Posts Tagged ‘Wayne Rooney’

Feature: Ferguson exit sparks England’s year of change

“The year had started in familiar fashion, with United romping to an unprecedented 20th league title, but at 09:17 on the morning of Wednesday, May 8, everything changed. A tweet published by the United press office confirmed the jaw-dropping rumours that had first emerged on the Daily Telegraph website the previous night: Ferguson, the father of the modern United, the most successful manager in British football history, was stepping down after 26 and a half record-breaking years.”

My AFP review of the year 2013 in English football can be found here.

Report: Rooney gets United out of trouble at Spurs

“London (AFP) – Wayne Rooney scored a brace as Manchester United twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at Tottenham Hotspur in an entertaining Premier League encounter on Sunday.”

My AFP match report from White Hart Lane can be read here.

Reaction: Villas-Boas rebukes reporter after Spurs draw

Report: Ferguson lifts lid on Beckham, Rooney, England

“LONDON — Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson launched his new autobiography on Tuesday, lifting the lid on his relationships with stars including David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, Roy Keane and Wayne Rooney.”

My AFP report on the launch of Alex Ferguson’s forthright new autobiography can be found here.

Report: Rooney, Gerrard send England to Brazil

“London (AFP) – England survived a night of tension to qualify for the World Cup after Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard secured a 2-0 win over Poland at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday.”

My AFP match report on the night England booked their ticket to Brazil can be read here.

Reaction: Hodgson frets over England World Cup picks

Report: Disaster for Moyes as City crush United

“MANCHESTER, United Kingdom — David Moyes’s first derby as Manchester United manager turned into a nightmare on Sunday as Manchester City inflicted a humiliating 4-1 defeat at a triumphant Etihad Stadium.”

My AFP match report on a dazzling display by Manchester City and an abject afternoon for Manchester United can be read here.

Reaction: Moyes admonishes United after derby drubbing

Report: Double-ton Rooney gives Moyes winning start

“MANCHESTER, United Kingdom — Wayne Rooney reached 200 Manchester United goals with a brace to give David Moyes a 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen in his first Champions League group game on Tuesday.”

My AFP match report on Wayne Rooney’s milestone moment for Manchester United can be read here.

Reaction: Moyes salutes ‘world-class’ Rooney

Report: Rooney tries in vain as United, Chelsea draw

“MANCHESTER, United Kingdom — Wayne Rooney may have played his way out of a transfer to Chelsea after a committed display in Manchester United’s 0-0 draw against their Premier League rivals on Monday.”

My AFP match report on the first major head-to-head encounter of the new Premier League season can be read here.

Related link: Ramsey rubber-stamps Arsenal progress

Report: Van Persie treble fires United to 20th title

“Villa threatened to spoil things when Christian Benteke side-footed over from Andreas Weimann’s pass, only for Robin van Persie to double United’s lead with a strike to rival any goal scored in Europe this season. Wayne Rooney floated a 40-yard pass behind the Villa defence and van Persie met the ball first-time with a technically immaculate volley from outside the box that rocketed past goalkeeper Brad Guzan and into the net.”

My AFP match report from Old Trafford on the 3-0 victory over Aston Villa that gave Manchester United their 20th league title can be read here.

Reaction: Ferguson sees echoes of greatness in van Persie rocket
Analaysis: Manchester United’s championship of contrasts

England lose perspective in pursuit of teenage kicks

The French may not have a direct equivalent to the word ‘teenager’ (there being no numerical suffix akin to ‘-teen’ in the language of Molière), but that doesn’t stop them remarking on the novelty when a player under the age of 20 is called up by the national team.

It happened twice earlier this month, when 19-year-olds Raphaël Varane and Paul Pogba were both included in Didier Deschamps’ squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Spain. Pogba rather spoilt the symmetry by turning 20 the following day, but it was such a rarity that L’Équipe marked the occasion with a photographic slideshow of the players to have graced the blue jersey while still awaiting the end of their second decade.

