Alex Chick

  • United must keep spending

    Manchester United's busy summer of transfer activity continues, with Ashley
    Young completing his move from Aston Villa
    .

    Phil Jones and Young have signed, and David De Gea is surely a United player
    in all but name.

    It is an impressive spree, and one that may well be enough to keep the
    Premier League trophy at Old Trafford.

    Young should provide Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez with a dependable supply of assists, especially from set pieces.

    He is coming off the best season of his career, and has developed into a
    player of real menace. He carries the ball at speed and, unlike Nani, makes
    good

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  • On a Hiddink to nothing?

    Roman Abramovich is nobody's idea of communist, but what he needs more than
    anything is a Five-Year Plan.

    The Chelsea owner's ruinous short-termism ensured Carlo Ancelotti lost his
    job for daring to finish second, just a year after winning the double.

    It also prevented the evolution of a squad now dominated by players the
    wrong side of 30.

    The spine of the team has not changed since Jose Mourinho's day - Petr Cech,
    John Terry, Michael Essien, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba.

    All but Cech are past their peak - Lampard and Drogba are well into their
    fourth decade while injuries have robbed a

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  • Ranking Ferguson’s champions

    This season, you could hardly move for pundits reminding everyone that this is not the best team Sir Alex Ferguson has ever managed.

    Which rather raises the question - what is?

    So, with the help of some United experts, I have ranked all 12 of Ferguson's title-winning sides based on their ability, their achievement and their entertainment value.

    And with the current team a couple of days away from a Champions League final against a formidable Barcelona side, they find themselves bottom of the pile.

    Of course, this is a highly subjective process and no doubt you will disagree with the order

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  • Survival Sunday – pick your team!

    Sunday's Premier League climax should give us a
    nerve-shreddingly exciting conclusion to the relegation battle.

    Five teams are covered by one point, and two of them will be
    joining West Ham in the Championship next season.

    If you haven't worked out who to cheer for yet, here's a
    quick recap of some reasons why each of the clubs may or may not deserve your
    support.

    - - -

    Wigan Athletic v Stoke City (a) - Pos 19th; Pts 39; GD -22

    What's to like? They have an affable manager in Roberto
    Martinez, play football the right way, and have introduced us to the delights
    of Honduran and Ecuadorean

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  • Do Liverpool still need Steven Gerrard?

    As he watches Liverpool's spring revival from the sidelines, you could forgive Steven Gerrard for feeling a little nervous.

    Four months into the second coming of King Kenny, Liverpool fans are starting to think the unthinkable: Do we still need Stevie G?

    Could the man whose colossal influence has dominated Anfield for a decade really be surplus to requirements?

    It is a notion that borders on the heretical for some, but it stems from the club's remarkable upturn in fortunes without their captain.

    Gerrard has played only six of 22 games under Dalglish, and none since March 6.

    In that time,

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  • Could Reina replace Van der Sar?

    The last time Manchester United lost a top goalkeeper, it
    sent them into a kind of existential crisis from which they did not escape
    until they signed Edwin van der Sar, six years too late, in 2005.

    The quest to find the New Schmeichel encompassed
    not-good-enoughs (Bosnich, Ricardo, Carroll), past-its (Van der Gouw, Goram), a
    not-ready-yet (Tim Howard), an unmitigated disaster (Taibi) and a ciggie-puffing
    misfit (Barthez).

    Then came Van der Sar, who ticked all the boxes, and proved totally
    unperturbed by Schmeichel's legacy - he was already 34 and a huge name in his
    own right.

    Each week, we

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  • England are out of the World Cup

    So, it's Germany. It had to be. The Germans simply don't slip up in crucial World Cup group games.

    So obvious was it that they would beat Ghana and win Group D that I am actually typing this at half-time, when they are still drawing 0-0 - as things stand England will play Ghana in the second round. As if.

    There's more chance of Peter Crouch and Nicolas Anelka buying an apartment together in a Southern European city, as they preposterously do in the Pringles ad that has just flicked on to my TV screen.

    Sunday's game already has the ring of a classic, albeit a classic including Mesut Ozil

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  • Terry move a depressing blunder

    Yesterday, while revealing John Terry is to regain the
    England captaincy, Fabio Capello said one of the most depressing things I have
    heard in a long time.

    "I was really upset about what happened in Denmark, when I
    saw the players saying 'Who is the captain?' After one year of punishment, it
    was not the best moment for John Terry to see this. For that reason I need to
    make a decision - and it will be a permanent decision, not just one game."

    Capello was referring to last month's game in Copenhagen, when the
    armband passed - amid some confusion - from Frank Lampard to Ashley Cole to
    Gareth

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  • Support the Tweeter, not the trolls

    This
    morning, Danny Gabbidon was fined £6,000 for what was widely described as a
    "rant" on his Twitter account - a description hingeing entirely on his
    use of a solitary swear word.

    If
    you missed the story, Gabbidon was heavily criticised by some West Ham fans
    after his side's 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa.

    Fed
    up with the abuse, Gabbidon made the following Tweet and promptly closed his
    account
    :

    "U know what, f*** the lot
    of you, u will never get another tweet from me again, you just don't get it do
    you. Bye bye."

    The
    defender pleaded guilty to a charge of improper conduct, was fined and warned

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  • Is Torres really finished?

    He's finished. His legs have gone. He just doesn't fancy it any more.

    That seems to be the prevailing opinion of Fernando Torres, whose inclusion in tonight's Champions League quarter-final is being talked about like it were Jason Lee reincarnate stepping out at Old Trafford.

    Torres has played 10 games for Chelsea without scoring. A significant enough drought for any striker, let alone one who cost £50 million.

    And yet, mysteriously, the Spaniard remains favoured to start against Manchester United this evening.

    Finished.

    Football fans love bandying that word about - it is so brutal,

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