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Rooney Confident United Heading In Right Direction

rooney-newWayne Rooney insists the future is bright for Manchester United despite their inconsistent form under manager Louis van Gaal.

United throw away a 3-1 lead against Leicester at the weekend to lose 5-3 and they stand 12th in the Premier League after five matches, already eight points behind leaders Chelsea.

Expectations of a major improvement after last season’s seventh-placed finish have been formed on the basis of the appointment of the experienced Van Gaal and the recruitment of players including Angel Di Maria, Daley Blind, Radamel Falcao, Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera.

And Rooney is convinced the blossoming of the team will materialise, taking issue with those doubting United’s ability to respond to their current frustration.

Rooney wrote on his Facebook page:

“There seems to be a lot of people who have written us off because of Sunday’s result but I don’t see it that way.

“When I look around our dressing room and see the quality we have and the manager’s unbelievable attention to detail I have no doubts this team will be successful.”

Neville awaits reinforcements
Earlier, former United defender Phil Neville predicted this summer’s big spending would need to be repeated in future transfer windows before the club can again be seen as title contenders.

United have struggled in central defence this season as Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans battle for form and fitness and youngster Tyler Blackett seeks to establish himself. And Neville believes that is the biggest issue still to be addressed.

“I know United have spent £150 million,” Neville told BBC Radio 5 live. “I think there’s another two transfer windows of similar amounts of money needed – maybe £100 million – before they can even think about winning the title.

“There are still key positions in the team that need filling. I think the centre-back position is obviously the key area. Holding midfield or centre midfield needs addressing too. There were no world-class centre-backs out there (this summer). I think that’s why in the next two transfer windows, United might still be looking for that world-class defender.”

However, he backed England internationals Jones and Smalling to eventually prove their worth to the club.

“I am certain Chris Smalling will come good and I have full faith in Phil Jones as well,” Neville said. “They’ve bought of a lot of foreign players, you don’t get rid of your English spine.”

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LVG Does Not Rate Shaw Says Meulensteen

luke-shawmufcManchester United manager Louis van Gaal does NOT rate new signing Luke Shaw, according to former coach Rene Meulensteen.

Shaw, a £31.5 million signing from Southampton in the summer, is yet to feature for the Red Devils this season.

The former Saints left-back watched on from the bench as Leicester beat United 5-3 at the King Power Stadium on Sunday lunchtime.

Shaw’s deal is believed to have been agreed before Van Gaal arrived at the club and, following the signing of Marcos Rojo, has dropped down the pecking order at Old Trafford.

And Meulensteen, when asked whether it’s clear the Dutchman doesn’t rate Shaw, told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show:

“Yes. It’s a big surprise for me.

“He would have been informed by the club that they were putting this bid in for Shaw because he’s an up and coming player.

“He’s got a good left foot and a lot of pace. He’s got a lot to learn to get to a Man United level though.

“He’s a great prospect but he’s brought Rojo in, which is bad news for Shaw.”

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LVG Blasted Players After Leicester Collapse

louis-van-gaalLouis van Gaal furiously blasted his players for their lacklustre display against Leicester today, it has been revealed.

The Red Devils looked to be coasting to victory against their newly-promoted opponents when midfielder Ander Herrera put his side 3-1 mid-way through the second half.

However a penalty decision against Raphael turned the game on its head and Leicester scored four unanswered goals to exploit a shambolic Manchester United defensive display. Things went from bad to worse when Tyler Blackett was sent off late on.

Van Gaal cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines as his team fell apart in front of his eyes, and it seems he didn’t hold back when addressing his players afterwards.

TV presenter Eamon Holmes tweeted after the game that he was outside the Manchester United dressing room while Van Gaal read the riot act.

He wrote: “Walked past The Manchester United dressing room post match ….let’s just say I wouldn’t have liked to have been on the receiving end of LVG ! V Loud.”

The defeat against Leicester has certainly dampened enthusiasm around Manchester United, a week after a much-needed win against QPR. That was Van Gaal’s first victory as Manchester United boss, but his record now reads just five points from five games.

He was certainly more measured when speaking to the press after the game, although he was still critical of his team.

He said: “We started the last match against QPR very good with a new team, new players and then we played very well here, but we gave the game away,” the United manager said.

“Leicester had five shots on goal, and that was it. These five goals were existing because we made errors in ball possession.

“We created a lot of chances and made superb goals but you have to do that over 90 minutes, not 60 minutes. It was not enough today. You have to kill the game and we didn’t do that.”

They will have the chance to bounce back against West Ham at Old Trafford next Saturday.

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Rojo Backs United for Glory

rojo-mufcNew Manchester United signing Marcos Rojo believes Louis van Gaal has assembled a squad capable of restoring the club to its former glory.

Argentina international Rojo signed for United from Sporting Lisbon last month in a deal worth £16million, but has not yet featured for his new club due to delays in obtaining a visa.

