A blog about Manchester United

Archive for February, 2014

Sir Alex Ferguson’s farewell match at Old Trafford | Tunde Folawiyo

Feb. 28th 2014

Tunde FolawiyoIn May of last year, Sir Alex Ferguson publically announced that he intended to retire as Manchester United’s manager, explaining that he would instead serve only as the club’s ambassador and director. His final match at Old Trafford took place just five days later, and resulted in the Red Devils defeating Swansea with a final tally of 2-1. As it was Ferguson’s last game on home turf, a huge number of Man United fans attended, one of whom was Tunde Folawiyo.

Prior to kick-off, the team members of both Man United and Swansea formed a guard of honour, which Ferguson then walked through to reach the arena; his arrival was greeted with applause and cheers by everyone in the stadium. The match got off to a lively start, with the two teams defending themselves well; but a few minutes before the interval, the Red Devils took the lead, after Javier Hernandez deftly kicked the ball just beyond the keeper’s reach.

United did not maintain this advantage for long however, with Swansea’s Michu levelling the score moments after half-time ended. This was an expertly executed play, with Williams heading the ball to the feet of Dyer, who then passed to Michu. The Spaniard was quick to react, immediately volleying the ball into the net.

This equaliser probably came as quite a blow to many fans, including Tunde Folawiyo. Given the significance of this match for Ferguson and his supporters, anything less than a total victory would have been heartbreaking. At this point, Ferguson recognised a need for some changes on the pitch; in the 66th minute, Anderson replaced Scholes, whilst Welbeck replaced Valencia.

Ferguson’s decision almost instantly improved United’s performance, and the fans’ spirits were raised once again when, just 12 minutes before the match drew to a close, Robin Van Persie initiated the winning goal, taking a free kick which was volleyed home by Rio Ferdinand.

Throughout the match, Ferguson remained stationary in his technical area, only making his way towards the pitch after the referee blew the final whistle. With a microphone in hand, he expressed his gratitude to all of the players and the fans, who had supported him even during the difficult early years of his time with the club. He also paid tribute to David Moyes, the team’s new manager.


Red Devils plagued by injuries | Tunde Folawiyo

Feb. 26th 2014

Manchester United, a club which Tunde Folawiyo amongst many others has steadfastly supported for years, appears to be experiencing a bout of bad luck, with many of its team members incurring injuries which have left them unable to participate in matches. Rooney, Van Persie, Da Silva, Nani and Jones have all fallen victim to various types of leg injuries over the past few months.

Jones will be facing at least a fortnight on the sidelines, following a painful knee sprain; this was confirmed by the team’s manager, David Moyes, just before the Red Devil’s match against Hull on Boxing Day. The injury is believed to have occurred during the West Ham match, which took place a few days before Christmas. Given that Jones is a player that Moyes clearly relies upon – the midfielder has appeared in 22 matches since Moyes first took over – his absence will almost certainly have an impact on the team’s performance over the coming weeks.Tunde Folawiyo

Da Silva’s injury came about during the above-mentioned match against Hull; he limped off the pitch just 18 minutes after the game began. As a result, the striker missed out on their defeat of Norwich. However, Moyes has insisted that Da Silva’s injury is not serious, and that he will be ready to resume training and match participation this week; although he did add that ideally, he would prefer to give the player a little bit more time to heal. Moyes also briefly discussed Rooney’s recent absence, noting that the forward had been suffering from an issue with his adductor muscles.

A hamstring-related problem has been keeping another Man United player, Nani, off the field as well. The winger has not played since early December, and there are now rumours that he may be considering a transfer to Juventus. Moyes refused to comment on a possible move for the winger, but did address his injury, explaining that it is worse than they initially thought, and will leave him on the sidelines for several more weeks.

On a more positive note, one of the team’s injured players – Robin Van Persie – is said to be nearing a full recovery, following a thigh strain. The Red Devil’s manager stated that he has begun light training, and will soon be back on the pitch. Those who, like Tunde Folawiyo, regularly watch United’s matches, are likely to be relieved by this news, as Van Persie is arguably one of the team’s best players.

