ON THE BRINK


Manchester United have been left on the brink of exit from the League Cup this season after suffering a 2-1 defeat against Sunderland in the first leg of the semifinals. After this match, manager David Moyes laid the blame on referee Andre Marriner for awarding the penalty against United. Sunderland opened the scoring in the first half through an own goal from Ryan Giggs.

However, United were level very soon in the second half after a header from Nemanja Vidic. It looked like the goal would give United a significant lead going into the second leg, but Fabio Borini’s penalty in the 65th minute gave Sunderland an unlikely win.

Andrei Marriner awarded the penalty after Cleverley appeared to bring down Adam Johnson in the box, but Moyes said that this was never a penalty. The former Everton manager has been fuming at a number of decisions going against the way of United in recent matches. He has said that United are not only playing against the opposition, but also against the referees as well. The three consecutive defeats suffered by United marks the worst run since 2001. They have a game against Swansea during the weekend. This will be at Old Trafford, where they have suffered four defeats in the last six matches.

“We had a player booked for the same challenge the other day, for doing the same thing. It’s up to the referees, they’re making their minds up. It looks as if we’re having to play them as well as the opposition at the moment. It’s really terrible, it really is, we’re actually beginning to laugh at them. We just need to keep going, we didn’t do an awful lot wrong. We conceded a terrible first goal from the free-kick, but it was never a free-kick,” said Moyes.


Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who won 13 Premier league titles, has stated that he feels David Moyes will still keep the club in the title race and may even win the title at the end of the season.

United had made a very poor start to the season, which saw them lie eighth in the table after 10 matches. However, they have been making significant recovery in the last few weeks. The 1-0 win over Arsenal gave them a boost in the title race, while they have also been unbeaten for more than a month.

Questions were asked about Moyes being able to handle the pressure at United when he was suffering from poor results, but Ferguson continued to back him. Now that results have improved substantially, the former manager is of the opinion that Moyes main even guide United to the title this campaign itself. Man Utd news currently have United at 5-1 to win the league.

Expectations of United are low this season because it is a transitional period for the club, who are going through the first managerial change in 26 years. United have been displaying the swagger of old where they have been able to come back from situations that seem impossible to recover from.

“We can come from behind and win the league, there’s no doubt about that. When we’re on the charge we can be unstoppable. History shows us that. We’ve got an inner strength – we can come from behind. We’ve done it many times in the past. He’s [Moyes] doing great. It’s not easy – he’s building up a squad and he’s come to the right club at the right time. He’s got great backing,” said Ferguson.

Wayne Rooney has been the central figure for United this campaign. He has scored around 0.5 goals per game, but his overall contribution has been immense in the last few months.

MOYES BACKS FERGIE


The current manager of Manchester United, David Moyes, has praised his predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson for showing full faith in the Spanish goalie David de Gea at the start of his Premier League career.

Ferguson had bought de Gea from the Spanish club Atletico Madrid a couple of years back. He had paid a big amount to make that signing .Quite a lot of people had questioned that decision of the Scot manager.

De Gea didn’t find it easy at all in the Premier League. His performances for the Red Devils for the first couple of seasons were below par and he had to face a lot of criticism. But, Sir Alex never lost the faith in him. He kept backing the young shot stopper.

Now, in the ongoing season, de Gea is looking a much improved goalkeeper. He has been putting up quality performances for United on a regular basis.

Talking to the reporters about de Gea yesterday, Moyes said, “Sir Alex needs to be given a lot of credit for the development of David. He brought in a young goalie and showed a lot of faith in him.”
“David had quite a few bad days in the last couple of seasons, but, Sir Alex kept backing him and that was really brave of him.”

“David still has to make a lot of improvements and I am sure he will do that. He’s seen quite a lot in his short career and that’s only going to help him. I think we will see his best in the upcoming years.”

De Gea is just one short of completing his 100 matches for Manchester United. Out of the 99 matches that he has played so far for the Red Devils, 69 have been the league matches.

SPURS CHASE HERNANDEZ


Tottenham, who have been one of the biggest spenders in the Premier league this summer, do not appear to have finished with their transfer business as of yet. They are targeting the signing of Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, who is thought to be unsettled at Old Trafford due to lack of regular first-team football.

The striker was signed from Mexican club for £ 7 million a few years ago. He turned out to be a bargain in his first season at Old Trafford by scoring 20 goals, but he has found first team opportunities limited since then.

