A blog about Manchester United

Archive for January, 2014

A History of Manchester United Football Club | Tunde Folawiyo

Jan. 31st 2014

Based in northwest England, the Manchester United soccer club exhibits a long history as one of the continent’s premiere professional football teams. As “The Most Popular Football Team in the World”, Manchester United, nicknamed “The Red Devils”, boasts the largest average game attendance in Europe among millions of worldwide fans, including Nigerian Tunde Folawiyo.

Founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, the football club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902. The vibrant Manchester United club crest is derived from the Manchester City Council coat of arms. Aside from game losses over the years, Manchester United suffered a loss of immense magnitude when a plane carryiTunde Folawiyong the team crashed on take-off in Munich en route home from a European Cup game in February of 1958. Twenty-three people died, including eight Manchester United players. Manchester United has accomplished a great deal since that fateful day, winning many honours including a record 20 League titles, four League Cups, 11 FA Cups, and a record 20 FA Community Shields. With three European Cups also under their belt, Manchester United won a continental treble, a brilliant accomplishment for an English football club.

In 2012, Forbes ranked Manchester United first on the list of the ten most valuable team brands in the world with an estimated value of 2.3 billion. Manchester United became the first sports team in history to be valued at an incredible $3 billion in 2013. Although the club has since dropped to the number two spot in the annual ranking, Manchester United remains one of the most successful franchises in the history of sports. With their outstanding success came the birth of the Manchester United Foundation, a charity whose goal is to educate, motivate and inspire young people. Assisting disadvantage areas within Manchester, the foundation continues to make an impact in the lives of England’s youth.

Manchester United paved the way for many English football teams, including their win of the European Cup while under the management of Matt Busby in 1968. Other respected Manchester United managers include Alex Ferguson, who won 28 major honours during a career spanning over 25 years, before announcing his retirement. He remains one of the most respected managers in the history of football. Manchester United’s many loyal fans such as Tunde Folawiyo, will undoubtedly remember Ferguson for his incredible passion for the sport.

Man United victorious in match against Shakhtar Donetsk | Tunde Folawiyo

Jan. 17th 2014

Anyone who, like Tunde Folawiyo, has been a supporter of Man United for many years, will understand just how desperately the team needed its most recent win. Following two dismal defeats at the hands of Everton and Newcastle, the Red Devils finally seem to have gotten back on track after a match against Shakhtar Donetsk, in which they finished with a respectable result of 1-0.

Much to the relief of the team’s supporters, a winning goal was scored in the 67th minute by Phil Jones; this means that Man United have now managed to advance into the final 16 of the Champion’s League, despite their erratic and often subpar performance this season. Moreover, as the winners of Group A, the Red Devils no longer have to worry about facing Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Paris St-Germain or Real Madrid.

Whilst United fans were hopeful from the outset, the match itself was one of twists and turns, and it remained unclear, up until the final third, which team would triumph. For a large portion of the match, the Red Devils struggled to keep up with Shakhtar’s skillful footwork, and missed out on a number of scoring opportunities, when Ashley Young shot just wide of the net on two separate occasions.

Tunde FolawiyoBut, in the end, these floundered goals did not prevent the team from winning the match, as the above-mentioned Phil Jones managed to volley the ball in from the corner, with the help of a pass from Robin Van Persie, who had been brought on as a substitute.

Moyes explained that he intended to put Van Persie on for a maximum of 30 minutes, if necessary, as he didn’t want to hinder the striker’s ability to recover from his groin injury. As the match progressed and it became clear that help was needed, the manager was quick to act, giving Van Persie little time to warm up before he was placed on the field.

The win did not stop the critics from voicing their opinions however, with many noting that the players seemed to be somewhat lethargic, and lacking in creativity. For Tunde Folawiyo, and other veteran supporters who are familiar with the management style of Sir Alex Ferguson, the presence of these characteristics – rarely seen before Moyes’ arrival – may have come as a surprise.

