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Manchester United: The 2008 Dream Team

Oct. 3rd 2014

tunde folawiyoManchester United has an illustrious and long history at the top of the English league, as well as achieving a number of remarkable milestones on the European stage. In 2008, a season when many did not believe it was possible, the team once again rose to the challenge and won the Champions League. The squad immortalised itself in Manchester United’s history, while adding more prestige to manager Alex Ferguson’s career, who many believe is the greatest football manager of all time.

After qualifying through the English league, Manchester United were placed into a group alongside Sporting CP, Roma, and Dynamo Kyiv. The first two matches against Sporting CP and Roma were won by just a one goal margin courtesy of Ronaldo and Rooney respectively. After this, a doubleheader against Dynamo Kiev resulted in a 4-2 victory before Manchester United went on to add to this with an impressive 4-0 win against the same opponents in the next game. The team cemented itself at the top of its group with a subsequent 2-1 win over Sporting CP, and a 1-1 draw against Roma.

Once Manchester United were through to the knock-out phases of the competition, the quality of the opposition inevitably increased. A hard fought 1-1 draw away to French team, Lyon, may have knocked the confidence of the team, but this did not show when, on the returning leg, United defeated Lyon by a solitary goal, securing passage to the quarter-finals of the Champion’s League on the road to glory.

Surprisingly, the Manchester United team were drawn against previous group opponents A.S. Roma for their quarter-final ties. This proved remarkable, as it would go on to be the fifth and sixth times the teams had played each other in the preceding 12 months. The initial leg of the quarter-finals was played in Italy, with Manchester United coming out on top comfortably with a 2-0 win. The quarter-final was then seal on the return leg when Roma was defeated by one goal.

In the semi-finals, Manchester United met another one of Europe’s greatest footballing teams, Barcelona. After a dogged first leg where neither team got the upper hand in a 0-0 draw, Manchester United, edged out Barcelona in the return leg with one solitary goal, provided by club legend Paul Scholes, in the 14th minute of open play.

The team’s efforts were rewarded with an exceptional final against fellow English team Chelsea, much to many of the fans, including Tunde Folawiyo’s delight. Both sides had competed for the English title, and so it was fitting that the game went to penalties in the end. The Manchester United team were victorious after a 1-1 score could not separate the teams, with Chelsea losing 5-6 on penalties.

Manchester United Football Club has an illustrious history, and its fan base is just as impressive. To find out more about the team from a fans perspective, read Tunde Folawiyo’s online articles on his passion for the world’s most successful club.

Red Devils emerge victorious after US tour

Oct. 1st 2014

tunde folawiyoUnited have been performing very well under Van Gaal’s direction, winning a string of matches during the past month or so. One of their most recent victories took place in Sun Life Stadium in Miami; their match against Liverpool finished with a final result of 3-1. Their US tour has been a resounding success overall, with one draw and four wins; this is an even more impressive achievement, when one considers the fact that the Dutch coach has only been directly overseeing training for a few weeks now. In this short amount of time, he has somehow managed to implement an entirely new – and clearly very effective – system. This accomplishment has no doubt impressed many of United’s fans, including Tunde Folawiyo.

The game didn’t begin well for United, with Valencia being forced off the pitch due to an injury in the eighth minute, and Liverpool taking the lead six minutes later. However, United compensated for their sluggish and lacklustre performance during the first half with an incredible effort after the interval. Two goals, scored in quick succession by Rooney and Juan Mata, followed by a final shot by Jesse Linguard, left spectators in no doubt as to which was the stronger team.

Whilst Van Gaal has said that he is very pleased to have won the International Champions Cup, he is giving neither himself nor his players time to celebrate, and is instead moving straight on to the next challenge – the Barclays Premier League. He did however, pause to say how happy he was with Rooney who, for his outstanding skills on pitch, was named as the Player of the Tournament.

This praise was reciprocated by Rooney, who expressed his gratitude to Van Gaal for having helped United to implement such an innovative new system. He explained that the system suited the abilities of all of the team members, and that whilst Van Gaal was certainly tough, in terms of his style of training, the experience of having him as their manager has been very positive so far.

Some say that Van Gaal’s admiration of Rooney’s football skills is a sign that he may be considering him for the role of captain. Van Gaal has hinted that he is eager to give the captain’s armband to a worthy player in the near future, and described Rooney as a consistent winner, noting that he deserved all of the accolades he had been given in recent months.

