Tag Archives: Mark Hughes

Ten Greatest Manchester United Wins In The Sir Alex Ferguson Era (Videos)

Juventus-United-1999

On Sunday Manchester United take on their bitter neigbhours Manchester City, in what could prove to be an important fixture in the title race.

The Red Devils take on a City side which are unbeaten in the Premier League this season and haven’t lost a home game since December 2010, leading to Sir Alex Ferguson to insist that it would be ‘one of our best ever results’ should his side beat the reigning champions.

Should United win, it would surely be memorable, but will it be special like these victories? Below are the ten of the best Manchester United wins under Ferguson..

10 . Manchester United 4-0 Chelsea (FA Cup Final, 1994)

One of the greatest finals in the FA Cup history as United completely outplayed Chelsea at the Wembley Stadium. The Red Devils scored four times (Eric Cantona (x2), Mark Hughes and Brian McClair) as they went on to do the Premier League-FA Cup double. This triumph was the club’s eighth success in the competition, matching the record set by Tottenham Hotspur three years earlier.

9. Manchester United 4-3 Manchester City (Premier League, 2009)

One of the greatest Manchester derby ever. With the noisy neigbhours making more noise thanks to their Sheikh owners, a win was important for United as it would give them the bragging rights in the city. Wayne Rooney opened the scoring for the Red Devils early in the first half before Gareth Barry equalised. Darren Fletcher and Craig Bellamy both scored a brace in the second half and then in the sixth minute of injury time Michael Owen scored the dramatic winner to send Old Trafford into ecstasy.

8. Manchester United 3-2 Aston Villa (Premier League, 2009)

United came into this match on the back of a two-game losing streak and with star strikers – Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney not playing it looked like a tough task. The Red Devils took the lead early in the first half, but Villa came back and led 2-1 before Cristiano Ronaldo’s 80th minute equaliser and Federico Macheda’s injury time winner. The win knocked Liverpool off the top spot and United stayed there till the end, equaling the Reds’ record 18 titles.

7. Everton 2-4 Manchester United (Premier League, 2007)

United had gone three seasons without a title as Arsenal and Chelsea dominated between 2004 and 2006. In the 2006/07 season, United led the way by three points from Chelsea and with just four games left, a tricky trip to the Goodison Park turned out to be the decisive one. Everton went 2-0 up midway through the second half, but a stunning 4-2 win for the Red Devils saw them win the title that season.

6. Manchester United 1-1 (6-5 pens) Chelsea (Champions League Final, 2008)

United faced Chelsea in an All-English final at Moscow for the Champions League trophy. The Red Devils took the lead through Cristiano Ronaldo’s header before Frank Lampard equalised for the Blues. The game went into penalties and the rest as we know is history. The win gave Sir Alex his second Champions League trophy and also re-established United’s dominance in Europe.

5. Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal (FA Cup Semi-Final, 1999)

This win not only helped United to reach the final of the FA Cup in 1999, but also denied Arsenal a chance to win back-to-back doubles. Roy Keane was sent off, Peter Schmeichel saved a last minute penalty from Dennis Bergkamp, then Ryan Giggs scored the greatest goal in FA Cup history as United reached Wembley. The momentum helped them win the FA Cup final and also pip Arsenal to the league title by a point.

4. Nottingham Forest 0-1 Manchester United (FA Cup 3rd Round, 1990)

United were on the brink of relegation battle and Fergie had failed to win a trophy in over three years at Old Trafford. Nottingham Forests were cup specialists that time and United the underdogs. Fans were calling for Fergie’s head and defeat would probably have seen him sacked, but Mark Robins goal bougth him time and the Red Devils went on to win the Cup that season.

3. Manchester United 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday (Premier League, 1993)

It was 26 years since United had last won the league and, trailing Villa in the title race and losing 1-0 at home to Sheff Wed, it looked like the wait would continue. But two headed goals by Steve Bruce – the second into injury time – took United at the top, where they stayed until the end, as Villa fell away.

2. Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munich (Champions League Final, 1999)

This was one of the best comebacks in the history of the Champions League. With just three minutes of injury time left in Barcelona, United scored twice  (Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunner Solskjaer) to snatch the European Cup away from the hands of Bayern Munich, who had completely dominated the game and led since the eighth minute.

