Tag: Manchester United

Manchester United: The Fragile Invincibles

The margins between victory and some form of salvation can be extremely narrow. Four minutes into stoppage-time at Old Trafford last night, Zlatan Ibrahimovic spared Manchester United’s blushes with a penalty kick which rescued a point from a drab and frequently ponderous performance against Everton. Seldom before in recent years has the gap between those who drink from a glass half-full and those who drink from a glass half-empty felt so great. A late, late equaliser may have tickled the neurotransmitters of those who recall the halcyon days of “Fergie-time” and the like, and those people can also take...

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Manchester United & The Filleting of Louis Van Gaal

We’re all detectives this morning, trying to figure out who is leaking stories from Old Trafford. Within an hour of the end of Saturday evening’s FA Cup final, the news that Louis Van Gaal’s time as the manager of Manchester United was coming to an end became public knowledge, followed nanoseconds later by the unofficial confirmation that Jose Mourinho would be replacing him. Since then, the first half of this story has come to be officially confirmed, and it’s likely that the second part will be in the next couple of days. The British press, which has been openly...

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The 2016 FA Cup Final: More By Accident Than Design

In the space of four minutes at Wembley Stadium yesterday afternoon, we saw a microcosm of Alan Pardew’s managerial career. There had been the solid adherence to an unadventurous plan which had worked reasonably well. Then there was a moment of fleeting success, which was followed by a show of hubris that bordered on the ridiculous, and then the puncturing of that hubris, swiftly followed by a low national snigger. It wasn’t that the neutral hates Crystal Palace, more that Alan Pardew being there makes loving them less than as straightforward as it should be, especially when they’re playing...

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Video of the Day: The 1995 FA Cup Final

The 1994/95 season was not especially kind to Manchester United. Having won the league and cup double at the end of the previous season, they started as the favourites to regain their crown, but a financially plumpened Blackburn Rovers pipped them to that particular title with a team led by Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton which could even afford to lose their last match of the season as Manchester United also lost theirs, at West Ham United. With the League Cup having been won by Liverpool, who had beaten Bolton Wanderers in the final of that competition, this was...

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Video of the Day: The 1983 FA Cup Final

Younger readers of this website – presuming there are any, and there may well not be – could be forgiven for wondering why those of us in our forties or over get so misty-eyed about the FA Cup final. After all, this is just a domestic trophy. It doesn’t carry the pan-continental gravitas of the Champions League or the marathon-esque slog of the Premier League – why should they care about a trophy that seems to belong in the last century? This evening’s FA Cup final is an attempt to explain. The FA Cup final was an event, and...

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