Date: 29th July 2011 at 6:20pm
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With a positive pre-season and a squad looking sharper by the day, our attention now begins to turn towards the Community Shield to be played a week before the season begins against our rivals and FA Cup victors moneybags Manchester City.

If you asked a United fan if this was more than just a season opening showpiece, and they told you no, they would be lying. The majority of United fans love to beat City, and let’s face it we all want a measure of revenge for the FA Cup defeat, not to mention the game is a throwing down of the gauntlet for the upcoming season; showing our traditional challengers such as Chelsea and Arsenal, but also new boys City that we are still the number one force to be reckoned with.

So what are our chances of actually doing this?

Firstly looking at our squad, despite a strong push from Lindergaard during the US Tour, De Gea will start between the posts and have his first real test, and what a game to do it in. Our superb center back pairing of Rio and Vidic have looked strong in pre-season and more than capable of keeping out the City strikers who have not been sent to the reserves by Mancini. With Evra and Rafael in the full back positions, and Rooney and Berbatov, in place of the mildly concussed Javier Hernandez, up top the only area of the squad that may prompt concern is that of the midfield. 

Having either lost interest or failed to complete a deal for Sneijder yet, it will be down to the players already in the squad to fill the void left by Scholsey and provide that creative spark, with Anderson controversially saying he is the player to do this.

Young seems to have forged an understanding with Evra already, and the left side of our team looks strong and one to watch. Carrick will need to continue his fine pre-season form and build on this, and should he start he could be a vital player in the Community Shield.  Park has had a great pre-season, and again has boosted his reputation for being more than ‘a great squad player’. The concern over the health of Darren Fletcher has not gone away, with the player being ruled out for the foreseeable future, leaving United somewhat short in the midfield area .

With mixed messages coming from the United camp over the possibility of a final summer signing, it remains to be seen who will make up the midfield come the opening game of the season. However, although a further midfielder could be needed, it is far from panic time, and the United squad as a whole look as good as any in the premier league, if not better.    

When considering our opponents City, it looks like a deal for Aguero will be done in time for him to start the game. His signing would provide a considerable threat upfront in place of, or worst case scenario, alongside Carlos Tevez. In Joe Hart City have a solid keeper, with a reputation that is growing by the day. City’s defence is a fairly tight one, with Kompany being the stand out performer there, but nothing that Rooney and Berbatov would not be able to penetrate given the chance.

By now everyone will have either seen or heard about the backheel attempt on goal by Mario Balotelli against LA Galaxy, and the subsequent reaction by Mancini. Whomever you feel was in the wrong there, it was clear after the substitution of Balotelli that City were distinctly lacking up front and offered little to no threat, especially when considering the ever adventurous Mancini put Milner on in Balotelli’s place, leaving Dzeko to lead the line alone. Should Balotelli still be out of favour and Dzeko be the lone striker at Wembley, I would wager a slow and easy afternoon for Rio and Vidic, with Aguero most likely taking time to acclimatize to the Premier League and bedded in slowly. Tevez seems to be on his way, meaning that not only will the ridiculous ‘welcome to Manchester’ poster be forgotten, but will mean even less firepower upfront for City.

When looking at both squads as a whole, it seems that United have considerably more quality and experience than City. It also has to be remembered that in Fergie we have the best manager of modern times, you would wager he would have dealt with the Balotelli incident a lot differently and did it in a more professional manner rather than having a slagging match with the player infront of the cameras.

All in all, it seems that a win for the red half of Manchester is the most likely, with City looking far less conditioned in pre-season thus far, and with Rooney threatening we will se his best this season and looking on top form this summer, it’s an ominous sign for our rivals.


38 responses to “‘What now?…’ Can we silence our noisy neighbours next Sunday?”

  1. Billy_Azul says:

    Hey – I hope your players take us as lightly as you have in this article, because we’ll give you a right kicking if so!

  2. bluefrommanc says:

    Utd can make history on sunday, being the first team to be beaten 3 times at wembley in 1 year…. Keep up the good work rags!!!!!!!

  3. Paul says:

    city wont no what hit them and aguero will be a flop

  4. manxman says:

    You amaze me , you mustn’t have been watching what 99.9% of the population have seen already ( the future is going to be Blue ),the tide has turned, so less of your silly busby way comparisons, you will be beaten thoroughly come sunday

    The Rags now have a very ordinary squad ( with a number of exceptions) and you are going to sound even more feeble in the coming months

    • James says:

      In case you haven’t realised we have been winning trophies for the last 20 years. For you to think that the ethos that is embedded in Uniteds DNA and the hunger to continue winning year after year, trophy after trophy you must be delusional mate.
      Let me give you the facts. City have spent over £400m in transfers since the sheik took over the “waste lands” and the only piece of silverware you “purchased” was the FA cup.. Before you start claiming our throne best you take a leaf out of real madrids book.. Money doesn’t buy you success.
      Agree that city will push this year and be a difficult team to beat however you lack stability, poise and experience something that every United player has!
      Keep looking up because there is only one team in Manchester and they wear RED!
      it took you 34 years to win a trophy… And you ha to outlay over £400m.. Pathetic excuse for a club if you ask me!!
      City = no history and will always live in the shadow on the red devils… “This is what it feels like to be Citeh.. This is what it feels like to be small.. This is what it feels like when your club wins nothing at all.. NOTHING AT ALL! night ladies.