Red Devils defeat Hull City 3-2 | Tunde Folawiyo

Feb. 24th 2014

Manchester United, a team whom Tunde Folawiyo amongst many others, has been a devoted fan of for years, recently played a match against Hull City, which kept spectators on the edge of their seats from start to finish. Hull initially appeared to be the stronger of the two, scoring the first goal just four minutes into the first half, when the centre back Chester volleyed the ball into the net from close range. Five minutes later, Hull managed a second goal, leaving the Red Devils disheartened, and their fans concerned. Chester’s goal was said to have been down to good luck and United’s poor defence; Alex Bruce managed to out-jump Patrice Evra, taking the ball away from Huddlestone’s corner, thus giving Chester his opportunity to score.

Tunde FolawiyoFor many football enthusiasts, including Tunde Folawiyo, who may have watched the Red Devils perform outstandingly well during countless other matches, this dismal start was a rather shocking occurrence to observe. However, Moyes somehow managed to rally the players, and nineteen minutes into the match, Chris Smalling’s header gave the team their first goal. Rooney – who scored four goals against Hull during a previous match at Old Trafford – equalised just seven minutes after this.

A collision between Ashley Young and Allan McGregor (Hull) earlier on in the match led to McGregor being replaced by Steve Harper at half-time. It seemed as if Hull were making a comeback at the start of the second half, with the Red Devils being forced to defend a number of attacks, including one from Alex Bruce, whose header led to the ball bouncing against the cross bar. Three minutes later, Moyes chose to replace Darren Fletcher with Javier Hernandez; some criticised this decision, arguing that Michael Carrick would have been a better choice.

However, the switch did not have any significant impact on the match, as it was Hull City’s James Chester who gave Man United their winning goal. This rather shocking turn of events came about after Young managed to take the ball past Figueroa, kicking it forcefully towards the net; Chester, attempting to deflect, but mistakenly headed it past Hull’s keeper, Harper. This crushing blow seemed to dampen Hull City’s spirits, and whilst in the closing stages, they attempted to level the score, with Chester almost managing to redeem himself at one point, the players never quite managed to regain control of the ball.

Man United triumph over West Ham | Tunde Folawiyo

Feb. 21st 2014

Long-term supporters of the Red Devils, including Tunde Folawiyo know that the team’s performance has been rather erratic as of late. Predicting the outcome of their matches has become almost impossible, as the team’s behaviour on the pitch ranges from outstandingly brilliant, to shockingly mediocre.

Tunde FolawiyoAs such, many fans breathed a sigh of relief when Man United recently managed to defeat West Ham, thus winning their first Premier League home match since last November. They were in top form throughout the game, with Ashley Young, Adnan Januzaj and Danny Welbeck scoring a total of three goals. It was immediately apparent, from the moment they stepped out onto the pitch, that they would emerge as winners, with Tom Cleverely nearly scoring just two minutes into the match; unfortunately, his efforts were thwarted by Adrian San Miguel de Castillo, West Ham’s goalkeeper.

Despite West Ham’s relatively strong defence strategy, Man United managed to score a goal within the first half-hour, when Danny Welbeck nimbly passed the ball to Wayne Rooney, catching up with him further down the field, and eventually taking it from him and kicking it past the keeper’s head. The two United players were described by many as ‘unstoppable’, as they joined forces once again ten minutes later, providing Januzaj with a chance to flick the ball into the net once again. However, the midfielder’s triumph was short-lived, as just before the first half drew to a close, he dived rather dramatically to the ground, despite not supposedly having had any contact with West Ham’s James Collins. He received a caution, and was replaced by Ashley Young.

The second half was equally thrilling, with the aforementioned Young helping the Red Devils to get yet another goal, after Rooney’s lay-off pass enabled him to hit the ball into the top corner of the net. Whilst West Ham were clearly the weaker team, they did manage to redeem themselves somewhat, when Carlton Cole, in the 82nd minute, scored their one and only goal of the match. Whilst it cannot be denied that the Red Devils played with great skill and composure, the match was not without its controversy, with Sam Allardyce, West Ham’s manager, stating that he had spotted a handball when Tom Cleverley was in the penalty box. However, the referee disagreed with this assessment. Overall, the players’ performance will probably have pleased most fans, including Tunde Folawiyo.

