...and they did. David Moyes can afford to smile a little after his United side got noticeably stronger over 90 minutes. That's not happened enough times this season...
As long as there is both football and human weakness, there will be allegations of match-fixing. But a decent start would be an independent, national body...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hate The Club, Love The Player
I do wish City and Chelsea would stop signing players I like. It's much harder to hate a team when they have Mata, Luiz or Jovetic playing for them. Lukaku seems annoyingly mature and decent too. If one of them would be decent enough to sign Suarez, life would be much easier.
Please Let Something Happen Please
So United are bidding for Cesc, who is not for sale, while Chelsea bid for Rooney, who is also not for sale, but United will use that cash to go for Bale, who we are told is going nowhere.
I'm not sure what everyone is waiting for, is the big fat SKY cheque still clearing in the bank or what?
Somebody* do something please!
* except City, they should stop spending money now thanks.
So, So Predictable
Another week appears to bring with it the same old transfer rumours. I know it's early days in the transfer window but things seem to be going along fairly predictably amid all the bluster about Rooney, Fabregas, Suarez and Higuain. Observe:
* The new Everton manager Roberto Martinez has signed four players, all of which are either Spanish or ex-Wigan players.
* Arsenal have confirmed the signing of only one player; a 20-year-old French striker.
* The four players Fulham have signed so far this summer have been labelled as either 'free' or 'undisclosed'.
* Newcastle have signed only one player - a 16-year-old Frenchman described as 'the new Alex Song' (stop laughing at the back).
* Manchester City have spent close to £90m on four attacking players.
* Sam Allardyce has signed a 6 feet 3 inch striker in the dubious shape of Andy Carroll.
Let's all wait until something concrete has happened before we all lose our s*it, yeah?
Chris Henderson, BRFC
Or Is It All Terribly Unpredictable?
As I write, there are only two clubs in the Premier League that have yet to spend a penny on transfer fees (I don't mean some kind of a golden shower - actually spending a single penny).
West Brom (one free and one loan, which probably involves a fee) and...Arsenal (one free). Given that Giroud and Podolski were signed early doors last year with that stated as the preferred method, I have a feeling there will be millions of irate Arsenal fans come 17th August when the same squad turn up as did at Newcastle in May.
I'm sure the mailbox doesn't want to listen to yet another moaning gooner, so I'm looking at the positive side.
Despite my own team's failure to launch, I think it's great to see some of the varied activity across the whole league. Swansea, Southampton and Sunderland have done some interesting business on an unexpected scale, Man City are already over the £85m mark, Villa have a number of interesting players in the bag (are they to Scandinavia what Newcastle are to France?), seven teams have spent double figures on a single transfer fee so far (Southampton in there too) and overall it's a fascinating year ahead.
Will Man City's several additions cause yet more unrest or will it push them back to the top? Will Sunderland, Southampton and Swansea's additions give them top-half security? Will Liverpool's handful of 5-10m men give them a push back into the top four? As much as it makes me want to cry, will Spurs two cracking signings (that's presuming Chadli happens) give them the edge over Arsenal? Am I just desperate for excitement in the off-season, and don't have the Ashes to distract me today?
Whichever way it all falls out, the Premier League looks a very unpredictable beast this season. Bring it on!
Adam (and will Arsenal's signing of Fabregas, Higuain, Suarez, Fellaini and Hummels see them crowned champions of Europe...is what I will be writing in a few weeks, obviously) Gooner
Looking At The Positives
Reading what has been said and written about Arsenal, one could be tempted to believe it is all doom and gloom at The Emirates. However, reverse is the case. Unlike recent seasons gone by, Arsenal players and staff are not being distracted by rumours of impending departure of key players. Conversely, the club is freeing up space in the team and cutting wages. We finished strongly last season and with Giroud, Polodski, Cazorla and Monreal entering their second season, we could only get better. While I agree we need a DM and one more striker, and could make do with an experienced GK before being realistic title contenders, it is worth noting that none of our major targets (Higuain, Fellaini, Bender and Ceaser) has gone to another club. And we still have four and six weeks before the season starts and the transfer window closes respectively. Plenty of time to bring in the two or three players we need to mount a credible title challenge.
Eniitan Emmanuel, Akure, Nigeria
Just A Striker Now Please...
So that's the midfield and wings sorted, now if Mr Levy could just pull his finger out to get us Soldado then I will be a very, very happy Tottenham fan. We finally have quality strength in depth all over the pitch and if we sign the striker we have all been waiting for, this will look like a very strong Spurs outfit indeed.
