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The Manchester United Thread 2007/08 - Home of the Champions


Nick OGS20

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god that thread title looks good doesn't it?

it's that time of year again - a time when our wonderful community within a community relocates for fear of the boards buckling under the weight were our intelligent, informed opinions, lively yet reasoned debate, sparkling repartee and rapier wit to be restricted to one ongoing thread. as your user of the year it falls to me to open this latest incarnation of the most illustrious club thread on the forum. this time last year reigning user of the year mark g snoozed and, er, lost as the now sadly departed foobR snuck in to open what would prove to be the biggest and most successful Manchester United thread in OTF's short history. there followed 524 pages of pessimism, wall talk, bullying of BBB, Ruud arguments, Richardson-bashing, more pessimism, flirting, unemployment, angry corners, occasional optimism, even more pessimism, mongery, ruthless purging if said mongery came from one of our own, boycotting, borderline paedophilia, early-leaving, \O\ Ronaldo w*nkery /O/, hilarious bannings, infighting, love-ins, a dash more pessimism, chundering on flags, san siro siestas, occasional talk about football and one glorious premiership title to celebrate. and celebrate we certainly did.

football-wise the season was a revelation. pessimism and doom were very much the order of the day 12 months back as we watched our star striker depart, our most promising youngsters be farmed out on loan to save on wages and several key areas of the squad remain unstrengthened. only the certifiably giddy (hurry back Scatter mate) harboured hopes of a title challenge - Chelsea had signed Ballack and Shevchenko for crying out loud. we all know what happened next - a dramatic upturn in the quality of football as Sir Alex (by and large) returned to the attacking philosophy both he and the club are famous for. with a full pre-season under their belts Vidic and Evra brought steel and speed to the back four and in turn brought the best out of Rio Ferdinand; the returning Paul Scholes and the arriving Michael Carrick represented an improvement it's impossible to overstate over the central midfield debacle that was 05/06 and developed a fantastic understanding as the season went on; much-maligned squad players like Darren Fletcher and John O'Shea stepped up at crucial times to leave their doubters eating humble pie; most notably, the immensely talented but hitherto eternally frustrating Cristiano Ronaldo emerged from a world cup summer full of transfer speculation and Rooney red card recrimination as a different player, 23 goals and almost as many assists ramming the 'no end product' jibes emphatically back down throats on the way to team and individual glory. falling just short in the FA Cup and Champions League was hard to take but more than compensated for by bringing our trophy back to Old Trafford.

they're all still fresh in the memory but it was a season full of amazing moments - starting as we meant to go on on opening day; Ole's comeback goal at the Valley; Vida's first United goal to spark a brilliant comeback at the JJB; brushing Liverpool aside at OT with another Rio goal; the 4-0 demolition of Bolton at t'Reebok; Scholesy's wondergoal at Villa; Henrik Larsson's debut strike; another 4-0 on our travels, this time at White Hart Lane; Ronaldo's stunning late winner at Fulham; JOS' richly undeserved but oh so special injury time winner at Anfield; one of the best counter-attacking goals you'll ever see against Bolton; the best OT atmosphere in years for the storming comeback against Blackburn; the 7-1 mauling of Roma; a fantastic day out at Villa Park for the cup semi; another memorable OT euro night against Milan and that late Rooney winner; THAT pivotal day in late April where the momentum swung first towards Chelsea before another fantastic comeback at Goodison and Bolton's efforts at the Bridge saw it swing back decisively in our favour; the derby win and the celebrations the following day when Chelsea's draw at the Emirates handed us the title; and the final day celebrations at a rain and champagne soaked Old Trafford.

can never get tired of seeing this:

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts

1 Man Utd 38 28 5 5 83 27 +56 89

2 Chelsea 38 24 11 3 64 24 +40 83

3 Liverpool 38 20 8 10 57 27 +30 68

4 Arsenal 38 19 11 8 63 35 +28 68</pre>

which leaves the honours board looking like this:

League titles: 16

1907-08, 1910-11, 1951-52, 1955-56, 1956-57, 1964-65, 1966-67, 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1998-99, 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2006-07.

