Manchester United: 2
Swansea City: 0
What a difference a week makes!
Swansea City returned to Old Trafford a mere week after pulling off what was, arguably, their biggest cup win in club history. They outplayed an injury-riddled Manchester United squad who was looking for a glimmer of hope at the start of a dismal 2014. Unfortunately the Welsh team, and arguably one of the most successful promoted teams in years, shocked the FA Cup by eliminating a team that hasn’t been knocked out in the third round in over two decades.
All of that weighed in the back of David Moyes’ mind heading into Saturday’s fixture and in his squad selection. He is still missing his two best players, Rooney and van Persie. He is still wondering just what he will get out of Welbeck when he needs him the most. And most of all, he is still hoping that youngsters like Januzaj and Smalling can step up to prove their place in the first team. Saturday’s game wasn’t a convincing effort but the Red Devils got the job done. Read the rest of this entry »
Manchester United: 1
Swansea City: 2
The 2013/2014 season continues to be one nightmare after another for David Moyes and Manchester United. After a debilitating 2-1 loss to Tottenham at home, handing the Red Devils their fourth home loss of the season, the team desperately needed to bounce back in English Football’s oldest competition. Unfortunately, the uninspired play and negative results continued as United lost 2-1 to Swansea.
It isn’t often that the Red Devils are eliminated in the third round of the FA Cup. On top of that, the reigning Premier League Champions were playing at home. In years past, a third round game at Old Trafford was almost a lock for Sir Alex Ferguson’s team. However, this isn’t his team anymore and despite a tremendously long injury list, David Moyes doesn’t seem to have the ability to pull out victories the way his predecessor did. In fact, it seems as if Moyes is more tentative than ever as teams have gained a confidence against United that hasn’t been seen in more than twenty years. Read the rest of this entry »
Things are looking up for the Red Devils despite the growing number of players being added to the injured list. The indispensable “every-man” Wayne Rooney suffered a slight groin strain during training, leaving the team without it’s best player. Moyes has been lucky enough to pull through thus far under the pressure and the win against Norwich City away from home is another example. Perhaps the injuries have lessened the pressure on Moyes. His decision making has become more consistent and with a lack of Fergie’s faves around, he’s been able to implement his style with the players he thinks can accomplish the tasks.
The brightest point in all of this has been Danny Welbeck. The twenty-three year old striker is finally coming into his own. Over the years he’s shown signs of greatness but never on a consistent basis. This season he’s already scored six goals in the BPL and looks more dynamic than ever before. With van Persie on the doctor’s table it’s become clear that Welbeck will get more opportunities to prove why he deserves to be a prominent figure in United’s attacking plans. That doesn’t mean that all of the problems up front are fixed. With the emergence of Welbeck, it puts Chicharito in a tough position. There’s no denying that Hernandez can be a game changer. However he doesn’t seem to fit into Moyes’ system the way he did with Ferguson. Read the rest of this entry »
Hull City: 2
Manchester United: 3
It was 13 minutes of nightmarish football as Manchester United had a horrendous start against Hull at K.C. Stadium. Meyler’s goal that put Hull up by two was a classic example of how United hasn’t solved their defensive woes. David De Gea was left helpless as good intentions by Johnny Evans did little more than poison the well. At that point it appeared as if United was headed towards another lackluster performance. Luckily, the team reached down for some of its “Alex Ferguson Magic” to pull out an ugly result.