Alex G, THFC (far too positive for a Monday)
The Bould And The Beautiful
This may have gone below the radar but according to reports due to Koscielny getting injured Steve Bould has been forced to fill in at centre-back in training.
Suddenly Arsenal's recruitment policy for next season makes sense.
Wrighty and Bergkamp up front with Merson and Limpar on the flanks.
Graham Simons (It would be funny if it wasn't true) Gooner, Norf London
United v All-Stars Conclusions
1) Moyes' Relief: After losing the first game and missing out on a few transfer targets, Moyes must be more than relieved to have a resounding win behind him, but the more impressive area is that you can start to see how Moyes is shaping the team in his own image. Although positioned as a 4-4-1-1, not to un-similar to the formation used by Fergie, there seemed to be a fluidity that wasn't there previously with Cleverley and even Carrick occasionally making runs forward, while both Lingard and Zaha played more freely, rather than being restricted to their touchlines. Most importantly though, is Moyes seems to value playing an attractive brand of football, which unfortunately for us, hasn't really been the case over the last couple of years, and I'll be interested in seeing where he goes from here.
2) Youth players: Most Man Utd fans will tell you the 'Next Big Thing' coming out from our academy usually means a few million pounds worth of profit. However given the way that Lingard and Januzaj have played over the last couple of games, we may yet have a couple of diamonds in the rough. While many people say letting Pogba go was a mistake, I just couldn't see how he fit into our hardworking, team-first style of play. With Lingard and Januzaj, you can see that there isn't much selfishness and there is hard work being put in by both players. I'm hoping that either Moyes gives them a chance or sends them out on loan because they both seem to have the potential to develop into class players. Also, the less said about Michael Keane's 'performance', the better.
3) Welbeck: There's a player somewhere in there and if we can just get him to score a few more goals like today (and he still managed to miss two good chances), then we will have a very useful player on our hands. Although not the best goalscorer, there is no doubt that Welbeck's best trait is creating space for other players with his movement. Whether it's chasing a 60-yard pass or creating the little bit of room (seen by his many interchanging passes with Lingard), Welbeck could still develop into a class player. This season will define him and I for one, hope he pulls through.
4) Wingers: With Zaha's addition (and he looks quite good imo), we will have four specialist wingers in him, Valencia, Nani and Young and Kagawa, Giggs and Welbeck able to fill in as well. As we've still been consistently linked with wingers, somebody has to give, and personally I hope it's Young. Unfortunately being English and playing two games a year just isn't good enough and with Giggs, Nani, Zaha and Kagawa able to play on the left, it might be time to cut our losses and offload him to Spuds or Liverpool.
5) RVP: Wonder how Rooney feels about RVP's goal and captaincy?
6) Anderson: If players' value was based on how much they weight, Man Utd could erase their debt just by selling Anderson.
Why Is Anybody Surprised At Reina Exit?
Having read the comments from fellow Liverpool fans regarding why Reina has gone out on loan, I am embarrassed by the levels of stupidity of some of these people. I fail to see how anyone is shocked by the news Pepe is going to Napoli (the only shock should really be it's a loan and not a sale), you don't spend £9m on a keeper for 'competition' - not even Chelsea or City do that! - as much as I am a fan of Reina, he isn't any longer the keeper we bought in 2006 (I think). Of course Rodgers is going to say its competition, he isn't going to turn around and say 'yeah we bought Mignolet to replace Pepe as we don't want him at the club' because the more educated fans (and even most less educated - someone who will think about it for five minutes really before knee jerking) understand that doing so would decrease his value and put Liverpool in a weaker bargaining position.
The same goes with Suarez, we know he is going to go, but Rodgers is saying he is staying with us and we don't want to sell him, because to say otherwise would decrease his value (and at the end of the day football is no longer a sport, but a business). I am guessing the 'financial' reason that Rodgers spoke of is the £110,000 (reportedly) Pepe earns a week, so tell me, how many bench-warmers do you want on that kind of wage!? By sending him out on loan and bringing in Mignolet (who I believe is equally as good as Pepe) is because he is likely to cost half the wages (if that) of Pepe, saving us money over the long-term.
In summary, stop spitting your dummies out and grow the hell up!
I do love the Open Golf claret jug trophy, but if I could have one trophy on my mantelpiece it would have to be the UEFA Cup/Europa League trophy. What a beautiful object! Mind you, Gillingham's second ever championship trophy would also do just because we hardly ever win anything!
Probably my least favourite would have to be the Jules Rimet trophy which, despite its gold content, looks more like something you'd buy from a high street sports shop. Does anyone else have a real favourite?
Tim Royall (GFC)