The Red Report – Episode 2: Rooney, Wolves, Pompey and the ‘Man Yoo’ debate
Welcome to the second issue of The Red Report, the round table discussion of all things Manchester United by your favourite United blogs:
It’s just the second week but you can expect fireworks in what has been a dramatic week at Old Trafford. With Wayne Rooney’s u-turn, games against Bursaspor and Stoke amongst other things, this issue promises to be good.
Wayne Rooney has split opinion amongst United fans with his antics this week, some are happy to have him whilst others are struggling to forgive the Scouser after what was perceived as an slight on our great club so we discussed what is the view on Rooney now?
Chudi (The Busby Way): Wayne Rooney has much to do to rebuild the rapport he once had with us the fans. His words this week were not only confusing but also very insulting as he gave the impression that nothing associated with Manchester United, as a club was good enough for him.
I like Rooney so I didn’t join in with others who insulted and cursed the Scouser, losing a player of his calibre would be a massive knock but as I said I am not happy with him and he needs to let his goals do the apologising!
Doron (Stretford End): Personally, I’m delighted Rooney’s signed. We’d be stupid to not want him. However, he needs to look down a camera and apologise directly to the fans. The MUTV interview wasn’t much of an apology. Then I’d expect him to work hard, train hard and earn a place in our time. His form’s not been good enough to consider a start. Then if he has sense he’ll sack Stretford, mind you he’s just become our highest paid player ever so I doubt he’s complaining. Importantly we must unite and back him; let’s give him the chance to win us back. He probably doesn’t deserve it but we’re a good bunch of fans!
Siddarth (BTOT): I’m still shocked over the turn of events, Rooney signing a 5-year deal after making so much fuss and insulting the club! I don’t think I can ever forgive him. But he’s a great player for any team to have and to have him in full flow almost every time guarantees you a win. Hopefully last week’s chaos doesn’t happen ever again.
TG (ManUtd24): I may get a bit of stick but I’m genuinely happy he’s staying. He’s shown his commitment to the club and to Fergie and that’s what’s important. He’ll be forgiven over time; but no doubt, United fans will never forget this. Also, we know he feels quite passionately about trophies now, a reason why he wanted to leave in the first place. I hope United fans accept him as one of their own again – because, boy, is he special.
Alan (RedForceRising): Rooney himself has gone from hero to zero. I will appreciate his goals and efforts and I will give credit where it’s due, but I will never take him to heart like I had until Tuesday. He will also have to make it up to his team mates who will be disappointed AND apologize to the fans –sincerely – but still happy to have him at the club. All in all, player power reared its ugly head, Sir Alex pulled of stunning public relations coup, Rooney ruined his reputation further and insulted his team mates and Manchester United scored another victory over City.
The Rooney situation despite having being ‘solved’ will rumble on for ages and I’m pretty sure will remain a talking point for weeks to come.
This week we take on Wolves in the Carling Cup. The competition is usually seen as an opportunity for younger players or those on the fringes of the first team to give Sir Alex something to think about. Recently we have done pretty well in the competition and are the current holders so we discussed this upcoming tie:
Alan: Sir Alex should practice what he’s been preaching lately and give the younger players a chance. I would love to see a balanced mix of young and experienced players start this match, which should hopefully see Magnus Eikrem, as well as Bebe see some action.
Starting X1 4-5-1: Kuszczak, Brown, Smalling, Evans, Fabio, Obertan, Carrick, Anderson, Eikrem, Bebe, Macheda
Subs: Amos, Neville, O’Shea, Stewart, Gibson, Park, Owen (if fit)
TG: I’m pretty excited about this one. Carling Cup fixtures have become some sort of ‘spin-off’; where teams tend not to take it all that seriously and fielding many second string players. We may witness the return of Owen Hargreaves, the inspiration behind Manchester United’s double winning season of 2007/08. I’d also like to see Magnus Eikrem, Gabriel Obertan and, being greedy, Bebe feature in this game as this competition is obviously a fantastic platform for our fringe players. Having said that, I’d expect Wolves to give us a fight, despite their below par start to the season.
Siddarth: A game I’m really anxious to watch, mainly to see if Eikrem finally plays a 1st team game! I love the lad and I’m pretty sure he’s going to be a special player. Also looking forward to Bebe and Fabio getting some more game time. Maybe if we’re lucky Ravel Morrison might make the bench and come on. It’s the chance to see youngsters make a mark that’s making the Carling Cup such a big hit! Rumours about that Hargo might make his comeback in the game, so another reason to be excited about the fixture. Wolves will be a difficult challenge, but they’ll be concentrating on survival in the league so I see Mick McCarthy putting out a weaker team. We should be able to win the game.
Doron: I was gutted this was a home tie. Something about away games in the cups gives the games an edge. Seems a shame to play at Old Trafford with empty seats and no atmosphere. In terms of the personnel finally Eikrem should grace our first team, maybe from the bench. Obertan, Bébé and Smalling should all start along with Amos who missed the Scunthorpe tie due to an arm injury. I guess if Hargreaves gets over his calf injury he may feature too. Long shots for a place on the bench – Will Keane, John Cofie and Ravel Morrison. As per usual it’ll be a good opportunity for ‘squad’ players to get minutes and hopefully a win and a nice away draw will follow.
