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Manchester United v Tottenham and the evolution of live football on TV | Steven Pye

Fri, 03/11/2022 - 11:36

This weekend’s coverage will be nothing like what was shown in 1983 when the BBC broadcast its first live league game

By Steven Pye for That 1980s Sports Blog

There was very little hype. No cheerleaders on the pitch, no fireworks, no whole new ball game as Sky sold it when they started broadcasting the Premier League. The first league match shown live on the BBC – Manchester United v Tottenham on Friday 16 December 1983, nearly a decade before the birth of the Premier League – was in many ways the complete opposite to what we experience now. The product was undersold and it very much exceeded expectations.

The BBC started its TV service in 1936 and it showed a specially arranged friendly between Arsenal and Arsenal Reserves at Highbury the following year. That broadcast only went out to a few homes in north London, but it was a start. The corporation soon moved into coverage of the FA Cup, international games and highlights shows, but it took nearly half a century before they broadcast a league match live.

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Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Fri, 03/11/2022 - 08:00

All eyes on Stamford Bridge, Palace try to repeat City heroics and Brentford want more of the same from Eriksen

Brighton’s four defeats on the spin appeared to come from nowhere and, in the space of three weeks, doubled their number of losses for the season. They will not be relegated but a European spot is surely now out of the question, with no guarantees things will turn dramatically when Liverpool visit. “Every team will have a tough period and we’re going through ours now,” said the midfielder Steven Alzate, one of few Seagulls players to come out with much credit from the defeat at Newcastle. Brighton do tend to give Liverpool a game, on the positive side. They drew this fixture last season and their comeback from two down to earn a point at Anfield may yet come to be an episode Jürgen Klopp regrets bitterly when he looks back at the title race. Before what looks to be a defining four weeks for Klopp’s hopes, with Liverpool due to visit Arsenal and Manchester City, Alzate and company will hope to put another huge spanner in the works. NA

Brighton v Liverpool, Saturday 12.30pm (all times GMT)

Manchester United v Tottenham, Saturday 5.30pm

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Luke Shaw boost for Manchester United as defender open to extending contract

Wed, 03/09/2022 - 13:45
  • England left-back has just over a year left on current deal
  • Shaw, 26, joined United as a teenager for £30m in 2014

Luke Shaw is open to signing a new deal at Manchester United, with the defender enjoying playing for the club he joined in summer 2014 from Southampton.

Although the 26-year-old England left-back is yet to definitively decide his long-term future, Shaw’s stance is a boost for United after news this week that his teammate Marcus Rashford is considering his future and with Paul Pogba expected to leave in the summer.

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Manchester United being bad is now its own self-sustaining media industry | Barney Ronay

Mon, 03/07/2022 - 21:00

A poor team, poorly run with no direction. Even pundits are struggling to stay fascinated by a club’s perpetual non-success

“What if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: ‘This life as you now live it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you … Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus?”

Yes, I would. I would probably do that. It becomes easier to say this with certainty, to agree with Friedrich Nietzsche’s theory of eternal recurrence – which might previously have seemed a little lateral, lacking in, say, the directness that makes the Premier League so special – having watched Sky Sports coverage of Sunday’s Manchester derby; and having seen Dave Jones turn to Roy Keane at the final whistle, with a sense even here of basic existence-fatigue and ask: “Roy. How would you sum up that half?”

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Frank O’Farrell, former Leicester and Manchester United manager, dies aged 94

Mon, 03/07/2022 - 14:56
  • O’Farrell played for West Ham, Preston and Republic of Ireland
  • He succeeded Matt Busby at Old Trafford before managing Cardiff

The former Leicester and Manchester United manager Frank O’Farrell has died at the age of 94.

O’Farrell guided Leicester to the 1969 FA Cup final during his three-year spell in charge but the Irishman was best known as the man who succeeded Sir Matt Busby as United manager in 1971, although his Old Trafford reign would last only 18 months.

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Marcus Rashford considering future at Manchester United over lack of minutes

Mon, 03/07/2022 - 10:21
  • Forward has started two of team’s past 11 league games
  • Pochettino no longer leads Ten Hag in race for manager’s job

Marcus Rashford is considering his future at Manchester United after growing unhappy with his game time under Ralf Rangnick. The forward hopes the situation will improve but is giving serious consideration for the first time to asking for a move from his boyhood club.

Since Rashford played the whole of United’s draw at Newcastle on 27 December, he has started only two of the team’s 11 Premier League matches. On one occasion was he unavailable because of injury, twice he was an unused substitute and Sunday’s 4-1 defeat at Manchester City was his sixth appearance from the bench in that period.