Tunde Folawiyo, like the rest of United’s fans, is probably quite keen to find what Van Gaal intends to do regarding to this matter, and whether he really is considering Rooney for this position within the team. Anyone who is interested in finding out more about this Red Devils’ supporter can do so by reading the Tunde Folawiyo About Me information.

United struggling to sign new players during transfer window

Sep. 26th 2014

tunde folawiyoVan Gaal is being kept busy by transfer negotiations at the moment. It might surprise Tunde Folawiyo to hear that, should his efforts to sign Arturo Vidal fall through, the Dutch manager will attempt to sign Alex Song instead. The Red Devils have been open about their talks with Juventus over the past few weeks, and are said to have offered the Italian club £45 million for the 27-year-old. Several weeks ago, they also requested that Vidal undergo a medical assessment, in order to ensure that his old knee and ankle injuries would not hinder his ability to play in upcoming matches.

Whilst such measures – and such a generous offer – clearly indicate that Van Gaal is eager to bring Vidal on board, it is unclear if Juventus would be willing to let him go. Whether Song would be the best alternative is debatable. Although Luis Enrique, the Arsenal manager, is thought to have been less than impressed with the Cameroon player’s performance, Van Gaal seems to see some potential in him which others do not.

United have also set their sights on another Arsenal player – Thomas Vermaelen. The club are believed to be looking to strengthen their central defence by playing with three centre halves, and are confident that Vermaelan is the right man for this job. However, it has been reported that the young player is close to agreeing to a transfer to Barcelona, in a 5-year deal worth approximately £12 million.

Vermaelan had expressed a desire to leave Arsenal some time ago, due to the fact that Enrique had been continually favouring Koscielny and Mertesacker over him. Initially, he seemed willing to transfer to United, but now that Arsenal has stated that they would prefer to make a deal with an overseas club, a move to Old Trafford looks very unlikely.

Being a supporter of United, Tunde Folawiyo is probably aware that Van Gaal had not had much luck with his efforts to sign Mat Hummels either. Hummels has been one of his top transfer targets, due to the recent departure of both Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. Despite Dortmund refusing to budge regarding the transfer of the defender, Van Gaal intends to make one final offer of £30 million. If this is rejected, he will be considering Daley Blind, who currently plays for Ajax.

Folawiyo has been a fan of the Red Devils for quite some time. However, he has many interests outside of football too; to learn more about this man, view Scribd uploads on Tunde Folawiyo online.

Van Gaal confirms interest in Roma Midfielder Strootman

Sep. 24th 2014

tunde folawiyoMere weeks after leading the Netherlands to a third place finish at the World Cup, Van Gaal is at it again, seeking to sign the boldest and brightest players to the Manchester United roster. A variety of international players are said to be under Van Gaal’s radar, few of which have been confirmed by the coach himself, though the exception lies in Kevin Strootman, Roma midfielder. Recently, Van Gaal confirmed interest in 24-year-old Strootman who is currently on lay-off due to a knee injury suffered in March. Tunde Folawiyo and other fans of Manchester United may find a Strootman acquisition to be amongst Van Gaal’s wisest moves as coach so far.

Whilst Van Gaal has indeed admitted interest, he has also admitted hesitance over Stootman’s long period of lay-off. According to the Manchester United coach, no decision will be made until an assessment of the player’s period of recovery. Also swirling around the rumour mill is Roma player Medhi Benatia, a centre half who may very well be within Van Gaal’s eye line. The coach also addressed Luke Shaw’s wage demands.

The Dutchman first made his professional debut playing for Sparta Rotterdam during the 2007–2008 season. His contract was extended during November of 2008, where he later performed in the Eerste Divisie. During the January 2011 transfer window, Strootman was signed by FC Utrecht, where he played for part of the 2010–11 season before making a move to PSV during June of the same year.

During July of 2013, Roma and PSV finalized Strootman’s transfer to Italian Serie A, a €17 million deal. With several goals throughout his time with the club, he suffered an injury during March 2014 that would render him out for the rest of the season, as well as the 2014 World Cup, one in which the Dutch placed third. The manner in which the midfielder bounces back from his injury will be under heavy scrutiny by Van Gaal and his staff in the coming weeks.