Chudi: The Carling Cup should be the game in which we bleed in young talent, we have a plethora of it here at the club and a number of players I feel that are/will be good enough for the first team so they should be playing in these games more often. For me Magnus Eikrem is the closest to crossing over and I will be disappointed if he doesn’t play a part this week. Last season we saw Josh King make a promising cameo against Wolves but he didn’t immediately break into the first team and become a star so I’m under no illusion that anyone that gets a chance this week will but if these youngsters are to become the stars of tomorrow they need to be given the chance.
As you can see we all have high hopes, not only the game but also our future stars. Tuesday should be interesting!
As per usual we decided to look at a non-United topic with that being the situation at Pompey:
Chudi: Pompey are a decent well-supported club so everything they have been through is quite sad really. It appears they have been saved but for how long? We’ve heard it before and yet time and time again they find themselves in precarious positions.
Many people don’t seem to care because it’s not their club but put yourself in a Pompey fan’s shoes, imagine if it was United that was being threatened with administration? Mismanagement of clubs is a major problem and more should be done to prevent it. The check the FA does before someone is allowed to take over is a step in the right direction though.
Doron: Gutting stuff at Pompey. I’ve got Pompey supporters in my family and it’s horrible to think that the team they support may just not exist. My own personal favourite memories are Peter Crouch enjoying the banter of circus music being sung in his direction every time he stood for a corner in front of the Stretford End; and their FA Cup final win against Cardiff. I was at Wembley that day with my Cardiff supporting dad and we both recollect how their fans didn’t stop singing all game. A club with great traditions that must be saved.
Siddarth: Portsmouth have been literally a rags to riches story and now they seem to be going to non existence, its really sad if you consider that just a few seasons ago they had players like Sol Campbell, Niko Kranjcar, Peter Crouch, Defoe, etc. They have really good and loyal fans that do not deserve this, all because of dodgy owners! I hope they survive and are able to return to the Premier League one day!
TG: Oh, Pompey. I recall a game an FA Cup against Arsenal in which they were losing 6-0; yet their travelling fans were so full in voice that they put the home fans in shade. Someone also told me how, on their last visit to Old Trafford, their fans brought G & G scarves as a mutual protest. Those fans don’t deserve this – they are one of the most passionate on these shores and I pray that they survive liquidation.
Alan: The FA needs to stop pretending they are mere spectators in this and realize that football clubs are not companies. Say what you will, but football clubs are woven into the social fabric of their communities and the fans are NOT just customers. They are the reason clubs exist and their presence at matches are not just to be entertained but to also support their team. Football clubs should be protected from exploitive investors and their expenditure should be limited relative to their turnover. There would be some imbalances at first, but ultimately it would prevent clubs from taking on excessive debt they are unable to cope with.
As a team who have had issues with our owners I’m sure we can all sympathise with their plight, good news that they have apparently been rescued.
And finally we come to the public part. Last week we were asked to discuss the term ‘ManU’. Having seen it used on Twitter and the backlash that follows, this is definitely a sore point amongst our fans and rightly so:
Alan: I personally never use the term. I love the club enough to say Manchester United, United or Man United. Besides, ‘ManU’ sounds too much like ‘menu’ or ‘manure’, which you will have heard too often by moronic rival fans. However, I am not too offended when other fans use it. There seems to be some disagreement on the internet about how insulted United fans are supposed to feel about the term since it is referenced in some insulting anti-United songs, but some older United supporters say it all the time. You can also hear several ex United players use the term in interviews or when they work as pundits on TV. So if it’s ok for them, I don’t see why it’s not ok for United fans to say and to be honest, how many fans were aware of its negative connotations before the Internet?
TG: It’s only in the last few years that I’ve felt strongly about this subject. I won’t deny that I’ve called our great club ‘Man U’ a few too many times, everyone has really, but I’m pretty sure that the majority are aware of the offence it may cause. Thanks chiefly to the power of the Internet Saying Man U is now a no-no nowadays. No worries, because ‘Manchester United’ will suffice.
Sid: Like TG, I have to admit that I have unfortunately let my tongue slip, though haven’t used the term in quite a long time now. The more I learn about the abuse directed towards the legends who died in the Munich crash by opposition fans the more I hate the word. I think if you know what the term means and how it’s been maligned, being a United fan, using it should make you shudder! But at the same time I think it’s important to mention that using the term out of innocence isn’t a crime really.
Doron: To be honest, saying Man Yoo has only become more of a taboo due to the Internet and people typing ‘Man U’. It’s lazy and whilst it doesn’t bother me I understand why some people take offence.
Chudi: I got saying ‘ManU’ out of my system early. The moment I learned the negative connotations I dropped it out.
It’s a derogatory term, so as a United fan, why would you continue to use it? I don’t expect to hear many Chelsea fans refer to themselves as the renties or Liverpool fans refer to themselves as the dippers. It really does make me cringe when I hear it and I try to explain to United fans why it is so negative, non United fans will say it regardless so they are a lost cause!
That concludes another Red Report for the week. Hopefully this edition keeps you entertained until next Monday. Please, please give us your feedback and suggestions for next week’s supplement. We’re always open to hear from you so you can catch us on Twitter:
Best of the blogs:
- ManUtd24 | For Rooney to find his form, he needs to become the main striker
- Stretford End | An open letter to Wayne Rooney
- The Busby Way | Sir Alex’s Shakespearean performance shows the King is very much alive
- Bangalore To Old Trafford | Stoked to have finally won
- Red Force Rising | Loan-Watch