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‘Shameful’: Roy Keane accuses Manchester United of giving up in derby

Mon, 03/07/2022 - 10:19
  • Former club captain claims players did not run back
  • Gary Neville says team ‘a disgrace’ against Manchester City

Roy Keane has described Manchester United’s display in the 4-1 defeat by Manchester City as “shameful”.

“I think the worst thing you could say about United is they did give up,” Keane, a former United captain, told Sky Sports. “For a player in a derby, or any game, to give up, it’s unforgivable really. The beauty of top-level sport is there is no hiding place. We saw all United’s shortcomings today.

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Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Mon, 03/07/2022 - 08:00

Rashford endures a dreary derby day, Coutinho shows his magic and Toney rediscovers his golden touch

After 35 minutes, a free-flowing Manchester derby ground to a halt so that a supporter could receive medical attention. The players took the opportunity for a drinks break. Pep Guardiola seized the moment and gave João Cancelo a dressing-down: a proper Pep talk. It was animated, intense, cartoonish and very Guardiola. Ralf Rangnick spoke to his team too, but in his usual measured way – managerial rather than inspirational. He had tried to play Guardiola at his own game, which was bold. “I see your false nine,” he seemed to say, “and I raise you … two false nines!” Manchester United were trying to out-pass Manchester City, which is like trying to out-press Liverpool. A depleted United made a decent fist of it in the first half, even though Kevin De Bruyne was running through his greatest hits. But whatever Guardiola said at half-time lifted City to another level. United fell apart and Guardiola, whose record in home derbies is curiously patchy, was rewarded with his biggest win over them. Tim de Lisle

Match report: Manchester City 4-1 Manchester United

Match report: Aston Villa 4-0 Southampton

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Manchester City have ‘fake lead’ in title race, warns Pep Guardiola

Sun, 03/06/2022 - 20:34
  • City beat Manchester United to restore six-point cushion
  • Liverpool have game in hand and better goal difference

Pep Guardiola said Manchester City will have to take close to maximum points from their remaining 10 games of the season to retain the title following their 4-1 victory over Manchester United on Sunday.

City led 2-1 at the interval before United suffered a second-half capitulation, though their interim manager, Ralf Rangnick, denied his players lack the requisite fight.

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Manchester United flounder without foundations to build upon | Jonathan Wilson

Sun, 03/06/2022 - 19:42

Lack of future certainty in Ralf Rangnick’s side is resulting in failure not only defensively but also in their nerve and will

If there is good news for Manchester United on a bleak afternoon it is that their performance was good in parts. Admittedly those parts were few and far between and confined almost entirely to the first half, but that is still better than the derby at Old Trafford in November.

The use of Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba as central attacking players, to the extent it caused Manchester City problems, worked, at least before half-time. But the problem is that none of that much matters if you’re going to defend like the visitors did.

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Kevin De Bruyne double inspires Manchester City’s derby rout of United

Sun, 03/06/2022 - 18:52

With a few minutes to go and the victory secure, thousands of Manchester City fans momentarily turned their backs on this derby to jig up and down in a joyous Poznan. It was an occasion when they had once again laid bare the chasm that has opened up between themselves and United and they were going to enjoy it.

United were better than they had been in that hideous loss to their neighbours at Old Trafford last November – the one that was pretty much the final straw for Ole Gunnar Solskjær. They had a few flickers in the first half and scored a nice goal to equalise at 1-1 through Jadon Sancho.

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Manchester City v Manchester United: Premier League – live

Sun, 03/06/2022 - 17:20
  • All the action from the Manchester derby (kick-off 4.30pm GMT)
  • Email John or get in touch via Twitter: @JohnBrewin_

Pep Guardiola has been talking to Sky Sports.

I guess with the philosophy from Ralf Rangnick they will have a lot of players inside and deep runners. High intense pressing and aggressive. We expect that. It is an option [the false nine]. They have played like this. Or maybe 4-4-2 diamond. They can play with the wingers as Bruno and Pogba and come inside. We will see after five minutes. Always United is a tough opponent.

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Manchester United’s transfer strategy must improve, warns Ralf Rangnick

Sat, 03/05/2022 - 22:30
  • United trail City by 19 points before Sunday’s derby
  • Pep Guardiola admits City ‘need striker’ in summer

Ralf Rangnick has warned Manchester United that they need to transform their record in the transfer market after admitting that too few of their signings have flourished in the past nine years and that the Premier League’s top two have been better at buying.

United have spent more than £1bn on players since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 but have not sustained a title challenge and go into Sunday’s Manchester derby 19 points behind their neighbours. The interim manager drew an unflattering comparison between United’s recruitment and that of Manchester City and Liverpool.

