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  #1  
Old 26-11-2006, 08:49 PM
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Thumbs up Manchester United's Headliners, Articles and Rumours

Don't blow it against Chelsea, warns Sir Alex

Sir Alex Ferguson has piled the pressure on his own players by urging them not to miss their chance to pull away from Chelsea in the Premiership title race.

Leaders Manchester United face champions Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday and would be six points ahead of their London rivals if Ferguson can get the better of Jose Mourinho for only the second time in nine attempts.

Ferguson said: "It's a great opportunity for us and it is up to us to make sure that it doesn't pass us by. In the last two years Chelsea have got themselves into a fantastic position of being nine or 10 points ahead of us and it's been very difficult to get back.

"We did our best last season in terms of a late run, but not quickly enough. We've been quick out of the blocks this time and for the first time we're in front. Now we have the prospect of going six points clear and them chasing us rather than us chasing them."

One distraction Ferguson could have done without was Wayne Rooney's appearance at a Manchester police station to answer questions about an alleged brawl outside a nightclub.

The 21-year-old was interviewed by officers investigating claims that a photographer was assaulted outside Panacea in Manchester city centre on October 15. He was questioned under caution but not arrested.

United expect to be at full strength on Sunday after defender Rio Ferdinand made good progress towards recovering from a knock he took in the Champions League defeat against Celtic on Tuesday night.

Ferguson has told his players to concentrate on the match and ignore the hype, but could not resist a mild dig at Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon's suggestion this week that the London club are on their way to toppling United as the world's biggest football name.

Ferguson said: "It was a nice time for him to bring that out. We're going to quake and tremble at that. What I do know is we've got a rich history and I don't think anyone can deny that."

Having witnessed Celtic's remarkable support on Tuesday at Parkhead, Ferguson is hoping for a similar input from his own club's supporters on Sunday.

"My only concern is that we have 76,000 people in that stadium and they had better shout," he added. "We have fantastic support and when they're really fired up, they are the best."

John Terry is expected to play alongside Ricardo Carvalho in Chelsea's defence after hearing that his mother's health is improving following a heart attack on Thursday.

Kenyon has confirmed Chelsea would be willing to consider an offer from West Ham for unsettled winger Shaun Wright-Phillips, but want to recoup a fair slice of the £21million they paid Manchester City for him in 2005. West Ham are thought to be prepared to pay £10m.
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  #2  
Old 26-11-2006, 08:58 PM
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Re: Manchester United's Headliners, Articles and Rumours

United can inflict lasting wound

Whether or not Chelsea succeed in their stated aim of overtaking Manchester United off the pitch as the biggest club in the world, they managed to eclipse them on the field the moment Roman Abramovich took control of Stamford Bridge on a day, heavy with symbolism, that also saw David Beckham leave Old Trafford.

Abramovich must have thought that United, who had just wrestled back the Premiership title from Arsenal and made more money than any other club on the planet, were his greatest threat.

Instead, the challenge to the new order was led by Arsene Wenger's thinly resourced but wondrously talented Arsenal side, while United picked up a couple of domestic cups as consolations.

Only in January, after their humiliation in the Champions League by Benfica sobered up the club from top to bottom, did United look like the challenge to Abramovich they ought to have been. Tomorrow, they meet at Old Trafford with United capable of inflicting a lasting wound on the champions.

"In the last two years Chelsea have been in a fantastic position, nine and 10 points ahead of us," the United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, said yesterday. "We did our best last season in terms of coming in with a late run but we were not quick enough out of the box at the start of the season. This time we are in front and have the prospect of going six points clear and have them chase us." When asked how Chelsea might respond to that, his face split into a wry grin. "Well, they might go out and buy six players."

That might cause Jose Mourinho more problems than it solves. Chelsea may be a less fluent force this season because Mourinho is attempting to shoehorn Michael Ballack and Andrei Shevchenko into an already successful unit and Ferguson reiterated his belief that this season their priority had to be the European Cup rather than a third Premiership title.

United's squad is rather weaker and is unlikely to be significantly strengthened in the January transfer window. There is an acceptance at Old Trafford that they are unlikely to land either of their principal targets, Owen Hargreaves from Bayern Munich and Fernando Torres from Atletico Madrid. And although Ferguson's first XI is man for man as talented as anything Mourinho can field on a football pitch and is playing rather better, they cannot afford major injuries.

