, here we go again…” But for some reason we keep managing to win games we may not deserve to win. Thing is- winning games you don’t deserve to is a hallmark of champions, but you kinda wonder when you don’t really deserve to win any game. Yet somehow, we continue to win.

Tevez played some nice passes, Scholesy had a wasteful game, but you can’t fault him because he saved the game by clearing off the line. Am I dreaming or have we cleared a ball off the line in every single game we’ve played this year?

On the plus side, I still think we are a team in transition. Four new big name signings usually doesn’t happen and that is bound to unsettle a group of players slightly. To be honest though, I think its a good thing. Our team is almost like an awkward teenager at this point, still trying to figure out how to talk to girls… We always seem to walk away with a phone number somehow, but it is clear for everybody to see that our game needs work.

Once we click around late October, we’ll be unstoppable. We’ve yet to see the boys in the Champions League this year and I think we will be able to cope with the Milan’s and the Barcelona’s this year. We have a battling midfielder in Hargreaves and one of the most precocious footballing talents in decades with Cristiano Ronaldo. Add to that his back-up cast of Nani and Anderson.

And did I mention a guy named Rooney yet? I’m gonna throw it down right here- Chelsea are gonna get beat next week.


Video Highlights as Manchester United draw Reading and Wayne Rooney’s injured – SHIT

August 13, 2007

Ugh, what a game… I got up at friggin’ eight in the morning to watch United try to dribble around 11 guys for about an hour and a half. Not exactly the start we all had planned eh?

First impressions- Nani didn’t look that good up against proper Premiership opposition and neither did Scholes for that matter. Scholesy should have buried that late header during that scramble in front of the Reading goal. To be honest, I think the lack of moments like that are what genuinely cost us the match. Once Rooney went off we had no power coming through the middle and you can have all the flair in the world but getting around 10 men sitting directly on the 18 yard box is completely impossible even if your name starts with a “p” and ends with an “ele”.

Steve Coppell knew he wouldn’t win if Reading played like Reading usually do and came at us and gave us a game. But good on the guy, I’m not going to take anything away from them, they defended well and picked up a point they weren’t expecting.

Dave Kitson is a tool and that was a genuinely comical moment. 35 seconds? I’d probably last longer than that… Probably.

So, Rooney is out for two months. This means that the gauntlet has been laid down for Tevez… To be honest, I think he’s the man to step up and lead the line next game. He really thrived when he was under pressure at West Ham last year and I think he knows the pressures on this time as well. He had a solid Copa America and although he hasn’t had much pre-season training I think Tevez is enough of a natural footballer to be able to pick up the Pompey match by the scruff of the neck and hammer in two belters.

Positive Impressions-  Ferdinand looked really really good bringing out the ball in this game. Him and Vidic were as solid as ever despite the complete lack of attack from the Royals. Carrick’s passing was really good, but he needs to learn to keep his shots down- if he does he could easily bag 15 a year from midfield.

Anyways, here’s the match highlights from somebody on Daily Motion (Youtube is blocking all premier league footage so i can’t embed anymore… sucks, I know)


All the goal highlights from Manchester United’s Asian tour

July 24, 2007

To be honest, besides Scholesy being crocked, I think its been a pretty successful summer tour. Both in terms of reassurance that we have an absolutely ridiculously devoted fanbase in Asia to help the Glaziers pay off our clubs debt, and also that our players have stepped it up a level.

I’m especially excited about the combination of Ronaldo and Rooney linked up in attack on a more regular basis. I think that you can’t really play Ronaldo as an out and out striker, he would be an incredible threat when played in tandem with a solid ball-winner and target man a la Mr. Rooney. This also opens up another slot in midfield to allow Anderson and Nani some much-needed game time to adjust to English football. But Nani is already off the mark in pre-season, I can’t wait to see Anderson slice open Chelsea’s defense. I don’t think English football has seen a player like this in years.

So, again, you salivating dogs- Here is EVERY SINGLE GOAL FROM THE ASIAN TOUR! (Yes, Shenzen were absolutely crap)