Varane and Pogba are exceptions. The expectation, in France, is that players will earn their spurs in the junior versions of the national team before eventually graduating to the senior side. France’s under-21 squad – known as les Espoirs (literally, ‘the hopes’) – brims with exciting players such as Milan striker M’Baye Niang and the Lyon pair of Clément Grenier and Alexandre Lacazette, but although they play for some of the biggest clubs in Europe, there is no clamour for them to be promoted to the senior squad before they are ready. That is partly down to the depth of talent already at Deschamps’ disposal, but it is also, partly, cultural.

Exceptional indeed is the player who is excused an apprenticeship in France’s representative youth teams. Despite Pogba’s widely acclaimed performances for Juventus this season, Deschamps has admitted to reluctance about allowing him to stroll straight into the first-team set-up. As recently as January, the former Marseille manager said the midfielder still needed “some carrot and stick” before he could be considered for selection. Both Pogba and Varane impressed on their debuts against Georgia on Friday, but afterwards the word on Deschamps’ lips was “potential”.

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Report: Chelsea roar back to defy United in FA Cup

“MANCHESTER, United Kingdom — Holders Chelsea stormed back from two goals down to draw 2-2 against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday and take their FA Cup quarter-final to a replay.”

My AFP match report on Chelsea’s cup fightback at Manchester United can be read here.

Report: Slick England spoil Scolari’s Brazil return

“LONDON — England beat Brazil 2-1 on Wednesday to end a 23-year wait for victory over the five-time world champions and consign Luiz Felipe Scolari to defeat in the first game of his second spell as Brazil coach.”

My match report on England’s unexpectedly assured victory over Brazil at Wembley can be read here. There’s also a reaction piece here: Hodgson encouraged by England’s young lions.

Analysis: Rooney scores but fails to sparkle on England return

“DONETSK, Ukraine — Wayne Rooney scored his first goal at an international tournament for eight years as England beat Ukraine 1-0 on Tuesday, but his performance, like his team’s, was laboured.”

My take for AFP on Wayne Rooney’s England comeback  can be read here.

Goals of the Season 2010-11

We’ve got halfway-line lobs! We’ve got net-ripping volleys! We’ve got… speculative shots from near the right-hand corner flag! Roll up, roll up, ladies and gentlemen, and feast your eyes on Football Further‘s Goals of the Season 2010-11 (goals presented in purely chronological order):

1. Ciro Capuano (Milan 1-1 Catania, Serie A, September 19)

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2. Romain Poyet (Lille 3-1 Brest, Ligue 1, November 7)

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3. Edinson Cavani (Napoli 1-0 Lecce, Serie A, December 19)

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Report: Unrelenting United bring Schalke down to earth

“GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany — Manchester United produced a devastating attacking performance to record a 2-0 win over Schalke 04 in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Tuesday.”

Read my AFP match report here.

Tactics: Roving Rooney rediscovers licence to thrill

He may have only been awarded a rather ungenerous 7/10 by L’Équipe, but there was something thrilling about Wayne Rooney’s performance against Marseille on Tuesday night.

Playing in a deep position in support of Javier Hernández, Rooney prowled the pitch demanding the ball from his team-mates and looked full of the swagger of old. His roaming occasionally took him so far from the opposition’s penalty area that he was collecting the ball from his centre-backs, while he created the opening goal with two beautifully measured passes – the first a fading half-volley to Ryan Giggs on the Manchester United left; the second a low cross that Hernández converted from close range. At all times he looked hungry to get on the ball and play.

That Dimitar Berbatov should find himself on the bench for such an important game despite enjoying his finest season to date in a United shirt may seem unfortunate, but it is only when the Bulgarian is not in the side that Rooney can lay claim to the territory in which he longs to operate. Alongside a goalpoacher such as Hernández, who plays on the shoulder of the last defender and thrives on service from midfield, Rooney can position himself in the spaces left vacant by the retreating centre-backs. When Berbatov plays, however, it is he that patrols such areas, forcing Rooney to operate as a more conventional centre-forward.

“[Hernández] has got great movement so I’m playing the position that I did when I started playing professionally,” explained Rooney after the game against Marseille. ”It’s not often forwards get the chance to be on the ball and enjoy playing. I enjoyed tonight.”

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