Strootman’s international debut for the Dutch team came in 2011 in a match against Austria. Whilst he was part of the Netherlands’ roster at the Euro 2012, the team was knocked out during group stage. He played regularly for the team during the qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup, scoring during an 8-1 victory over Hungary. Given Strootman’s tremendous performance for both Roma and the Netherlands national team, Tunde Folawiyo and millions of other Red Devils fans may welcome the signing of the super talent. A Tunde Folawiyo success story on Frontiers provides a glimpse into the life of one of United’s loyal fans.

A Legend in Brief: Sir Alex Ferguson

Sep. 15th 2014

Tunde FolawiyoFormer Scottish footballer and famed manager of Manchester United Sir Alex Ferguson retired last year after serving the team since 1986. Ferguson’s departure occurred after his 1500th match as manager, against West Brom. Ferguson said simply that it was the right time to leave. Many consider him among the best managers in the history of football. He won the Manager of the Year award more times than any person in British history. Fans of Ferguson and Manchester United can be found in the UK and all over the world, including Tunde Folawiyo, who has been a fan since the days of Best and Charlton. For more information, please see this Tunde Folawiyo company overview.

Ferguson’s soccer career began as a player at aged 16 in the amateur league with Queen’s Park. He began his professional career after signing with Dunfermline in 1964. In 1966, Ferguson tied for the most goals scored in the Scottish League. He played for several teams in the Scottish football association before transitioning to management in 1974. He was only 32 when he began as manager for East Stirlingshire, and headed next to St. Mirren to oversee a remarkable rise in the club’s game play and base of fan support. After St. Mirren became the only football team to ever fire Ferguson, he moved on to Aberdeen, the team that claimed both the Scottish Cup and the European Super Cup in 1983.

Manchester United took Ferguson on as manager in 1986, and in his first season he brought the team from twenty-first to eleventh place. He worked with players to increase discipline and drive, and made some expensive acquisitions, including Neil Webb and Danny Wallace in 1989. After a rough start, Manchester United found its stride, and Ferguson went on to be one of the most celebrated managers in football. He has a long legacy of former players who have gone on to become managers themselves.

His former players praise his skills as a manager, his incredible passion and commitment to the game. After achieving one thousand games in 2004, he was lauded by then-captain Bryan Robson as a man who “lives and breathes for football.” Ferguson won nearly forty trophies with Manchester United. The team won the UEFA Champions League title twice under his direction and the Premier League title thirteen times.

Retirement for Ryan Giggs, and a Legacy of Greatness

Sep. 8th 2014

Tunde Folawiyo Ryan Giggs is in the news recently, amid rumours that Manchester United is considering retiring the number 11 shirt in honour of Giggs, whose twenty-three year football career ended in retirement last year. Giggs has stated that he is interested to see who will take over the number, and says he can imagine inheriting the number 11 shirt could come with a great deal of pressure. But he does not think the team should retire it, given their high turnover of fantastic players. The retirement rumours are thought to have started in a push from excited fans. Now that he is retired, Giggs has joined the Manchester United coaching staff under Louis Van Gaal.

Ryan Giggs was born in Canton, Cardiff in 1973. His father, Danny Wilson, played union rugby for Cardiff RFC, and Giggs was a player of both rugby and football from a young age. Giggs was offered associate schoolboy forms on his fourteenth birthday and his first professional contract on his seventeenth birthday. He made his league debut for Manchester on March 2, 1991, and was voted the PFA Young Player of the year in 1992 and 1993. By 2002, Giggs was the longest serving player on United, and in 2004 he became one of only two players to have one the FA cup more than three times. Giggs’ unquestionable skills and long duration in the game have made him the holder of numerous league records, including league titles, and was awarded PFA player of the year in 2009.

Giggs retired in 2014 at age 40, in an open letter to friends and supporters that announced both his retirement and his position as assistant manager of Manchester United. In the letter, he referred to his pride at representing United in 963 games, and Wales in 64, fulfilling a life-long dream and playing among the greatest players in the football world. He is pleased to be going on to work alongside van Gaal, and his efforts on the field, spanning two decades, are sure to be remembered for a long time to come. Long-time fan and business owner Tunde Folawiyo is among the many that cite Giggs as the greatest Manchester United player of all time, for his longevity in such a competitive climate. Giggs was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2005.