This season United have faltered at Crewe, Southend and Copenhagen. In all these matches Ferguson put his trust in his reserve players and found them wanting. Tuesday night's defeat at Parkhead was, however, inflicted on a virtually full-strength side.

"When you lose a game, you sometimes need to go into the dressing room and address some things," Ferguson said. "I didn't have to do that this time because we played exceptionally well.

"What they did was forget they were playing in a competition against an opponent. They started to enjoy it, relax, controlled the match and lost it. What can you say in that situation?"

Nevertheless, given their reliance on Louis Saha, comments by the Celtic captain, Neil Lennon, that Gary Neville had confided in him that the Frenchman's "head had gone" would have been disturbing. "I don't give much credence to Lennon's comments," said Ferguson. "The Celtic players were high on adrenalin and got carried away."

Head-to-head battles

Michael Carrick v Frank Lampard
Still to properly show his Tottenham form for United, Carrick needs a good game against his England team-mate. As a holding midfielder, he must keep an eye out for his opponent's clever runs before trying to set the tempo when he gets the ball himself. Suspended for the Champions League defeat to Werder Bremen, Lampard should be full of running from the word go. Interesting to see if Sir Alex Ferguson bolsters that area to avoid getting over-run.

Nemanja Vidic v Didier Drogba

Sore ankle permitting, Drogba is central to Chelsea's attacking threat. If the muscular forward is on song, Vidic will need every ounce of his undoubted fighting qualities to combat his man. Rio Ferdinand, of course, must play his part too. Their ever-improving partnership doesn't leak many goals. For Vidic, however, this is fairly new territory. He'll certainly be hoping things go better than his only other experience of Chelsea, last April's 3-0 thumping at Stamford Bridge.

Cristiano Ronaldo v Ashley Cole

Always a cracking contest, this, dating back to the night when England's left-back stood up magnificently to the threat posed by Portugal's flying winger at Euro 2004. Ronaldo is in great form, showing more consistency for United than ever before, and will be keen to come out on top in this thoroughbred duel. Yet if Cole can repeat his Lisbon heroics he will go a long way towards helping Chelsea avoid defeat.
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  #3  
Old 26-11-2006, 09:05 PM
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Re: Manchester United's Headliners, Articles and Rumours

Saha in spot kick vow

Louis Saha insists he will have no problems taking a penalty for Manchester United against Chelsea.

The striker is still coming to terms with his last minute miss from the spot in United's UEFA Champions League defeat to Celtic in midweek.

Reports have suggested Cristiano Ronaldo will assume penalty-taking duties in the future, but Saha is ready to step up to the plate on Sunday if required.

"If there is a penalty against Chelsea I will take it if that is what the coach wants," Saha told The People.

"I will have absolutely no problem with that."

Saha is also eager to score against the champions, live on Sky Sports 1, to help erase the pain of his miss against Celtic.

He also wants to show Gary Neville that he can rise to the big occasion after the United captain allegedly predicted he would not score his penalty.

"The penalty in Glasgow will take a long time to get out of my system, but I want to help wipe it out of my mind by scoring against Chelsea," continued Saha.

"It won't be the same, but it will be me vindicating myself after what happened in midweek.

"My mission is to score goals. If I fail then it's sad for the team, but I'm not a nutter.

"If I score today I will dedicate it to the supporters and to Gary, but not in a bad way as though I have something against him.

"At United we are all together and I want to interpret what he said as a way of encouraging me.

"We all make mistakes. Sometimes the strikers don't score goals and sometimes the defenders don't mark players the way they should do - that's football."
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  #4  
Old 26-11-2006, 09:40 PM
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Re: Manchester United's Headliners, Articles and Rumours

Wayne commits himself for another four years

The Observer:

Wayne Rooney has agreed a new £100,000-a-week contract with Manchester United that will keep him at Old Trafford until 2012. The England striker still has four years to run on his present contract, but had no hesitation signing a two-year extension with a significant pay rise to put him among the club's top earners.