However, he has now been granted the all clear to play, and is relishing the chance to line up alongside fellow new arrivals such as Radamel Falcao and Angel di Maria.

“It is a huge step forward in my career and my life and I am very happy to play for one of the best clubs in the world at the moment,” he told Perform.

“There are some great players [here]. We obviously need to give time so the new manager can build his team.

“But with the great names we have in our squad and the intelligence of the manager I am sure many achievements will come along.”

Di Maria arrived from Real Madrid for a British record fee of £59.7million, making his debut at Burnley last time out, and Rojo is familiar with the attacker from their time with the Argentina national team.

“He’s got a lot of quality,” he proclaimed. “He is very sharp and very fast so he can help a lot attacking in the second line.”

United – without a win from their opening three Premier League fixtures – recruited Monaco forward Falcao on loan on transfer deadline day.

“There are some good strikers in the squad,” he added. “But Falcao is always in the penalty box; he is very sharp and capable to make the most of any chance.

“I will try to find my place as soon as possible and help in every way I can so we get important trophies.”

United host QPR in the Premier League on Sunday.

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Van Gaal: We Sold Welbeck Because He Was Not Good Enough

DannyWelbeckManchester United boss Louis van Gaal has revealed he sold Danny Welbeck because the striker was not up to the same standard as Robin van Persie or Wayne Rooney.

The Red Devils academy product left Old Trafford to join Arsenal in a £16million move on deadline day, prompting the likes of club legend Gary Neville to tell talkSPORT he could not understand United’s logic in letting the 23-year-old go.

Javier Hernandez also joined Welbeck in leaving Man United, joining Real Madrid on loan, but Van Gaal brought in Radamel Falcao from Monaco for the season to compensate for the pair’s loss.

And speaking at a press conference where the Colombian and fellow new signing Daley Blind were unveiled, the Dutch manager said:

“We talked to Welbeck and Chicharito when we knew we might approach Falcao.

“Welbeck was here for three seasons and had his chance but did not have the same record as Van Persie or Rooney so we let him go.

“That is the standard we expect at Manchester United. And this is why we signed Falcao.”

Welbeck scored 18 Premier League goals in the last three seasons, whereas captain Rooney has hit 56 strikes in the previous three campaigns and Van Persie has managed 38 in the two seasons he has been at Old Trafford.

Continuing to analyse his transfer dealings, Van Gaal revealed youngsters will be given a chance this season, particularly as 14 players left United and only six arrived.

Asked if he faced any problems fitting in his new players, the Dutchman said:

“We let go 14 players and brought in only six so fitting players in will be no problem. Youth will be given a chance.

“The question is will they take the chance? It is a risky policy but it’s the only way to do it.

“The eight vacancies left by departures can be filled by the youths but they must know that they have to step up.”

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United Announce Record Revenue Of £433.2m

Old Trafford NewAny doubt as to how Manchester United could afford their summer spending spree with Financial Fair Play ended today when the club announced record revenues of £433.2m and profits of £23.8m for last season.

The engine behind United’s license to print money is its commercial side of the club, as sponsorship revenue increased by 49% and commercial revenue soared nearly a quarter to £189.3m. Commercial revenues account for almost half of United’s total turnover, which is why getting United back in the Champions League this season will be Louis Van Gaal top priority.

United’s numbers are not all rosy though.Failure to qualify for the Champions League this season will cost United about £53m, dropping their expected revenues to between £385m-£395m this season.

The club announced that it cost them £5.2m to end the David Moyes era. More worrying though was the news that United’s wage bill rose 19% to £214.8m, an increase of £34.3m,

‘primarily due to the impact of player acquisitions and renegotiated player contracts’

, according to the annual report.

This is the first time United’s wage bill has broken the £200m barrier and they are only the second club after Man City to exceed it. This is before the summer acquisitions of Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao have their impact.

United have traditionally spent less than 50% of their revenues on wages, and they just managed it last year at 49.6% of turnover. But with the signings of Di Maria and Falca, plus lower revenue, United’s wage bill could eat up as much as 65% of turnover this season, a worrying number if United don’t finish in the top four again.

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said:

‘We are very proud of the results achieved in fiscal year 2014 as we once again generated record revenues driven by our commercial and broadcasting businesses which delivered impressive year-over-year growth.

‘We also recently announced a record-breaking deal with Adidas and very much look forward to launching this partnership next summer.

‘With Louis van Gaal at the helm as manager, and the recent signing of some of the world’s leading players to further strengthen our squad, we are very excited about the future and believe it’s the start of a new chaper in the club’s history.

‘Louis’ footballing philosophy fits very well with Manchester United and he has an impressive track record of success throughout his career, winning league titles with every club he has managed.’

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Giggs: United still have faith in youth

LVG and GiggsRyan Giggs re-assured Manchester United fans that the club’s commitment to youth development remains intact.