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Manchester City’s post-Pep planning must avoid United’s failures | Jonathan Liew

Sat, 03/05/2022 - 20:00

City’s rivals, still in limbo after bungling the task of replacing Alex Ferguson, are proof of the pitfalls of a poor succession plan

Many years afterwards, Pep Guardiola would joke that the reason he never took over at Manchester United was because he couldn’t understand Alex Ferguson’s accent. The pair went for dinner in New York in September 2012, when Guardiola was on sabbatical and pondering his next move. Over a luxurious meal and fine wine – all paid for by Ferguson – they talked falteringly about football and life and the future.

“My English is not so good,” Guardiola later said, “and when Sir Alex spoke quickly I sometimes had a problem to understand him. That’s why maybe I didn’t understand if I received an offer or not.”

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Manchester City v Manchester United: match preview

Sat, 03/05/2022 - 09:00

Pep Guardiola’s 11 derbies with Ralf Rangnick’s predecessor, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, ended five wins apiece with one draw. Considering Manchester City’s supremacy this was a fair return from the Norwegian and can offer succour to Manchester United. City, though, have Liverpool right behind them as they seek to defend the title so will be particularly focused. Forget form – it may be a cliche but is still true: as this is a clash between neighbours the 187th staging of the fixture could go either way. Jamie Jackson

Sunday 4.30pm Sky Sports Premier League

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A £1.1bn tale of woe: the story of Manchester United’s lost decade

Fri, 03/04/2022 - 18:00

Dysfunctional transfer policy and failed manager hirings mean wait for a Premier League title will stretch to at least 10 years

Manchester United: the Lost Decade. If Amazon Prime wants another blockbuster sports series then start production to document what next season will be 10 years searching in the wilderness for the title.

For added depth, perspective and poignancy feature a narrative strand about how the final league derby with Manchester City (Sunday, 4.30pm) before that landmark campaign was entered found United in role reversal with their crosstown rivals: the record 20-times champions have become the club in freefall while City are the slickly run serial trophy winners.

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Ralf Rangnick urges Manchester United to adopt rivals’ continuity

Fri, 03/04/2022 - 15:34
  • German says City and Liverpool success due to ‘clear identity’
  • United will have Edinson Cavani available to face City on Sunday

Ralf Rangnick believes Manchester United have to become more like Manchester City and Liverpool by appointing a manager who has a clear way of playing and can implement this over the long term.

United travel to City for Sunday’s 187th derby trailing the champions by 19 points with 11 matches left. In the past decade City have secured the title five times, with Pep Guardiola guiding them to three of these, and Liverpool have done so once, under Jürgen Klopp, who has also won the Champions League.

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Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Fri, 03/04/2022 - 00:04

Danny Ings returns to Saints, Cristiano Ronaldo will be key for the Manchester derby and Jesse Marsch gets going at Leeds

Manchester United have the attacking skill to pierce Manchester City’s defence, but whether they convert their chances will depend to a large extent on whether Cristiano Ronaldo has lost his finishing power for good. Is his recent wastefulness the sign of a new – or rather, an old – Ronaldo? The other thing United must improve is their attitude: Ralf Rangnick’s fickle crew will need to be compact and energetic for 90-plus minutes if they are to get the counter-attacking victory that would boost their top-four prospects and make them momentarily popular in Liverpool. Failure to do that and another humiliation looms. PD

Manchester City v Manchester United (Sunday, 4.30pm, all times GMT)

Watford v Arsenal (Sunday, 2pm)

Liverpool v West Ham (Saturday, 5.30pm)

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Edinson Cavani set for Manchester United exit and targets La Liga move

Thu, 03/03/2022 - 09:00
  • Striker’s deal expires this summer after two seasons at United
  • Uruguayan wants to experience another major European league

Edinson Cavani is set to leave Manchester United when his contract expires this summer and the striker’s preferred option would be to join a club in Spain.

The 35-year-old Uruguayan has played in Italy, France and England and wants to experience another of Europe’s major leagues. Cavani has received approaches, including from La Liga clubs.

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Manchester United’s financial results reveal net debt hit £495m at end of 2021

Tue, 03/01/2022 - 15:30
  • Figure up by almost £40m on 12 months earlier
  • United confident ‘right structures’ in place for success

Manchester United’s net debt stood at £494.8m on 31 December 2021, up from £455.5m at the end of the previous year, according to the club’s latest accounts.

The report, published on Tuesday, shows that a sizeable proportion of the debt increase derived from a fall in broadcasting revenues – £22.3m (20.5%) less was earned in the last quarter than in the equivalent period of 2020-21 – because four fewer games were played. There was also a £2.6m decrease in sponsorship money after the end of the club’s training kit contract, though there was revenue growth of 7.3%.

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