FA Cup: 11

1909, 1948, 1963, 1977, 1983, 1985, 1990, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2004

League Cup: 2

1992, 2006

European Cup / UEFA Champions League: 2

1968, 1999

UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: 1

1991

European Super Cup: 1

1991

Intercontinental Cup/World Club Championship: 1

1999

--------------

so, the big question - was 2006/07 a flash in the pan or the start of something special? promisingly the club haven't rested on their laurels, with somewhere in the region of £50m being spent on three new signings and the possibility of more to come. where on earth this cash is coming from is anyone's guess but that discussion is for another day. the addition of Owen Hargreaves, Anderson and Nani significantly strengthens the squad in key positions - Hargreaves is the combative, energetic defensive midfielder we missed at times last season, whilst Nani and Anderson are long-term replacements for the evergreen Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, as well as promising to be impact players in the short-term. add to that the apparent return of Gerard Pique, Jonathan Evans, Giuseppe Rossi and (the now sadly injured) Ben Foster after impressive loan spells and their addition to the first-team pool, plus the much-mooted possibility of a new striker being brought in, and - even taking into account possible sales - you have what looks like a vastly superior squad to last season's title-winning unit. and it wouldn't be an opening post without listing them:

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">

1. Edwin VAN DER SAR 2. Gary NEVILLE © 7. Cristiano RONALDO 8. Wayne ROONEY

29. Tomasz KUSZCZAK 3. Patrice EVRA 11. Ryan GIGGS 9. Louis SAHA

38. Tom HEATON 4. Gabriel HEINZE 13. PARK Ji-Sung 14. Alan SMITH

-- Ben FOSTER 5. Rio FERDINAND 16. Michael CARRICK 19. Giuseppe ROSSI

6. Wes BROWN 18. Paul SCHOLES 20. Ole Gunnar SOLSKJAER

15. Nemanja VIDIC 23. Kieran RICHARDSON 21. DONG Fangzhuo

22. John O'SHEA 24. Darren FLETCHER

25. Danny SIMPSON 33. Chris EAGLES

26. Philip BARDSLEY -- Owen HARGREAVES

27. Mikael SILVESTRE -- NANI

28. Gerard PIQUE -- ANDERSON

32. Craig CATHCART

35. Kieran LEE

-- Jonathan EVANS</pre>

---------------

and as for the possibility of an addition or two to that? with most of our business done so early, the papers have been a bit lost, unable for once to just lazily link us with anyone who looks like moving. still, as of this morning we're up to 36 players linked:

The definitely going to be joining Manchester United, no doubt about it, cos the papers say so list

Anderson - Porto (Daily Mail)

Nicholas Anelka - (Guardian)

Afonso Alves - Heerenveen (Mirror)

Mikel Arteta - Everton (Guardian)

Gareth Bale - Southampton (Mirror)

Leighton Baines - Wigan (MEN)

Dimitar Berbatov - Spurs (Guardian)

Shay Brady - St Patrick's Athletic (Mirror)

Jermain Defoe - Spurs (Guardian)

Samuel Eto'o - Barca (Daily Mail)

Craig Gordon - Hearts (BBC)

Eidur Gudjohnsen - Barca (NOTW)

Owen Hargreaves - Bayern Munich (Times)

Klaas Jan Huntelaar - Ajax (Guardian)

Michael Kightly - Wolves (NOTW)

Aaron Lennon - Spurs (Mirror)

Jean Makoun - Lille (L'Equipe)

Florent Malouda - Lyon (Sky Sports)

Rio Mavuba - Bordeaux (Mirror)

Benni McCarthy - Blackburn (NOTW)

Youssouf Mulumbu - PSG (Youssouf Mulumbu)

Nani - Sporting Lisbon (Guardian)

Havard Nordveit - Haugesund (Sky Sports)

Michael Owen - Newcastle (Various + BBC)

Nathan Porritt - Middlesbrough (Times)

Fabio Quagliarella - Sampdoria (Express)

Nigel Reo-Coker - West Ham (Guardian)

Franck Ribery - Marseille (Himself via Sky)

Micah Richards - Manchester City (Mirror)

Javier Saviola - Barcelona (NotW)