The question that Manchester United is happy to avoid answering is: What would the team be like without Wayne Rooney? First it was a beautiful ball into the penalty area that Chris Smalling placed in the back of the net (vintage Vidic). After that, Rooney may have scored one of the best goals this season. After settling a high pass from Welbeck, Rooney volleyed it into the top corner past ailing keeper Alan McGregor. Not only was it a highlight reel goal, but it also made Rooney one of only two EPL players to score 150 goals for the same team (the other being Thierry Henry). From that point on it seemed as if they were destined to take all three points. It wouldn’t be pretty but an own goal by defender James Chester sealed the deal for the red side of Manchester. Read the rest of this entry »
The Yankees are in flux! It’s the best way to describe a team that has seen so much disaster in one season yet has somehow managed to stay afloat in a tremendously tough division. This past weekend saw a very important series against the Boston Red Sox go against the boys in pinstripes but there were still a lot of positives to be seen. For one, Brett Gardner is easily becoming one of the toughest outs in baseball. He has fouled off more 2-strike pitches than anyone else in the league, is second on the team with 16 walks and first in stolen bases. He lacks the explosiveness or flash of a Jose Reyes but easily contributes more to a lineup that has looked downright anemic all season long. Read the rest of this entry »
Twenty games into the 2013 MLS Season and the one thing we can understand about the New York Red Bulls is that they are consistently inconsistent. Last week the team put together one of their most impressive performances by dismantling a Montreal side that sat atop the Eastern Conference for most of the first half of the season. Whether or not the Impact were a bit overrated had nothing to do with how solid of a performance New York displayed. They had possession of the ball, passed to perfection and took advantage of key opportunities to score early goals. Read the rest of this entry »
Red Bull New York: 0
DC United: 0
The weather mirrored the emotions that filled every fan who entered Red Bull Arena on Saturday afternoon. There was a sense of snowy gloom as New York had only grabbed one point out of their first two games. Of course, things were worse one year prior as they lost both games on the road but they didn’t have to face hated rivals DC United in their first home game. In no way did Red Bull fans want to hear about the terrible way the 2012 season ended. This was a chance to erase all of that and get things back on track. Fortunately, there was a lot of good to come out of this game. Unfortunately, the win that would have made everyone feel more at ease didn’t come. Read the rest of this entry »
Fans of Pro Wrestling NOAH have had to endure one of the most painful descents in pro wrestling history. From the heights of 2005’s Tokyo Dome sell out to the lows of an exaggerated 3,500 fans at today’s show, it is obvious that NOAH is slowly dying. Even still, there is some light for fans that have stuck with it and endured the painful loss of Go Shiozaki and Jun Akiyama. KENTA, the man who pioneered much of CM Punk’s current offense, has finally won the BIG ONE! In a 21 minute battle with current champion Takashi Morishima, KENTA was able to make the giant Japanese champion tap to his finisher GAME OVER (a modified Crippler Crossface). Read the rest of this entry »
After rumors of a possible transfer to Leon, New York Red Bull has announced that they’ve come to an agreement with Rafa Marquez on terms for his immediate release. The decision is mutual and we won’t know what the conditions terms are as clubs are not forced to disclose that information. When asked, Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh only said, “This decision has been made in the best interest of both parties concerned.” While it isn’t much to go on, there is no denying that New York will be happy to see the controversial defender leave the organization.
Rafa came to New York in 2010 as an addition to New York’s much talked about acquisition of Thierry Henry. The thought was that the Red Bulls would be reuniting the key elements that helped Barcelona become wildly successful years earlier. Unfortunately, that never came to fruition. Marquez was critical of teammates while missing a large chunk of each season he played. When he was on the field, controversy followed. During the 2011 Eastern Conference Semi-Final, Marquez received a red card post-game for throwing the game ball at Landon Donovan. Subsequently, he missed the first two games of the 2012 season and then more due to reoccurring injury. Read the rest of this entry »
Still no word on a manager but New York did acquire a few pieces to add some excitement to the 2013 season. Real Salt Lake, now interested in blowing up their team and starting from scratch, gave away two big pieces for allocation money to New York. Fabian Espindola who had 9 goals and 7 assists in 30 games this season, will be joined by Jamison Olave, 2010 Defender of the year. While both men aren’t exactly spring chickens, they’re still producing at a high level in MLS.
Espindola’s inclusion raises questions as to Kenny Cooper’s future with the team. It was obvious that playing alongside Thierry Henry helped raise Cooper to a new level. However, the Red Bulls may feel like they’ve seen the US International’s peak. If so, Espindola holds the key to an even more successful combination with the French superstar, Henry. Cooper will also bring a high price on the market. He was second in scoring last season and could fetch some great prospects from teams looking to win now. Don’t be surprised if the LA Galaxy are interested, especially considering the potential loss of Landon Donovan. Read the rest of this entry »