1. Juventus 2-3 Manchester United (Champions League Semi-Final, 1999)

This was the greatest win ever under Sir Alex Ferguson, even bigger than the above 1999 Champions League final itself. United came back from two goals down to win 3-2 in Italy against the best team in Europe and that to by completely outplayed them. This was the match that marked United as the worthy champions of Europe.

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Hughes Sacked, Redknapp To Be Appointed

Queens Park Rangers have terminated the contract of manager Mark Hughes following a miserable start to the season and are set to appoint former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp as the successor.

The 49-year-old Welshman only narrowly avoided relegation last season after taking over from Neil Warnock in January and has fallen out with his employers having spent heavily over the summer and failing to win a single game in the Premier League this season.

A statement on QPR’s official website read:

Queens Park Rangers Football Club has today (Friday) terminated the contract of manager Mark Hughes with immediate effect.

This decision has been taken after careful consideration by the Board of Directors, following numerous meetings over the last few days.

The Board of Directors wish to thank Mark for his commitment, hard work and dedication in his ten months in charge.

Mark has shown integrity and professionalism throughout his time here, but ultimately the circumstances we find ourselves in have left the Board of Directors with very little choice but to make a change.

The Board will now be working actively to put a new managerial structure in place as soon as possible.

Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki will take charge of the R’s trip to Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

The club will be making a further announcement in due course.

The sacking comes just 24 hours before QPR travel to face Manchester United at Old Trafford and if reports are to be believed then the former Portsmouth boss is on the brink of agreeing a deal at Loftus Road.

Harry Redknapp told Sky Sports News:

“I’m hopeful we can get it done tonight, there shouldn’t be any problems. I fancy getting back into the Premier League. QPR is a good club, with great fans and a great atmosphere. I am looking forward to it. It’s a big challenge. It will be a tough job to take on but I am up for the challenge.

“Mark Hughes is a top, top manager and a great guy as well. He was just unlucky and they just couldn’t get the results they needed. I’m ready to give it a go now and see if I can change their fortunes around. But it won’t be easy for sure.

“There’s some good players there and I have obviously got to find a way of picking a team that can win some games. They have gone 12 games without a win so you couldn’t have too many worse starts than that.

“It’s going to be a tough job to keep them up but it’s a challenge and I love a challenge. I am going to go in and give it my best shot and if it works it will be fantastic.”

“I will travel up to Old Trafford probably on Saturday and just sit in the stand and watch the game. If everything gets sorted, and I’m sure it will, I’ll be in on Sunday morning, have the team in for training, train Monday and then fly up to Sunderland.”

With the announcement of the new manager expected today, we ask whether the former West Ham, Portsmouth and Tottenham boss – Harry Redknapp is the right man for the job?

Yes!! He is available and he is the man who can work miracles. He is the man who is interested in getting the results now and not in the future and so if you are looking to set up the future of the club with youth policy and an academy then he’s not the man for you. He will come in to QPR, sign couple of players in January and get them out of trouble.

He did it at Portsmouth. He did a fantastic job there, won them the FA Cup and took over at Tottenham when they were bottom of the league. He took them to a respectable position in the same season and then secured Champions League football next season. He is the only candidate out there at the moment, who could step into the shoes straight away and do the job.

Premier League 2012/13 Predictions

The wait is finally over as the new Premier League season kicks-off today and here my predictions for the 2012/13 campaign.

Champions?

Manchester City are the favourites for me to win the title again this season. They broke their duck last season and got the monkey of their back. They now know how to cope with certain situations and how to get through games. Roberto Mancini and City both will have learnt a lot from last season. I know they haven’t sign anybody – except for Jack Rodwell – but they already have a very strong squad which is more than capable of winning the league again.

At the same time, I expect the title race to be very close like last season and may again go down to the very last day. Manchester United have got Robin van Persie and they will surely be right up there. They have also go their skipper – Nemanja Vidic coming back from injury, and he would be like a completely new signing for the club.

Top Four?

The two Manchester clubs will occupy the top two places and it will be either Chelsea, Arsenal or Tottenham for the remaining two places. I will go with Chelsea and Arsenal.

The Blues will be a better team than what they were last season. They have bought some very good young players like Eden Hazard, Marko Marin and Oscar, that are going to attack a lot. With Didier Drogba moving to China, Fernando Torres will have a big season, as he will have to fill the big shoes of the Ivorian. If Torres could get his old Liverpool form back, which made him one of the most dangerous forwards in the world, then the Blues could even challenge for the title.