Man United suffer crushing defeat in match against Sunderland | Tunde Folawiyo

Feb. 19th 2014

As a fan of Manchester United Football Club, Tunde Folawiyo follows the progress of the league closely. Their recent defeat against Sunderland is likely to have left him, and many of their other supporters, feeling disappointed. It seems that Gus Poyet, who joined Sunderland FC as its manager just three months ago, has had a remarkable impact on the players’ morale, with spectators observing strong performances from Adam Johnson, Fabio Borini, Ki Sung-Yueng. The skill displayed by these team members, coupled with the presence of Tunde FolawiyoMarcos Alonso and John O’Shea, certainly provided Sunderland with the upper hand.

Two of United’s best players – Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney – were unable to participate. Many attributed the Red Devil’s decidedly underwhelming performance to these players’ absences, as well as to David’s Moyes’s substitutions. Commentators questioned the manager’s decision to not bring on Wilfried Zaha, and criticised his favouring of Patrice Evra over Alex Buttner. Others demanded to know why Moyes allowed Tom Cleverley to stay on the pitch for so long.

Ryan Giggs, a player greatly admired by Tunde Folawiyo, appeared to be distracted throughout the match. It was he who gave Sunderland their first goal, after accidentally volleying the ball into United’s net as he attempted to block Bardsley’s kick. The shock of this turn of events appeared to temporarily revive the Red Devils, with Nemanja Vidic delivering a successful header into the net just minutes later.

Sunderland’s second goal came about when Cleverley shoved Johnson to the ground as he made his way down the pitch. After careful consideration, Andre Marriner, the referee, decided to award Sunderland a free kick, which was taken by Fabio Borini. He struck a powerful shot, which landed directly into the roof of the net, far beyond the reach of United’s keeper.

Moyes expressed anger at the referee’s decision during the match, but it was his comments afterwards that seemed to have landed him in hot water. He remarked that he and his team now had to play against both the opposition, and the match officials. The FA were made aware of his outburst, and have now released a statement, explaining that they intend to charge Moyes, as his assertions cast doubt on the match officials’ integrity. The manager has not yet responded to the FA’s allegations of misconduct. He has until the 15th of this month to address the issue, and is likely to face a large fine if the FA find him guilty.

Famous Figures Throughout Manchester United | Tunde Folawiyo

Feb. 17th 2014

Manchester United, nicknamed “The Red Devils”, has long been revered as England’s most successful professional football team with millions of fans including Tunde Folawiyo knowing exactly who they are. Boasting the largest average game attendance in European football, Manchester United has won numerous honours including three European Cups, 20 League titles, 11 FA Cups, four LTunde Folawiyoeague Cups and a record 20 FA Community Shields, further demonstrating their vast impact on European sports.

Throughout its history as a franchise, Manchester United has held many international sports superstars on its roster, including Wayne Rooney, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo. But Ryan Giggs overall, has won 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cups and two Champions League titles during his time with the club. Dubbed “The Most Popular Football Team in the World” due to its outstanding wealth and dynamic fan base, Manchester United was founded under the name Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878 before later being renamed in 1902. Among the tales of its history, Manchester United suffered a loss of immense magnitude when a plane carrying the team crashed in Munich in February of 1958. Twenty-three died that day, including eight Manchester United players. Midfielder Sir Bobby Charlton was instrumental in rebuilding the team with 17 years of loyal service.

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 while fans will undoubtedly remember Ferguson for his incredible passion and numerous contributions toward the sport.

In 2012, Forbes ranked Manchester United first on the list of the ten most valuable sports team brands in the world. This poll estimated Manchester United’s brand to be worth $2.3 billion. Further cementing this title, Manchester United became the first sports team in the history to be valued at an incredible $3 billion in 2013. This is $1.2 billion higher than the next most valuable sports team in the world.

With their enormous success comes the opportunity to assist their community. The Manchester United Foundation maintains a mission of educating, motivating and inspiring young people by making charitable contributions to disadvantaged areas across Greater Manchester. Manchester United Fans such as Tunde Folawiyo will continue to prove an immeasurable source of support for the team’s success.