New United manager Louis van Gaal’s recent spending-spree of more than £150m in the transfer window, culminating in the British record capture of Angel di Maria for £59.7m, was followed by the sale of Academy graduate Danny Welbeck, the England forward, to Arsenal suggested a change of priorities.

United have fielded at least one homegrown player in every matchday squad since 1937 but that record may be threatened under Dutch boss van Gaal. However, Giggs, one of the greatest players ever to emerge from a United youth system that became famous under then-manager Matt Busby in the 1950s before being revived by Alex Ferguson, the boss who oversaw the celebrated Wales star’s career in the 1980s and 1990s, said the commitment to homegrown talent was woven into the fabric of Old Trafford.

“The club will never change,” Giggs, now assistant to van Gaal, told the Soccerex conference in Manchester on Wednesday. “The history of the club is to play exciting football, always give youngsters a chance, keep to the traditions of the club,” he added.

“Okay Danny has left, which is obviously disappointing because you never want to see a homegrown player leave, but this is a manager (van Gaal) who gave (Clarence) Seedorf his chance, (Patrick) Kluivert his chance, (Andres) Iniesta his chance, Xavi, Thomas Muller — he has got a track record of giving youngsters a chance.

“Tyler Blackett has played every game this season. Underneath (Robin) Van Persie and (Wayne) Rooney you have got (Adnan) Januzaj, James Wilson. Players will leave but we have got to make sure young players come through because United fans demand it. I want to see young players come through. That has been (the case) right through the history of Manchester United and we never want to lose that.”

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Rafael Back In Training

Rafael_Man_UtdRafael da Silva has returned to training as Manchester United’s injury problems show signs of easing.

The Brazilian full-back only played 45 minutes in the former Premier League champions’ preseason tour of the United States because of a groin injury.

And he has missed their first four competitive games of the campaign but wrote on Instagram: “Back in training ready to help.”

Rafael is expected to challenge Antonio Valencia for the right wing-back position in manager Louis van Gaal’s 3-5-2 formation.

Van Gaal said United had the worst injury crises he had ever experienced in his 23-year managerial career when 10 players were sidelined for August’s 0-0 draw with Burnley and an 11th, Marcos Rojo, was not eligible as he waited for a work permit.

Now the Argentina international is available and United have added two more signings, deadline day recruits Radamel Falcao and Daley Blind.

In addition, another summer recruit Ander Herrera revealed on Twitter that he is closing in on a return, writing:

“Training hard and looking forward to this next game at Old Trafford.”

United are also waiting to see if Luke Shaw will be fit to face QPR on Sunday after the England international left-back, who is yet to make his competitive debut, suffered a hamstring injury.

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United With Second Highest-Ever Summer Transfer Spend

falcao-mufcWhile Manchester United embarked on the second most expensive summer spending spree in football history, financial fair play (FFP) forced other top clubs to sell accruing to the Soccerex Transfer Review by Prime Time Sport.

United spent €196 million on Angel Di Maria, Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao.

Only Real Madrid in 2009, when they spent €265 million for Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka, has spent more than United in a summer transfer window.

This was the summer of FPP though as Real (€113 million), Atletico Madrid (€77 million), Barcelona (€79 million), Chelsea (€94 million), Liverpool (€92 million) and Manchester City (€62 million) all brought in club record sums for the sale of players.

City and Paris Saint-Germain were fined by UEFA for breaching FFP regulations, and spending dried up in France as PSG and Monaco cut costs.

The Transfer Review, produced by Esteve Calzada, a former chief commercial and marketing officer at Barcelona, concluded:

“Despite having wealthy owners, PSG and Monaco have been forced to decrease investment in new players due to the limited revenue generation potential of Ligue 1.”

Barcelona were the second biggest spenders behind United, with Luis Suarez their costliest arrival in a €157 million spending spree, followed by Liverpool (149 million) and Real Madrid (120 million).

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RVP Looking Forward To Training With Louis Gaalacticos

van-GaalacticosRobin van Persie admits he cannot wait to start playing with the raft of world class signings that have arrived at Manchester United this summer.

In an unprecedented recruitment drive, Louis van Gaal has spent over £150million to bring in six new players – Luke Shaw, Ander Hererra, Marcos Rojo, Angel di Maria, Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao – as the club look to return past glories.

‘I can’t wait to go and train and play with the world-class players we have signed – wow!’ Van Persie told the club’s official website while training with the Holland squad in the Austrian Alps this week.

‘That feeling, that we are going to perform well, has only got stronger after the buying of players over the last weeks. I find it very exciting, the arrival of all those new players.’

The 31-year-old is confident the new arrivals can help turn around United’s dismal start to the season. Deadline day signings Blind and Falcao could make their league debuts against Queens Park Rangers on Sunday alongside Rojo, who has finally been granted a work permit.

 

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