Hernandez has been linked with a move to the likes of Valencia in the last few weeks. He is keen on playing regularly ahead of the World Cup in 2014. Even though the chances of Mexico playing in this competition appear extremely low, Hernandez wants to be involved regularly. New United manager David Moyes has preferred to using Danny Welbeck up front along with Robin van Persie. Even the star striker Wayne Rooney has found himself on the bench at the start of the season. Despite his good performances last season, Tottenham are looking to sell Jermain Defoe before the close of the transfer window.

They have already brought in Roberto Soldado from Valencia for a club record transfer fee of £ 26 million. They are widely thought to have agreed a fee to sell Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, which will see the Premier league club getting around £ 86 million in return. They have already invested a sizeable portion of this money in buying players like Soldado and Paulinho. Manager Andre Villas-Boas recently said that he expected more transfer activity from the club.

Hernandez may have to put in a transfer request or Tottenham need to come up with around £ 15 million in order to make the transfer happen.


David Moyes attended his first press conference as Manchester United manager yesterday and he made it quite clear that Wayne Rooney is not going to leave this summer.

There had been a lot of speculations in the last couple of months that Rooney is unhappy with the way he was treated by Sir Alex Ferguson in the last season and he wants to make a move. But, those speculations have been denied by Moyes.

When asked if Wayne Rooney is going to be sold this summer, Moyes said, “No, we haven’t put him on sale. He is not going anywhere.”

“I am very impressed with the way Wayne has been training since the last few days. He is getting into great shape.”

“I have talked to him a couple of times recently and I have told him to forget whatever happened in the past and just focus on the upcoming season.”

“Wayne is one of the best in the business and if he hits top form, that will be good not only for Manchester United, but, for England as well.”

When asked when he came to know that he was going to be the next Red Devils manager, Moyes said, “Sir Alex rang me up one day and asked me to meet him at his place. I went there and he told me that he was quitting management. I couldn’t believe that and suddenly, he shocked me even more by saying that I was going to be his successor at Manchester United. That was an amazing moment for me. I didn’t know how to react.”

When asked if Sir Alex Ferguson’s presence during the matches will pressurize him, Moyes said, “No, not at all. I want him to be present during all our matches. That will make me happy. He is such a legend. I have already gone to him a couple of times for advice.”


‘Game On’ the online casino game may have captured football punters attentions in the football-less summer months, but the start of Serie A is on the horizon.

The biggest fight in Serie A looks likely to take place at the bottom of the table this season, with the newly promoted team Livorno (1/2), Sassuolo (11/10) and Verona (6/4) all amongst the favourites. To oppose any of the three to go straight back down, you need to find a team that might underperform this year.

Genoa have finished 17th of 20 for the last two seasons, missing relegation by a place both times, but have avoided the drop by a relatively comfortable six and eight points. Therefore, combining the three newly promoted teams in a treble to go straight back down looks a worthy bet at around 13/2.

Top-three betting revolves around last year’s top three Juventus, Napoli and Milan, but there may be a little bit of value in backing Fiorentina to usurp at least one of them. Last time Napoli played Champions League football they could only manage fifth place in Serie A, whilst Fiorentina made a giant step forward last year and 3/1 or better looks value to take another rung up the ladder.

If there’s an unusual bet to be had, then it concerns the best of Emilia Romana and Best of Lombardia group betting. Parma are 9/10 favourites to beat Bologna and Sassuolo in the former with Milan 1/3 to beat Inter and Atalanta in the latter. The double looks well worth an investment.

If you can’t quite draw yourself away there are plenty of great football themed games at online casinos. As well as ‘Game On’ a slot named ‘Shoot’ may also take your fancy for those breaks in play to keep your adrenaline surging.

At the top of the table, Juventus bid for their thirtieth Serie A title – and third in succession. Despite only scoring a similar amount of goals as Napoli, Roma and Fiorentina, Juventus finished nine points clear of their nearest rivals; testament to the tightness of their defence. A third title looks likely and the current 20/21 on offer is probably fair.

NO COMPLACENCY


After losing the Manchester derby yet again, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has said that his team will not be complacent like they did last season. Manchester United managed to throw away an eight goal advantage in the finals few matches of the last campaign to lose the Premier league title on goal difference. Memories of the loss were once again brought about after United were defeated 2-1 by Manchester city on Monday night. As a result of this victory, city have managed to reduce the deficit to 12 points from 15 points.

Even though Mancini said after the match that the title race is definitely over despite this victory, there have been suggestions that United may crumble like last season due to the tough fixtures they have from now till the end of the campaign. Ferguson has said that the critics should only look at the history of the club to know that they will not become complacent. There are only seven matches remaining in the campaign. United managed to lose the title in similar circumstances last season.