'I have been looking to sign a new contract for a while now and it's great for me and the club to get it over with,' said Rooney. 'I've loved my time here, all the fans, the players and the staff have made me feel welcome from day one, and obviously the manager played a big part in my decision too. He is the best manager of all time and I'm looking for a lot more trophies. Hopefully we can win the league this season and kick on from there.'

By the year 2012 Rooney will not be so much of a boy any more, but Ryan Giggs, a player who celebrates 20 years with United next year, agreed continuity was important. 'It's great news because Wayne is the kind of player you build a team around,' Giggs said. 'He is such a special talent. Wayne and Cristiano Ronaldo are the kind of players who are going to be the future of Manchester United for the next five or six years.'

Sunday Times:

Manchester United have given themselves the greatest fillip imaginable before today’s showdown with Chelsea by announcing that Wayne Rooney has extended his contract and will remain at Old Trafford for at least six more years.

Rooney’s new deal will expire in 2012, by which time he will be almost 27, guaranteeing United the services of England’s greatest talent through to his peak years. The value of the striker is reflected in the financial terms of the contract, which is thought to be the most lucrative in United’s history and will make Rooney Britain’s richest player, apart from David Beckham.

"We are building a new team and we want our best players like Wayne, who, without question, is going to be one of the best players in the world if he isn’t at the moment. We are going to get the best years of the boy, there is no question," said Sir Alex Ferguson. "He is improving all the time. Cristiano (Ronaldo) signed a new contract last year and we see him and Wayne emerging as the best players in the world. They have their finest years in front of them."

Rooney said: "It’s something I have always wanted. There is so much that I want to achieve here, hopefully starting with the Premiership this season. The manager has played a big part in me wanting to agree a new deal. He is the best manager of all time." Ferguson will hope the feelgood factor will give his side the edge in this afternoon’s league meeting with Jose Mourinho’s men.

It is believed Rooney will increase his wages from £55,000 to around £100,000 a week, making the deal worth more than £30m in salary alone. With bonuses and commercial deals, he could earn £10m a year.

Sunday Telegraph:

As his manager Sir Alex Ferguson said: "We're going to get the best years of the boy, there is no doubt about that. Our chief executive David Gill has been working on this with Wayne's agent for some weeks."

The deal also closes the door on any ambitions Chelsea might have harboured of stealing Rooney, the jewel in England's crown, in the next few years. They were in for him before United signed him two years ago but he explained: "I really didn't fancy going to live in London. I wanted to stay close to home. Once I knew United were interested, there was only one place I was going." Rooney said last night: "Obviously I'm delighted to sign an extension to my contract. I have loved every minute of my time here and had no hesitation in signing. I'm looking to achieve a lot and want to win trophies. Hopefully, we can win the league this year and then kick on from there."

Then, in a tribute to Ferguson, he added: "The manager played a big part in my decision. He is the best manager of all time." The news of the contract came also, as Labour spin doctors would have realised, on a good day to bury bad news after Rooney was interviewed by police over allegations that he was involved in a brawl outside a Manchester night club.

Mail on Sunday:

Wayne Rooney will earn up to £100 million over the next six years after signing a new contract with Manchester United which makes him the highest-paid player in British football history.

Rooney, 21, last night put pen to paper on a deal that will keep him at Old Trafford until 2012 and add £36m to his bank balance in salary alone.

Add to that his earnings from commercial endorsements, image rights and bonuses for United and England, and Rooney's income over the life of his new contract will hit the £100m mark.

He said: "I'm delighted. I've loved my time here and didn't have any hesitation signing."

News of Rooney's bumper deal will give United fans a massive boost ahead of today's crucial Premiership showdown with Chelsea, especially after the claim by the champions' chief executive, Peter Kenyon, that his club wanted to surpass United as the biggest in the world.
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  #5  
Old 27-11-2006, 10:29 AM
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Re: Manchester United's Headliners, Articles and Rumours

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Whether or not Chelsea succeed in their stated aim of overtaking Manchester United off the pitch as the biggest club in the world, they managed to eclipse them on the field the moment Roman Abramovich took control of Stamford Bridge on a day, heavy with symbolism, that also saw David Beckham leave Old Trafford.
even if chelsea become the biggest club in the world, i am sure they will also be the one with the biggest debts. they keep buying at big big prices and selling small. next special offer is swp, bought 21m, but going for? and 30m for an ageing shev... dont need a rocket scientist to figure out the ROI.
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Old 27-11-2006, 10:53 AM
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Re: Manchester United's Headliners, Articles and Rumours

