mwhatyou knows who corners…
Peerinto ightfind? the guttersnipe We normally know where United are going on pre-season tour by now, yet Euro 2012 and the Olympic games mean we don’t know how many players will be available. That makes it hard to sell a first-team tour to Asia, when there might be a shortage of first teamers to go and sate the appetite for celebrity. United are still likely to play in Asia, though it will be a couple of games and not four, followed by three or four matches in Europe. Ireland and Scandinavia, two hotbeds of United support, have been overlooked as the club have had further, more lucrative horizons in the last two decades. Both could see United play, with a game against Solskjaer’s Molde muted. A game in Portugal and another in Spain are also mooted. The club are still evaluating all options, including offers from Barcelona and Real Madrid for their showcase curtain raiser matches, but expect an announcement very soon. And expect the likes of Larnell Cole, Jesse Lingard, the Keane twins, and other members of the Reserve League champions to feature heavily – before going off on loan for the season. United’s vets do have some confirmed games though! A team led by Bryan Robson have been invited to play Real Madrid in Spain on 3 June, while Andrew Cole will again captain a United side in the Barbados Legends tournament at the end of May. Despite the former Chelsea side being far stronger on paper, United are the holders and Cole takes it seriously. That and as a chance to settle old scores. We hear that the manager is fed up with looselipped Rene Muelensteen. To be fair, Rene is accessible and friendly with fans and fan groups, especially in countries where he’s worked. He speaks his mind, but quotes to some of the supporters’ magazines are not vetted by United’s House of Pravda and keep making the press back home. Rene is highly rated as a coach but doing himself no favours with his boss with his comments.
The media have yet to pick up on MUTV’s Helen McConnell being the “friend” Jonny Evans is pictured with when they’re out. The latest was when they were photographed with Fletch and his missus, Wayne and Coleen at Aintree recently. Getty’s pic caption read: “Jonny Evans with friend.” They’ve been an item for a while now. They’re childhood sweethearts from Northern Ireland who were reunited when she got a job presenting on MUTV. Those who know her say she’s a top girl who will ensure that Jonny’s raised status (after an impressive season) won’t go to his head. It won’t anyway, he’s from a very good family and is a decent lad. Good luck. Former Barcelona vice-president Ferran Soriano was being considered for the top job at city. He was up for it too – especially after Spanair, the airline he headed, went bump in February. He began to brief as much, but city, nervous of him overseeing a failed project despite the advantage of having financial support from authority (in this case the Catalan government, who bankrolled the airline), got cold feet. They wouldn’t want a repeat, would they? Given his performances for United, it’s interesting how much Peter Schmeichel divides fans. Some love him, some don’t. It was the same with players. Many thought he was a superb goalkeeper, but a bit of a bell end all the same. Departing United at the peak of the treblewinning season, Schmeichel cited a desire for more family time, claiming the English seasons were too taxing. He spent a year in Portugal before heading back to Aston Villa and then Moon. Now he’s trying to win back fans with statements like this: “I’m a United fan. I’ll die a United fan. I played for city but it was a different city – a newly promoted team. It was a lot about working with Kevin Keegan – I was interested in management. It was about getting the family back to an area where we were comfortable but I’m a Manchester United fan.” One former United youth and reserve player told us a great story about how, at The Cliff one day,
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Next issue: 218 – A summer special out mid-June. The usual script. Subscribers will get one automatically. Deadline for contributions: 28 May. Seconds out,
United players were being put through their paces and playing the box game, where two players are in the middle and the others have to pass it round them while the two try to tackle or force a stray pass. The lad said: “Schmeichel always fancied himself as an outfield player, he dived in two-footed on Eric, who skipped out of the way, keeping the ball and remonstrating with Schmeichel. Peter made the mistake of fronting up to Eric, who, in a split second, had dropped him with one punch. Kiddo immediately cancelled training and we were all sent home. Eric just strutted off leaving Peter laid out. He never fronted Eric again. It was funny because those two were pretty close too.” A United-related personality was spotted recently in a Manchester club getting very cosy with Chelsee Healey, the young Salford lass who stars in Waterloo Road and was a hit on Strictly Come Dancing. He looked very enamoured as they spent a fair while engaged in conversation, although he spent more time talking to her chest than her face.
John White is a key organiser in Harry Gregg’s testimonial later this month at Belfast’s Windsor Park. That’s John of the Carryduff George Best supporters’ branch; John who writes books on Liverpool. Fair play to him this time. The testimonial was organised without Harry’s knowledge – nice touch – after he suffered two strokes in the last few months. He’s in good health now – at 80 – and more worthy of a testimonial than the likes of Rio (who, it is rumoured, could have one next season). The Sun are going against the grain of cuts in newspapers by opening a new Manchester office with new journalists, photographers and editors. Well, they were never going to open an office in Liverpool, where the Don’t Buy The Sun campaign is unstinting. All of which means that United and city players will be able to get away with very little. A lot of United’s staff are being taken on a jolly to Sunderland. It was supposed to be a day of celebration…
Editor Andy Design Rob Subeditor Vance
Covers Derek Balment Subscriptions Rob (rpattinson@ yahoo.com) Writers
Steve B Fubar Eoin Donaghy Jim White Stephen Armstrong Joyce Woolridge Dweebs Chris O’Neill
Ian Hough Joe Ganley Mike Duff Ian Bland Fraudulent James Scowcroft Man Utd reserves
Andersred Remo Neil Meehan Maciej Jagiela Steven Carroll Dave Hinsley Andrew Hush Richard Martin
Thanks to DG, Tim Burgess, Jonny E, Maria, Adam Shaw, Jenna, COMAG and everyone who has contributed to this issue.
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Next issue: 218 – A summer special out mid-June. The usual script. Subscribers will get one automatically. Deadline for contributions: 28 May.
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