Summer transfer window will result in significant changes at Old Trafford

Aug. 29th 2014

Tunde FolawiyoNow that the World Cup has drawn to a close, Louis Van Gaal is focusing all of his attention on transfers. It was recently reported that the Dutchman had been hoping to sign Kevin Strootman; this dream has been dealt a blow, as the midfielder’s current club, Roma, are reluctant to sell one of their top players.

As a football fanatic, Tunde Folawiyo may know that Strootman is still recovering from a severe knee injury – but this has not deterred Van Gaal, who says that he will continue to monitor the player’s recovery, and potentially make an offer in the near future. However, Van Gaal’s offer will have to be a generous one; Rudi Garcia, Roma’s manager, has stated that he would not let Strootman go for less than £79 million.

United have had better luck with signing Arturo Vidal; whilst the midfielder initially said that he had no interest in transferring to Old Trafford, an offer of £35 million is said to have caused him to reconsider. At the moment, talks are underway, and if they go well, Vidal could be moving to the Red Devils within a matter of days.

Supporters of United, such as Tunde Folawiyo, might have heard the rumour that Angel Di Maria, one of Real Madrid’s midfielders, is keen to move to another team. There have been indications that Di Maria is feeling overlooked at his current club, and would quite happily transfer to United, if a reasonable offer was made. The Argentine is reported to have complained about the lack of time he has had on the pitch as of late, due to the arrival of newly-acquired players like Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez.

However, it is unclear whether Van Gaal is interested in signing Di Maria. When asked, he noted that he will need to closely examine the existing squad at United before making a decision. He explained that he must first analyse the strengths and weaknesses of his team and determine if certain players need to be replaced; only then will he be able to consider the midfielder.

Van Gaal has been true to his word in this regard, and has made it clear to several members of the current squad that he will replace them if their performance is not up to scratch. In particular, the manager is said to be keeping an eye on Wilfried Zaha and Nani, neither of whom did as well as they should have during the pre-season US tour.

Like many of United’s supporters, Folawiyo is no doubt curious as to what decisions Van Gaal will make during the coming weeks. To find out more about this football fan, read the Tunde Folawiyo ‘About Me’ information.

Van Gaal fitting in well at Old Trafford

Aug. 22nd 2014

Man United enjoyed yet another win this week; under the guidance of their new manager Van Gaal, they managed to defeat Inter Milan, after a draw resulted in a penalty shootout that saw the Red Devils score five goals – two more than their opponents. Coupled with their recent win Tunde Folawiyoagainst Roma, this match will bring the team one step closer to the International Champions Cup.

The end result of their game with Inter Milan probably came as quite a surprise to Tunde Folawiyo and other fans, as United’s performance during the first half was mediocre at best. Although they succeeded in controlling the ball most of the time, they failed to create any real scoring opportunities for themselves. Phil Jones almost took the lead once, but his header was saved by Samir Hananovic. Van Gaal clearly noticed that United were not performing as they should, as he made a total of eight changes during the interval. This was a wise decision on his part, as the Red Devils played considerably better throughout the second half.

Discussing the game afterwards, Van Gaal said that he was very pleased with the result. He praised the team for retaining possession of the ball, and said that he was happy with how the positions had been covered, noting that there was a vast improvement in comparison to previous matches. He added that he believed the performance to be the best he’s seen so far, since joining the club.

As a supporter of United, Tunde Folawiyo might be aware that in another interview, Van Gaal described the team as being ‘broken’, and explained that he has been doing his utmost to repair it, through both training, and through the selection of new players during the summer transfer window. The Dutchman also said that, in regards to transfers, he will be looking for people who will fit in on a long-term, rather than a short-term basis.

The team appear to be happy with their new manager; Chris Smalling, one of United’s defenders, has said that he is impressed by the 3-4-2-1 formation Van Gaal has chosen for the squad. This system has proven effective for the Netherlands team, and Smalling has said that he and his fellow teammates will have no trouble adapting to this formation in their own matches.

Being a sports fanatic, Folawiyo might occasionally share his opinion on his favourite teams online. To learn more about his interests, view Tunde Folawiyo’s uploads on Scribd.