The Success of Manchester United | Tunde Folawiyo

Feb. 14th 2014

Northwest England’s Manchester United football club has long served as one of Europe’s premiere professional football teams, boasting long-time fans such as Tunde Folawiyo and millions of others. Regarded as “The Most Popular Football Team in the World”, Manchester United currently holds the largest average game attendance in Europe, among numerous other distinctions cementing its high-profile status in sports.

Founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, the football club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902. Now, aptly nicknamed the “The Red Devils”, the dynamic Manchester United’s club crest is derived from the Manchester City Council coat of arms. As one of the world’s most widely supported sports franchises, Manchester United is renowned for its vibrant and devoted fan base.

Under the management ofTunde Folawiyo Matt Busby in 1968, Manchester United won the European Cup before going on to win an additional 28 major honours under manager Sir Alex Ferguson, whose career of over 25 years thrived until his retirement in 2013. Leading his team toward the acquisition of 13 national championships, Ferguson remains one of the most well-known and respected managers in the history of English football.

With a record 20 League titles, four League Cups, 11 FA Cups, and 20 FA Community Shields, Manchester United won the continental treble, a brilliant accomplishment for an English football club.  Further demonstrating their outstanding impact in the world of football, Manchester United ranked first on the Forbes list of the world’s ten most valuable sports franchises in 2012. In the next year, Manchester United became the first sports team in the history to be valued at a staggering $3 billion – $1.2 billion more than the second ranked most valuable sports team in the world at the time. Although the team’s ranking has since slipped to the number two spot in 2013, Manchester United remains one of the world’s most wealthy clubs.

Whilst Manchester United has accomplished many fetes of incredible significance, the team has also experienced devastating loss. On February 6, 1958, a plane carrying the team crashed upon take-off in Munich, West Germany, killing twenty-three passengers, eight Manchester players among them. A shocking blow to the team and the world as a whole, Manchester United went on to rebuild and achieve great success in the following years. Adding to its worldwide fame is Manchester United’s all-time roster of international sports superstars including players Cristiano Ronaldo, Sir Bobby Charlton, Wayne Rooney and David Beckham. Continuous football supporters such as Tunde Folawiyo are aware that the future of Manchester United remains bright as ever.

Ryan Giggs – United’s most talented player | Tunde Folawiyo

Feb. 10th 2014

Many supporters of Man United, including Tunde Folawiyo, consider Ryan Giggs to be the team’s greatest member. Born in Wales in 1973, Giggs first played for the Red Devils in 1990, at the age of 17. He had been ‘discovered’ by Alex Ferguson just a few months prior to this, whilst playing for Deans FC. Quickly establishing himself as a left winger, Giggs continued to play in this position up until the 2000s.

His time with the club has been United’s most successful era, no doubt due in part to Giggs’s incredible talent; over the course of his career, he has been awarded more winners’ medals than any other United footballer. His ability to run at high speed, create scoring opportunities for other players, and retain possession of the ball has made him a great asset to the team.

Tunde FolawiyoSince he was signed in the early nineties, Giggs has made more appearances on the pitch than any other player in the history of the club’s existence; up until 2008, Sir Bobby Charlton held this record, having participated in a grand total of 758 matches.

However, Giggs surpassed this figure after taking part in the European Cup finals in Moscow. Today, he has played in over 950 matches; his 900th occurred in the spring of 2012, during the team’s away game against Norwich City. Giggs performed exceptionally well, providing United with the winning goal just minutes before the final whistle blew.

As an admirer of this player, Tunde Folawiyo is most likely aware of the many honours which Giggs has received throughout the years. In 2007, his services to football won him the OBE, and in 2009, he was given two titles; namely, the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and the PFA Players’ Player of the Year. The following year, Salford council gave Giggs the Freedom of Salford, and in 2012, he was chosen as the Premiership’s greatest player.

Whilst he clearly has a natural aptitude for this sport, it is Giggs’s dedication which has prolonged his career with Manchester United, and enabled him to continue to play, despite being in his forties. He trains several times a week, has taken up yoga to improve his flexibility, and has retired from international football. Speaking to a news publication in 2012, Giggs explained that he will continue to participate in matches for as long as he can, but added that he eventually hopes to transition into management.