Red Devils lose another home match | Tunde Folawiyo

Jan. 13th 2014

Manchester United, a team that Tunde Folawiyo along with many other football fanatics have supported for years, was defeated once again on its home turf by Newcastle United, with a final score of 1-0. Prior to their losses against Everton and Newcastle, the player’s confidence was at an all-time high, after their outstanding performance in Germany led to a 5-0 defeat of Bayer Leverkusen. Some have speculated that it was in fact this win, and the complacency which followed, that resulted in the players failing to meet expectations.

Critics noted that the tTunde Folawiyoeam lacked their usual finesse, creativity and cunning in this match, and despite the booming pleas from United fans to ‘attack, attack’, the players did little more than the bare minimum required. Unfortunately, several top members, including Marouane Fellaini, Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney, were not on the field.

Fellaini was still recovering from a severely bruised back, Rooney remained suspended and Giggs, a favourite player of many fans, including Tunde Folawiyo, was said to have been resting. The players who were present did not, unfortunately, perform as well as they could have, with Javier Hernandez narrowly missing a caution, following his questionable fall to the ground, and Robin Van Persie hitting the ball out of play whilst attempting to pass to the winger Adnan Januzaj.

The general consensus of spectators was that the midfielders were to blame for Man United’s poor performance, with several commentators noting that the team’s static players simply did not create enough viable passing opportunities. Moyes seemed to be aware of this issue, and made a number of substitutions, with Nani and Cleverley being replaced with Zaha and Anderson; however, this had almost no impact on the match. The manager was criticised for choosing Zaha, a man whose total minutes on the field for the Red Devils add up to just 78, and whose skills have been called into question many times by the club’s staff.

Whilst it was suggested that Ashley Young would have been a wiser choice, Moyes defended his decision, claiming that Zaha and Anderson were both ‘worthy of inclusion’. Speaking to the press afterwards, Moyes refused to blame any of the players; quite the opposite, in fact. He praised their commitment, and claimed that they had done their best to win. However, he did acknowledge that they were ‘lacking’ during the final third of the game.

Is Moyes to blame for Man United’s woes? | Tunde Folawiyo

Jan. 8th 2014

After the Red Devil’s second consecutive loss, demands have been made to replace David Moyes. Critics contend that, after fifteen games in the Premier League, defenders of Moyes can no longer argue that the manageTunde Folawiyor is still in a transitional phase. However, Moyes himself has denied that his career with Man United is nearing its end, and seems unfazed by the scrutiny.

Whilst loyal fans like Tunde Folawiyo continue to support the team, a number of players (both former and current) have openly questioned the decisions made by Moyes; Gary Neville has publically stated that since the manager came on board, some of the team members appear to be taking up deeper defensive positions, which is making the team far more susceptible to set play attacks. In addition to this, Rio Ferdinand criticised the manager for naming the starting 11 just a few hours prior to kick-off; the defender argued that doing so only served to make the players more nervous. Others have admonished Moyes for choosing to replace all of club’s backroom staff.

Some say that United’s lack of signings are to blame for their generally poor performance in recent times; the only significant signing at the club during the summer months was the midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who was transferred at a cost of £27.5 million. As other clubs continue to improve upon their existing squads with new acquisitions, United has missed out on several opportunities to snap up several key players, including Ander Herrera, Thiago Alcantara and Leighton Baines.

The Red Devil’s unpredictable and often inadequate performance on the field can also be explained, at least in part, by the injuries which the top striker Robin Van Persie has been suffering from. Over the course of this year, he has experienced a number of injuries to his hip and groin, which have led to his absence from several matches, including those against Cardiff and Bayer Leverkusen.

Moyes confirmed that the player’s most recent injury to his thigh, which occurred during United’s match against Shaktar Donetsk, is likely to prevent him from training or participating in matches for at least a month. This news may come as a blow to Tunde Folawiyo and other supporters, as Van Persie has historically been a player whom the team and its fans have relied upon to score the goals which no-one else can.