Steve Sidwell - Reading (Mirror)

Ryan Taylor - Wigan (Manchester Evening News)

Carlos Tevez - West Ham (Star, Mirror)

Fernando Torres - Atletico Madrid (Mirror)

Oscar Ustari - Independiente (Sky Sports)

Mark Viduka - Middlesbrough (Super soaraway sun)

Running Total: 36

Predicted Final Total

Irish – 170

James07? – 112

bling – 102

pjburrage – 99

WSR – 95

theis – 92

alilaw – 89

Nezell – 87

14AlanSmithifb – 85

Hero of the day – 83

vanester – 82

T!mbo – 80

BBB – 79

gonch19 – 78

Bagpuss – 77

Rb – 76

Pickles – 74

julesMUFC – 71

ajw2255 – 70

Rcjuk -69

Nick OGS20 – 68

Maverick – 64

davidbowie – 63

Ryno – 62

ACou2000 – 60

Gregg Carter – 59

Jimlad – 56

ericcantona7 – 55

Matt Cavanagh – 54

mark g – 52

keyser – 50

player_65 – 46

SLO_Fila – 43

Taz Devil – 41

Saha – 39

The_Fish – 37

finneys13 – 36

<STRIKE>Master Blasta – 32

EmmYouEffSee – 29

RedBlood – 26

qwerty2k – 17

Razor Eddie – 16

? – 15</STRIKE>

------------

and the actual dealings so far:

Players In:

Owen Hargreaves (Bayern Munich) £17m

Nani (Sporting Lisbon) £17m

Anderson (FC Porto) £20m

Players Out:

Jamie Mullan (released)

Aaron Burns (released)

Danny Rose (released)

Phil Marsh (released)

Floribert N'Galula (released)

Lee Crockett (released)

------------

the reserves had a strong season as well despite being down to the bare bones for the majority of the season. a handful of the above will feature at this level in the new campaign alongside those below who don't end up out on loan:

Reserve Squad

Ron-Robert ZIELER

David GRAY

Michael LEA

Ryan SHAWCROSS

James CHESTER

Tom CLEVERLEY

Richard ECKERSLEY

Séan EVANS

Sam HEWSON

Darron GIBSON

Michael BARNES

Febian BRANDY

Christy FAGAN

Fraizer CAMPBELL

-------------

last year's academy side had an unremarkable league season but excelled where results really matter, putting together a fantastic run to the Youth Cup final where they were only denied by a much older, stronger Liverpool youth side using their senior counterparts' favoured method of winning trophies, the penalty shoot-out. we've taken on 11 new scholars this season, with the talk being that this is the first group to truly come through under the new technique-focused regime implemented when Rene Meulensteen joined the club.

U18 Squad

Ben AMOS

*Gary WOODS

**Conor DEVLIN

*Scott MOFFATT

*Kenny STRICKLAND

*Joseph DUDGEON

*Cameron STEWART

**Oliver GILL

Corry EVANS

Danny DRINKWATER

James DERBYSHIRE

*Matthew JAMES

*Oliver NORWOOD

Conor MCCORMACK

Daniel GALBRAITH

Magnus Wolff EIKREM

Antonio BRYAN

*Daniel WELBECK

*Evandro de Carvalho BRANDAO

*Chris CURRAN

*David WILLIAMS

**Nicky AJOSE

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">*denotes new first year scholar

**denotes non-scholar</pre>

--------------

right, onto the reason this bad-boy has been started today, the fixtures. due to the despicable money-grabbing nazi c**ts in charge of these things at the Premier League (f**k off Dataco) i obviously can't provide a full list, but the full set of fixtures for the defence of our 16th league title can be found here. hopefully i'm allowed to say that we kick off against Reading at Old Trafford in precisely 58 days time without getting hung, drawn and quartered (unless of course, as generally tends to be the way, our game gets shifted to Sunday in which case it's 59).

before that, pre-season starts Tuesday July 17th in Japan as we take on Urawa Red Diamonds on the first game of the obligatory Asian tour. alas there'll be no continental jaunt for any of our number this pre-season, unless anyone goes to Glentoran i guess, but even then, that's pushing the boundaries of 'continental' somewhat. the full pre-season schedule looks something like this:

<pre class="ip-ubbcode-code-pre">

17/07/07 - Urawa Red Diamonds Saitama, Japan

20/07/07 - FC Seoul Seoul, S Korea

21/07/07 - Fleetwood Town Highbury, Fleetwood

23/07/07 - Shenzhen Xiangxue Eisiti Macao, China

01/08/07 - Internazionale Milano Old Trafford, Manchester

03/08/07 - Doncaster Rovers Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster

04/08/07 - Peterborough United London Road, Peterborough

05/08/07 - Chelsea Wembley, London

08/08/07 - Glentoran The Oval, Belfast

08/08/07 - Dunfermline East End Park, Edinburgh</pre>

-----------

that's the formalities over with. may this thread be as lengthy and successful as its illustrious predecessor, and here's to more fantastic football, a glorious final season for OGS, Giggsy breaking Sir Bobby's appearance record, not looking generally clownshoes in europe, City getting relegated, Mart not dying when running the marathon, Jonny stopping horrifically bullying him, no more Ruud-related in-fighting and hopefully some silverware in May.

:****)

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Originally posted by Warch:

Thought you'd better get in quick before some random opened this season thread then? icon_biggrin.gif

i've been writing this since about 9pm last night, no-one was going to steal my thunder icon_mad.gif

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A couple of minor mistakes in the first couple of lines.

Started as it means to go on icon_cool.gif

3 items of minutiae I'd like to see happen this season:

Gary Neville to get the obligatory last minute winner in one of this season's games against Liverpool.

John O'Shea to save a penalty.

Ben Foster to score against Spurs.

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Originally posted by BBB:

christ, that citeh at home game going to be a bit tasty

Even they have some understanding of how badly it'll reflect on them.

Was anyone else there for the 40th? Against Sheffield United...IIRC it started snowing as the players came onto the pitch.

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Originally posted by James07?:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BBB:

christ, that citeh at home game going to be a bit tasty

Even they have some understanding of how badly it'll reflect on them.

Was anyone else there for the 40th? Against Sheffield United...IIRC it started snowing as the players came onto the pitch. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I'd go as mental as I did in 2005 if it did happen.

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Originally posted by Eric Cartman:

Great opening post Nick, nice to see you catering for those fans who know nothing about the club

Amazing isn't it? You're so lucky that your club could be summed up in just the thread title.

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Originally posted by Nick OGS20:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by T!mbo:

A couple of minor mistakes in the first couple of lines.

don't know what you're talking about icon_cool.gif

(wp juni) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Nice, fitting end to the old thread too :*)

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Originally posted by Eric Cartman:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by T!mbo:

Amazing isn't it? You're so lucky that your club could be summed up in just the thread title.

Champions doesn't sum you up? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh it does but there's a little more to go with it that needs elaborating on.

No such trouble for your lot really.

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  • SI Staff
Originally posted by Nick OGS20:

article on Nani from the telegraph, interesting in that everyone on here seems to be saying he's been poor so far and yet Winter's clearly seen something there.

In the game against belgium he was marked out of the game.

I saw several times as soon as he had the ball he had 3 players immediately. Even then there were glimpses of his talent.

He has serious potential. And I think we may see a different situation when sides have to choose from Ronaldo, Rooney, Scholes, Giggs or Nani to man mark out of the game.

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Congrats on last year, i'm sure the Rooney money is in the post ta.

This year would you mind winning the FA Cup and the CL please as we'd really like the cash from that, then can u sell the little scrubber to Madrid for twice what you paid for him?

So now we've bought Howard, does this mean we can play him next season and we don't have to ask one of our keepers to drop the ball for you to score when we're HORSING you at Goodison to allow you to look like you won the game and not that we threw it to make sure you won the league?

Good good.

Anyway good luck for the new season and make sure you beat the RS icon_smile.gif

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Originally posted by gonch19:

my pessimism has returned, reading that opening post and how good last season was. it cant get any better than that icon_frown.gif

Surely winning back to back titles and completely destroying Jose's "Legacy" something to look forward to?

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