      • ben says:

        Money doesnt buy succes? yeah i forgot that united havent spent any money in the past decade and all the trophies that they’ve won have come entirely from the efforts of homegrown players.. lacking in experience? what experience would that be? surely not the experience of playing in a world cup final that silva and de jong share, nor the champions league final experience of players like tevez, and the two toure’s, and then on top of that i’d forgotten that all our starting 11 have international experience.. but of course you clearly thought of that before posting this,, also interesting that you should end with that song, as last time i checked it was voided after this season’s efforts.. i appreciate rival banter, but when it’s so misinformed like this you really do wonder..

        • James says:

          How grown players like the Neville brothers, Scholes, Giggs, Beckham etc who have gone on to be quality players.. I never said united didn’t spend because it’s obvious that we do however the way city go about doing their business is obsurd.. Do you not see where this over inflated spending will put your club? Too many egos, too many “over priced” and “over hyped” players.. Apart from tevez (who is an absolute star) I don’t feel any players recently purchased fit the bill of super star. I’d probably put silva in the same category but with the money that has been outlayed in the last 3 years, you’d think you would have come a lot further.. I know Rome wasn’t build over night but the sheiks are of the belief that it can be. The rivalry had stepped up a notch and you’d want to show that you will compete on all fronts.. I just think there are way too many back room issues that could play a huge part in this “project” crumbling like arsenals back line! End of the day you have come along way since the sheik took over but you still have a hell of a longer time to catch us mate.. A Long long way!!

      • Sean says:

        ‘City = no history and will always live in the shadow on the red devils… “This is what it feels like to be Citeh.. This is what it feels like to be small’

        This comments sum up why I’m glad to be a blue. Such arrogance. My family have been following City since the 1930s (no history?), sometimes we have been successful, sometimes not-but being a supporter this happens-good times/bad times. To read this ‘no history’ rubbish and the ‘small club’in our shadow’ stuff-goodness-what claptrap.

        I assume if United were ‘small’ you wouldn’t support them. I’d better ring my mates who support Bury, Rochdale, Cambridge, Wolves- and tell them not to support them-‘cos they’re not big’.

        • redsince76 says:

          ben, to be fair if you looked at the money spent since the start of the PL, you’d find that we were actually behind liverpool and spurs, or were anyway going back 2 years, i havent looked since.
          We also only ever spent money that the club generated, which is why we were never in debt before the leeches came and took us over.
          I guess city were never in a position to be self sufficient and spending such large sums of money, but then we can hardly help it if we had the money to begin with.
          I mean even going back to the dark days of the 70s and 80s, united were still the best supported side in the country, with attendence figures even the scousers couldnt match, so then its surprise we had the funds to play with in the first place to buy the likes of ince, bruce, pallister etc even back in 89. From there, success and growing attendences paid for the rest.
          So its wrong to say we havent spent any money, but look at the likes of giggs, beckham, the nevilles, butt, and scholes who never cost us a penny, along with schmeichel, irwin, cantona, bruce, pallister, kanchelskis, and even now evra, vidic, hernandez, rafael, fabio, evans who all cost us very little, then its not exactly correct to say weve been buying the league, which was an argument city fans have been having going back 10/15 years.
          Anyway im not entering any of these vendettas, im just merely telling you the way i see it, as a united fan.
          Youve got yourself a sugar daddy, and with the way the leeches are running us, some of us are bound to be a little jealous, ill admit.
          But then weve also got the history and a pretty decent team to console ourselves over, and the way your side does business buying any half decent player for 10 times his actual worth, i wouldnt change our position with yours, even if you paid off our debt tomorrow.

  5. Jay says:

    Utd will show we don’t need no Arab oil money to be successful

  6. Paul says:

    manxman id worry less about utd and focus on the player revolt at city and not forgetting your paying 90 million for one player haha, and you carnt even get rid of players

  7. Jack says:

    Most of the r ag team wouldn’t get on the City bench.

    • tim says:

      tevez, dzeko,balotelli and adebayor while he was there didn’t score as many goals as rooney, berba and chicha, so they would make it into the starting XI. nani got the most assists in the league last season, so im pretty sure he would displace SWP/johnson/milner. park got more goals last season than any of your players. vidic and ferdinand are 2 of the best centre backs in the world, and evra is one of the best left backs. and consiering that we won the league and got to a cl final, i think its safe to say we have a better team than u. MUFC

  8. leke says:

    U city fans..u guys r shit..u so freaking noisy fools..not even aguero can make history 4 u samll mob…RED RULES

  9. wiuru says:

    Win,lose or draw Citeh will always be Citeh !

    • Sean says:

      I wouldn’t poke fun of the Mancunian accent if I were you. When you to to Old Trafford the real local reds might be a tad insulted.

  10. Red Mick says:

    These deluded cu*ts NEVER learn… try filling your stadium more than once a season u mouthy bitter cunts…. most of our team wouldnt make your bench??? your fucking talisman was only on our bench fuck off stockport massive!!!!

    • rupert says:

      red prick typical fuckin rag. go and worry about THE DEBT instead of likkle citeh, you tutcher.

      • Red Mick says:

        Why you on a united fanzine, bitter cunt, go suck off curly watts

        • Sean says:

          Because it’s on Newsnow and the article is about us. You are surely not going to claim reds don’t read our stuff are you?

          And this foul abuse isn’t needed you know. We can be rivals without attacking each other.