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Wayne Rooney has agreed a new £100,000-a-week contract with Manchester United that will keep him at Old Trafford until 2012.
i'm sure rooney's friends wont have to pay for anything in the pubs from now on.
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Old 27-11-2006, 10:54 AM
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Re: Manchester United's Headliners, Articles and Rumours

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Wayne Rooney has agreed a new £100,000-a-week contract with Manchester United that will keep him at Old Trafford until 2012.
i'm sure rooney's friends wont have to pay for anything in the pubs from now on.
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Old 28-11-2006, 02:48 AM
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Re: Manchester United's Headliners, Articles and Rumours

United find striker option

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson appears to have uncovered an option for a new striker during January's transfer window.

Sources in Sweden and Italy claim United will test Internazionale's resolve to hang onto Goran Slavkovski.

Dubbed 'The new Zoran Ibrahimovic', the 17-year-old is Inter's youngest-ever player at Serie A level and has a number of international countries chasing his services due to his Balkan background.

Ferguson is desperate to add a new forward to his squad, a point highlighted by John O'Shea and Darren Fletcher being the only viable alternatives to injured duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Louis Saha during the 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Sunday.

Alan Smith has yet to get back to his best after injury, and would have left on loan but for rejecting the opportunity, and Giuseppe Rossi was surprisingly farmed out to Newcastle United.

Although Rossi is likely to return to Old Trafford in the New Year and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set to be available again soon, United remain short of attackers and Slavkovski is believed to be one of the names on Ferguson's hit-list.
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Old 28-11-2006, 02:54 AM
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Re: Manchester United's Headliners, Articles and Rumours

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even if chelsea become the biggest club in the world, i am sure they will also be the one with the biggest debts. they keep buying at big big prices and selling small. next special offer is swp, bought 21m, but going for? and 30m for an ageing shev... dont need a rocket scientist to figure out the ROI.
How can Chelsea be the biggest club in the world when they have yet to beat Newcastle in terms of fan support or Spurs for trophies won? Talk about counting chickens before they hatch....

Chelsea are already the biggest club in the world for squad value. With the Russian's backing they can go into debt overdrive.
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Old 28-11-2006, 02:57 AM
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Re: Manchester United's Headliners, Articles and Rumours

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i'm sure rooney's friends wont have to pay for anything in the pubs from now on.
As long as Rooney drinks sky juice or OJ when he is out clubbing with his friends, I'm sure Sir Alex is most willing to pick the tabs too.
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Old 29-11-2006, 11:03 AM
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Re: Manchester United's Headliners, Articles and Rumours

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Chelsea are already the biggest club in the world for squad value. With the Russian's backing they can go into debt overdrive.
i think they are also "enjoying" the biggest weekly wage bill in the whole wide world of soccer. if lampard's spanish gf tell the reporters she wants him to live with her in barcelona, chelsea will surely renew his contract again, maybe for 200k pounds/week. thats business as usual for roman.
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Old 29-11-2006, 01:52 PM
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Re: Manchester United's Headliners, Articles and Rumours

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i'm sure rooney's friends wont have to pay for anything in the pubs from now on....
Not if he continues hanging out with England team mates Lampard, Terry and Owen.... If he does he'll need his friends to buy him the drinks at pubs...


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i think they are also "enjoying" the biggest weekly wage bill in the whole wide world of soccer.... thats business as usual for roman...
Yes, seeing the oil prices as they are and the likelihood of a price drop as good as me winning the euro millions, Chelsea can continue to buy high sell low for the next decade at least.
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Old 29-11-2006, 02:19 PM
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Re: Manchester United's Headliners, Articles and Rumours

Silvestre admits Spain fancy

Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre has revealed that he would like to play in La Liga at some stage of his career.

The Frenchman has been used sparingly this term by Sir Alex Ferguson after losing his place to Nemanja Vidic.

Although the 29-year-old is happy at Old Trafford, he could emerge as a target for other clubs next year - but has no intention of returning to France.