Even though they took the lead in the Manchester Derby on Monday night through an own goal from defender Vincent Kompany, they conceded a late winner from Sergio Aguero to once again suffer defeat at the hands of Mancini.

“If you look at our history over the years we always make it difficult for ourselves. The supporters are hanging on the edge of their seats every year. It is a 12-point lead, we go to Stoke at the weekend and we will have a go. It wasn’t a bad performance by us, so I’m not disappointed in that respect. But I’m disappointed with the goals we gave away. For the first goal I thought their player [Carlos Tevez] was offside and interfering with play by standing in front of David de Gea,” said Ferguson.


The Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that the defender Phil Jones will not be taking part in the last 16 stage of the Champions League match against Real Madrid. The second leg will take place at Old Trafford. Despite coming into the match with a slender advantage due to the away goal, Ferguson would have liked to have his entire squad fit and ready. However, he will have to do without the services of the former Blackburn Rovers defender Phil Jones. Jones suffered an injury during the FA Cup match against Reading a few weeks ago.

He has not taken part in the training session ahead of the match, thus confirming fears that he would miss the encounter. Ferguson confirmed this fear by stating that Jones will have no part to play in the match. However, he is confident that United will progress to the next round. This match has been billed by the two managers as the match that the world would like to see. Jones missing the match will be extremely crucial for United given that he had a major role to play in keeping the Real Madrid attacker Cristiano Ronaldo quiet during the first leg.

Ferguson has praised the history of both clubs, and has said that he is looking forward to the match. “He’s not fit. He won’t be fit for tomorrow. His performance over there was excellent but we do have options and hopefully it is something we get right. I think that both teams are in form. Real put in two fantastic performances against Barcelona. I was there on Tuesday and they were superb. They’ve found form at the right time for a game of this nature but we’ve been consistent for quite a while,” said Ferguson ahead of the match on Tuesday night.

NOT IN DECLINE


The Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and the Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that they do not believe that the Premier league is on the decline even though the league has only two representatives in the last 16 stage of the Champions League competition.

Manchester city and the current holders of the competitions Chelsea have both crashed out of the competition at the group stages itself. Even though Chelsea have the Europa league to still play for the rest of the season, Manchester city are out of the European competitions entirely as a result of finishing bottom of the group.

Despite this failure coupled with Manchester United’s inability to get past the group stages last season, many have been saying that Premier league is on the decline. Ferguson and Wenger, though, believes that both these two seasons are exceptions rather than examples. Ferguson has said that European competitions have been disappointing for most of the English clubs apart from Chelsea in recent years. However, he thinks that the league is still one of the most exciting in Europe, which is the reason for attracting lot of audience for every match. Wenger has also said the same thing along with the fact that he felt the margin of error was extremely small in European competitions.

“Europe has certainly been disappointing for Premier League teams – Chelsea apart – in the last couple of years, whereas for quite a few years prior to that we had three teams in the semi-finals and an all-English final between ourselves and Chelsea [2008]. Sometimes, however, you get blips but I don’t see this happening consistently as I feel English teams will always be challenging in the latter stages of the Champions League,” said Ferguson, whose Manchester United team have qualified as the group winners.

SCHOLES CAN WAIT


The Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has said that the club are in no hurry to support to the future of the star midfielder Paul Scholes, who is out of contract at the end of this season. The 38-year-old midfielder had to be persuaded to come out of retirement in order to help Manchester United challenge for the title. Even though the title challenge was unsuccessful in the end, Paul Scholes has decided to carry on playing for another season. He has been once again instrumental in the good start made by Manchester United, which have called for the club to retain his services beyond this season as well.

However, the manager Sir Alex Ferguson has said in great confidence that the talks about the future for the 38-year-old midfielder can wait given this incredible loyalty to the club. Paul Scholes is one of the few players in world football to have spent the entire career with one club. He came through the ranks at Manchester United more than 20 years ago, and has been part of the enormous success that they have enjoyed during this period. Ferguson has said that he will not be putting too much pressure on the midfielder to continue playing football.

“It is not a time to make a judgment on that [Scholes’ future]. Paul will know himself. He still has the desire to play. That has not stopped. He is still the best passer of the ball in the country. It is amazing. He has had one or two injuries over the years, quit last summer and came back. He made a fantastic contribution in the second half of the season and I just think he should keep doing what he is doing. He will sort the rest out himself,” said Sir Alex Ferguson.