The Red Report: Chicharito, Smalling & Evans, Nobby’s medals and more

As per usual we decided to look at a non-United topic. After the fourth round of the Carling Cup took place and with Arsenal again showing that they are taking it more seriously this year, we felt that Wenger and Arsenal would be an appropriate topic:

Chudi | The Busby Way: I dislike Arsenal immensely but you have to respect what Wenger and his team do in the cup. Every year we see a team of his youngsters perform well even if many of them don’t go onto to be the huge stars the papers that trip over themselves to praise them claim they will be. I for one know what kind of players they have ready to come through particularly Benik Afobe who’s sister I am friendly with.

I am slightly envious that we don’t get a chance to showcase the undoubted talent we have at our disposal the way they do but as I said many of these Arsenal players don’t become stars case in point Jay Simpson who was sold to Hull despite Wenger’s ringing endorsement so perhaps we are doing the right thing in not rushing our players.

Doron | Stretford-End: Hard to know what to say really. I think it’s a positive move to see Wenger taking the Carling Cup more seriously this year. However I think it is also a sign of desperation. By the time Arsenal can actually lift a trophy for the first time this season it’ll be just under 6 years that they last were able to do so (their beloved Emirates Cup surprisingly doesn’t count!). I think Wenger has realised that the time has come for him to actually win something and for Cesc to leave having won more than just an FA Cup and a Charity Shield. What is true is that there is a maturity to the young Arsenal team this year and their younger players are really starting to step up and improve. I feel it’s a shame that Wenger’s legacy will probably be the finances and not on-pitch achievements, maybe this is a last attempt to change that. If he fails to win something this year I know I’d start to question whether Arsenal need a fresh coach.

Siddarth | Bangalore to Old Trafford: Well, the fact that Wenger has to concentrate on the Carling Cup for a trophy is rather unfortunate. But this might be his best chance at a trophy this season. Arsenal’s players are really talented as it’s obvious to see and they play very exciting football. But they never really won anything once Wenger got rid of the core of the team some years ago. He went on with the transition excuse for far too long, and I guess right now any trophy would do good for Arsenal. With United their toughest opposition left in the cup, they have a very good chance at winning it, and hopefully a United vs Arsenal final is on the cards.

Kyle | Stretford-End: Could it be that Arsene Wenger is starting to feel the pressure that comes with a vacant trophy cabinet of the past five seasons? It seems like he’s actually putting a good deal on emphasis on winning the Carling Cup this season, which is smart since I’m not sure they’re capable of winning any other honours. There’s definitely been less emphasis on youth from him this season, a sign of his desire to finally lift a trophy after such a barren spell. Should be very interesting to see what it’s like should we draw them in the coming rounds.

TG | ManUtd24: We all recall the time when, having beat Arsenal in the Champions League, Patrice Evra described the affair as ‘boys against men’. It was indeed – but it seems Wenger’s men are no longer the naïve bunch they once were, and in the past year, we’ve seen the likes of Alex Song, Abou Diaby and Nicklas Bendtner come of age. They were utterly ruthless against Newcastle away from home. They’ve finally realised that the Emirates Cup is worth no more than a five pence piece, yet the only sign that they have indeed ‘come of age’ is if they win a trophy – this season might just be the turning point in Arsenal’s fortunes.

Alan | RedForceRising: I think Monsieur Wenger is probably taking a leaf out of United’s recent history. After a brief barren run, Manchester United kicked off a very successful period in the club’s history by winning the Carling Cup. Wenger will have recognized that winning is a habit and that winning a trophy, even if it’s the league cup, will give his youngster the confidence and appetite to go on to bigger things.

Desperation from Wenger? A maturing team? Demands from the board? You can make your own mind up…

And finally we come to a new area for The Red Report…youth discussion. From time to time we would like to discuss one of our young players and each suggest our hopes for him. This week, having made (as predicted by a few) his United debut in the Carling Cup, it’s Ravel Morrison:

Alan | RedForceRising:I was slightly surprised that Morrison received his first senior appearance ahead of Magnus Eikrem, who has been outstanding for the reserves, but Fergie knows best and maybe he felt that Ravel could use some tangible encouragement at this stage in his development. Morrison’s talent has been discussed at length on United forums and he’s the most naturally gifted youngster I’ve seen come through the ranks since Giggsy, Scholes and Beckham. My hope is that stepping onto the pitch at Old Trafford in front of 46,000 people will have motivated him enough to focus completely on becoming a first-team player, so he can play in front of 76,000 adoring fans every home match.

Kyle | Stretford-End: I’m thrilled that Ravel got his debut. Everything I’ve seen of him has been promising. Exactly the kind of attacking talent we could use in the future. Hopefully Sir Alex has “hair-dryered” the off-the-pitch problems out of the young player. I’m always excited when our youngsters are given chances; hopefully he’ll get more in the future because I think he can make it at this club!

TG | ManUtd24: It was journalist Henry Winter who first alerted the world of this boy’s talent; putting him alongside the likes of Jack Rodwell and Jack Wilshere as the nation’s next ‘big thing’. I’ve seen him a couple of times and he looks the part, but we’ll see just how good he is the next few years. However, being a teenage prodigy, if there’s one place to learn the trade and develop further, it’s at Old Trafford.

Siddarth | Bangalore to Old Trafford: So many words can be used to describe Ravel, He’s been called the “English Ronaldo”, “The most talented footballer in England”, etc. Clearly an indicator to how talented he is. He’s been highly rated for quite a while now, but then his biggest enemy has been his attitude towards his game and other off field problems. Lately, he’s been converted into a Attacking midfielder, and has been in great form for the reserves. He’s always got a bag of tricks up his sleeve and he can do just as much as Ronaldo could do with the ball. I’m sure it won’t be long before he’s drafted into the first team squad, he’ll be a player most of us will relish watching. If he can concentrate on improving his game and stay focused, then under Sir Alex and at Old Trafford he can’t find a better place to develop his talents and become a star.

Doron | Stretford-End: I recently profiled him for SE. I was delighted he got on the pitch on Tuesday, even if it was just for 20 seconds. The kid is a real talent. I’ve watched him closely for two years now and I’ve not seen a young player at our club as naturally talented as him. His problems off the pitch have been widely documented but it seems as if he’s growing up – certainly the impact of training with the first team since pre-season under the watchful eye of Ferguson and the ‘Old Guard’ is doing no harm. Here is the SE profile for him.

Chudi | The Busby Way: What more can you say about this kid that hasn’t been said?! Working as an intern for Football Fancast last November I told my editor to give me free reign to write about him and the piece proved a success because everyone is excited by the promise he holds. We have all seen the videos on YouTube, that GIF and watched him for the lower level teams so to see him on the bench was massive. He didn’t get on to wow us and those who may not know who he is, but the fanfare that surrounded his first appearance just goes to show how highly he is touted.

We all are excited by Ravel’s progress, he’s definitely one to keep an eye on.


Best of the blogs:

The Busby Way | The new kids are on the block

Stretford-End | MUFC Buy Nobby’s Medals, Reaction

Bangalore to Old Trafford | Scout Report on Steven Defour

ManUtd24 | Javier Hernandez Thinks Inside The Box

RedForceRising | 8 Players Who Could Leave Old Trafford and Their Possible Replacements


That concludes another Red Report for the week. Hopefully this edition keeps you entertained until next week. We’re always open to hear from you so you can catch us on Twitter:

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But don’t forget to check out our individual sites if you think we have missed something, as it is likely at least one of us will have covered it there:

The Busby Way


Bangalore To Old Trafford



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