When quizzed on whether he would ever consider leaving United, he told Foot Interviews: "Sure, why not? What's certain is that, for the moment, I am excluding any possibility of a return to France - even if you should never say never.

"It's not because I don't love my country, but simply because I know the league too well.

"Personally, I would like to discover a new style of play.

"I've done Italy in the colours of Inter, England in the jersey of the Red Devils. All that's left for me is Spain."

Silvestre has paid tribute to Louis Saha, Sunday's goalscorer against Chelsea, for helping compensate for the loss of Ruud van Nistelrooy.

The prolific Dutchman was off-loaded to Real Madrid after a fall-out with Ferguson but Saha has stepped into the breach effectively.

"Fortunately, we have 'Little Louis'," he replied when asked about Van Nistelrooy's departure. "At the end of last season, he already succeeded in relegating Ruud to the bench.

"This season, he has confirmed [this decision]. He brings us an enormous amount - starting with goals."

The Red Devils stopper also had words of criticism for West Ham's Lee Bowyer, whom he describes as his worst opponent.

"The worst? That's Lee Bowyer," he stated.

"He, on the pitch, is really a poor type. He gives you cheap shots from behind.

"He really has a dirty mentality. That's typically the type of player I hate."
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Old 29-11-2006, 02:24 PM
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Re: Manchester United's Headliners, Articles and Rumours

Moyes' battle with Rooney spices Everton's visit

David Moyes has insisted Manchester United boast the quality to reclaim the Premiership title this season, though his side's visit to Old Trafford tonight is overshadowed by a first confrontation with Wayne Rooney since the Everton manager launched legal proceedings against his former protégé over allegations made in the England forward's autobiography.
Moyes instructed his lawyer Mel Goldberg, chairman of the British Association for Sport and Law, to sue the 21-year-old, his ghostwriter Hunter Davies and HarperCollins, the publishers of Wayne Rooney - My Story So Far, this month. The Scot felt his reputation was damaged by allegations that he had leaked details of a private conversation with Rooney to the Liverpool Echo just before Rooney's £27m move to United in 2004.

He is also aggrieved at claims in the book that he was responsible for forcing Rooney out of Goodison Park, arguing to the contrary that Everton were willing to make him the highest-paid player in their history. Rooney's management and legal advisers have insisted their client stands by his comments, with the row now apparently destined for the High Court and relations between Moyes and the player he nurtured so keenly as a 16-year-old prodigy now damaged beyond repair.

Moyes would not answer questions on Rooney yesterday but, while their squabble is an unnerving sub-plot tonight, the manager was more forthcoming about Sir Alex Ferguson. He attended Sunday's draw with Chelsea and, with United three points clear at the top, said Ferguson boasts the pedigree in his squad to reclaim the title.

"What United have done is show it's going to be a really tight championship battle," said Moyes. "There was nothing between the two teams on Sunday. When you've been at a club 20 years like Sir Alex, you're going to have times when you have to change the team and build a new one. But now they are a really good team. It's a real tight call to pick between them and Chelsea . . . but United can do it."

United may rely on Rooney playing as a lone striker tonight with Louis Saha and Cristiano Ronaldo both facing fitness tests and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hamstrung. Everton have not won at Old Trafford since 1992, despite drawing on their last two visits, and Moyes has his own injury concerns with Everton's leading scorers, Andrew Johnson and Tim Cahill, out and Tim Howard, on loan from United, ineligible.

"We don't go there with fear," he added. "We understand how good the quality of the opposition is. Yet this is a game I've been looking forward to for a long time. We've had a couple of draws and I'm looking forward to getting my first win there."
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Old 29-11-2006, 02:30 PM
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Re: Manchester United's Headliners, Articles and Rumours

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[B]...."The worst? That's Lee Bowyer," he stated.

"He, on the pitch, is really a poor type. He gives you cheap shots from behind.

"He really has a dirty mentality. That's typically the type of player I hate."
Add to that list, Michael Ballack.

Lost all respect for him after seeing his dirty moves from behind on sunday. And he acts like it was his right to employ those tactics when penalised for fouls. Someone should tell him that WW2 ended about 60 years ago and ze Germans are no longer fighting Allied forces.
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