Man United fans revel in team’s victory over Swansea | Tunde Folawiyo

Feb. 7th 2014

Following some frustrating losses over the past few months, supporters of Manchester United were thrilled with the team’s recent victory over Swansea. With a final result of 2-0, it certainly seems that Moyes’ unwavering faith in the players over the past few months has been justified. Although this means that United have now won five out of six games in the Premier League, it’s remains uncertain whether or not they will be able to win the title; Tunde Folawiyo, and any other loyal supporters, will know that the Red Devils’ performance since Moyes joined the club has been inconsistent, to say the least.

The first half was described by many as being mediocre, with neither side coming close to scoring. However, Swansea were named as favourites to win by several commentators, as they managed to retain possession of the ball for most of the first 45 minutes. But the Red Devil’s were in top form when they returned after the half-time interval, dominating the match from the moment they stepped out onto the pitch,  right up until the final whistle was blown, with goals being scored by Danny Welbeck and Antonia Valencia.

The run up to Welbeck’s goal was particularly thrilling; after Januzaj gained possession of the ball, he kicked it towards Welbeck, who then headed it in Evra’Tunde Folawiyos direction, at which point Evra attempted to score. Swansea supporters rejoiced as his shot turned out to be miscued; however, their happiness was short-lived, as Welbeck once again took control of the ball and quickly fired it passed Tremmel, into the net. This goal, which doubled United’s advantage, probably came as quite a relief to many supporters, including Tunde Folawiyo.

Whilst both goal-scorers were commended for their contributions, the star of the match was Adnan Januzaj. It was his quick-thinking and skilful footwork that provided Valencia and Welbeck with their respective opportunities, and his persistent attacks on Swansea ensured that the opponents stood no chance of regaining control of the ball.  Whilst some have argued that Moyes should not become too reliant on such a young player (Januzaj is just 18 years of age), others contend that United should simply make the most of the winger’s talents.

Moyes appears to be doing precisely that; his decision to give Januzaj, rather than Kagawa, the number 10 role during the second half is a clear indicator of how much he trusts him, as Kagawa had been brought in specifically for this position, from Borussia Dortmund.

Rumours abound at Old Trafford, as transfer window opens | Tunde Folawiyo

Feb. 3rd 2014

Supporters of the Red Devils, like Tunde Folawiyo, are probably quite curious to find out which players will be joining the team during this month’s transfer windows. David Moyes has confirmed that they will be seeking out a central midfielder and a left-back. It has also been revealed that the club has provided the manager with plenty of funding, in order to secure the very best players. Whilst Moyes hTunde Folawiyoas admitted that he feels under pressure to source some talented new people to join the Red Devils, he added that the players he has in mind may not necessarily be available this month, and will most likely have to be approached during the summer transfer window instead.

With this being said, reports have now surfaced that United intend to offer £24 million for Ilkay Gundogan, a 23 year old from Germany, who serves as a midfielder for Borussia Dortmund. This may come as a surprise to fans such as Tunde Folawiyo, as Gundogan hasn’t actually participated in a match with his current team since last summer, due to a serious back injury. But Moyes seems unperturbed by this fact, and is said to be preparing to make an offer sometime during the next two weeks.

Another player whose talents have piqued Moyes interest is Fabio Coentrao. This will be the manager’s second attempt to sign the left-back, after failing to do so during last year’s window. A number of reports claim that Moyes has already had several discussions with Real Madrid. Whilst Coentrao has not made any public statements regarding this matter, several sports commentators believe that he would be open to the idea of a transfer to Old Trafford. This, coupled with the fact that Jorge Mendes, his agent, has close connections with Man United FC, suggests that Coentrao may well be joining the Red Devils for their matches this spring.

The futures of several existing team members have also been called into question; Wilfried Zaha, for instance, will be sealing a loan move to the club Cardiff City in a few weeks’ time. Zaha has had very few opportunities to show off his skills during his time with United, with players like Adnan Januzaj, Shinji Kagawa and Ashley Young blocking his way to a position on the first team. In addition to this, neither Patrice Evra nor Rio Ferdinand have been offered their twelve-month extension clauses, as of yet.