Arjen Robben Disputes Manchester United Transfer Rumors

Aug. 8th 2014

Tunde FolawiyoNow that the newly-appointed coach Van Gaal has upheld his responsibilities to the Netherlands’ national team, Manchester United fans are undoubtedly watching his next move closely. It was announced recently that the new coach extended an offer to Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben, though the forward has since ruled out a Manchester United move. Fans of United, like Tunde Folawiyo and millions of others around the globe, may find the offer to prove a step in the right direction for Van Gaal after the team’s disappointing past season.

Both United fans and players alike may find new hope in Van Gaal’s coaching capabilities after the manager led Holland to third place at the World Cup in Brazil. He admitted to the media that he made a brave attempt to bring Robben to United, though his efforts were rebuffed. Robben, however, has noted his close relationship with the coach, regarding him as the most important manager of his career. Despite this, he remains firm in his decision to stay with Bayern Munich.

As Van Gaal has stated, the offer remains on the table and Robben would certainly contribute a great deal to a team riddled with disappointment under recently sacked ex-coach David Moyes. The forward is amongst the Netherlands’ most talented players, with appearances in three UEFA Championships and three World Cups. Known for impressive dribbling skills, crossing ability and speed, the player has long demonstrated great promise on the field.

The start of his professional career began with Groningen, where he was awarded player of the year during the 2000-2001 Eredivisie season. He signed with PSV two years later, becoming among Netherland’s Young Players of the Year. The next season, Robben was pursued by a variety of English clubs before eventually joining Chelsea during 2004. Whilst his debut with the team was delayed by injury, he would later help the team to go on to achieve two Premiere League championship titles. Following his third season with the English team, Robben made the move to Spain’s Real Madrid for an estimated €35 million.

During August of 2009, he was transferred to the Bayern Munich club, scoring two goals during his debut. His first season with the team saw them win a league title – his fifth in a period of eight years. He scored a winning goal during the Champion League final and was later named amongst the Footballers of the Year for Germany. Whilst United fans such as Tunde Folawiyo may have anticipated the talent joining the ranks of the Red Devils, perhaps Coach Van Gaal has other tricks up his sleeve.

Van Gaal Signs First Player as Head Coach

Aug. 4th 2014

Tunde FolawiyoNewly appointed Coach Van Gaal has recently signed his first player as manager of Manchester United. Ander Herrera, a Spanish midfielder, has acquired the four-year commitment, joining a team with much to prove to its millions of loyal fans. After a disappointing season under recently sacked Coach David Moyes, the Red Devils are undoubtedly determined to turn things around. Rumours surrounding Van Gaal’s coaching plan are alive and well as he prepares to take the reins of Manchester United. As the first of what is sure to be many changes to United’s roster, Tunde Folawiyo and other fans of the celebrated club may find Herrera’s signing to be highly significant in the future direction of the team.

Whilst United’s previous £28.85 million United bid to acquire the 24-year-old was rejected, an improved offer has secured his signature. Born in Bilbao, Herrera played for Real Zaragoza until 2011. His career with the club saw 128 appearances and 11 goals. According to the player, signing for the Red Devils is a dream turned reality. He regards his time playing for Old Trafford during UEFA’s Europa League amongst the highlights surrounding his young career.

Manchester United had previously attempted to acquire the playmaker last year, but was unable to meet deadline requirements. Reports have suggested that the deal may have been spoiled by a group of pranksters pretending to act on behalf of the club. David Moyes, the club’s then-manager, acquired Marouane Fellaini instead. Unfortunately, his debut campaign was one riddled with disappointment. His presence failed to improve the club’s long-term issues in midfield.

When Herrera does indeed make the move to United, he will accept the challenge of bringing control to the team’s midfield, a challenging fete indeed. United megastar Ryan Giggs regards Ander as a talented young player boasting great creativity and energy. He noted him as one of United’s brightest prospects throughout Spain, expressing certainty that the 24-year-old would be a hit amongst fans. The seasoned Giggs anticipates seeing Herrera in action during the team’s summer tour in America.

Given Coach Van Gaal’s great success managing the Netherlands at the 2014 World Cup, United fans may be hopeful of a brighter season for the Red Devils in the coming months. Tunde Folawiyo and millions of others may undoubtedly still face disappointment over the past year’s record, but Van Gaal and his plans for the club may prove to be its ultimate saving grace.