It’s going to be very tight between Arsenal and Tottenham for the final Champions League spot. I fill Arsenal will just sneak into fourth because of the great football they play. They may have lost Van Persie and might also lose Alex Song, but in Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud they have bought in some quality players. As for Tottenham, Andre Villas-Boas is a very talented manager but he needs to get the forward line sorted soon and also find a replacement for Luka Modric.

Bottom Three?

It’s really tough to call who will go down this season. Every year I feel Wigan will be relegated but they somehow stay up. This season again I am going to say Wigan. They have made two good signings in Ivan Ramis and Arouna Kone, but they could lose Victor Moses and should be down there again. Norwich had a very good season last term under Paul Lambert, but with him moving away to a bigger club they are going struggle along with Reading. I really hope the Royals stay up but they are a very attacking side. That will make them entertaining but also vulnerable.

Surprise Package?

With the expected arrival of Gaston Ramirez, it makes Southampton one of the entertaining teams in the Premier League. They have lots of exciting attacking players throughout the side and I can see them doing what Norwich or Swansea did last season. At the same time, I think Mark Hughes’ QPR side will be the overachievers this season. Hughes kept the R’s up on the final day last season and I am expecting a very good campaign from them this year. They have made some very good signings in Park Ji-Sung, Junior Hoilett and Jose Bosingwa. They will be very hard to beat and could even finish in the top half of the table.

Top Scorer?

We will be looking at a lot of the same names again this season. Van Persie and Wayne Rooney will form a deadly combo at United, while Luis Suarez – if he can control himself – will benifit a lot in Brendan Rodgers attack-minded Liverpool side and with Arsenal creating lot of chances Lukas Podolski will also be up there. But in the end Sergio Aguero will win the Golden Boot this season. He had a tremendous first season in England and I expect him to get even better this season. If City do go on to defend their Premier League crown, it will be because of his goals.

Player to Watch?

There are so many exciting players to watch in the Premier League this season. As a United fan I love watching Steven Gerrard play because he is a true inspiration to his team-mates and can single handedly win a game for Liverpool and I hope he stays fit for the whole season.

However, I feel Eden Hazard will be my player to watch this season. His transfer saga went on for months and in the end he revealed on Twitter that he had decided to join Chelsea. He is one of the top talents in world football and was named the Ligue 1 Player of the Year for the second consecutive time last season. He will have a huge role to play for Chelsea this season and will also have to justify his big transfer fees. If he can star as he did for his previous club then the Blues could be in with a shout for the Premier League title.

Premier League 2012/13 Team Preview – Queens Park Rangers

Welcome to IntoTheTopCorner’s team-by-team preview to the new Barclays Premier League season. Here we look at Queens Park Rangers’ vital stats, their summer transfers and analyse their chances.

Manager: Mark Hughes.
Captain: TBD.
Stadium: Loftus Road (18,360).
Last season: 17th.
Leading scorer (PL): Heidar Helguson (8).
Odds: Title 1500-1. Relegation 9-1.

In: Jose Bosingwa (Free, Chelsea), Samba Diakite (£3.5m, Nancy), Fabio (Loan, Manchester United) Robert Green (Free, West Ham), Junior Hoilett (Free, Blackburn), Andrew Johnson (Free, Fulham), Stephane Mbia (Loan, Marseille), Ryan Nelsen (Free, Tottenham), Park Ji-Sing (£2.5m, Q.R.R).

Out: Patrick Agyemang (Released), Joey Barton (Loan, Marseille), Gary Borrowdale (Released), Akos Buzsaky (Released), Lee Cook (Released), Danny Gabbidon (Released), Fitz Hall (Released), Heidar Helguson (Undisc., Cardiff), Paddy Kenny (£440k, Leeds), Bruno Perone (Released), Elvijs Putnis (Released), Peter Ramage (Free, Crystal Palace), Dan Shittu (Free, Millwall), Rowan Vine (Free, St Johnstone).

Kits

Key Man – Park Ji-Sung
The former Korean international is undoubtedly QPR’s marquee signing of the summer and the former Manchester United man, who won four Premier League titles and one Champions League title during his time at Old Trafford, is expected to bring in some vital experience, quality and leadership to take up a key role in Mark Hughes’ side.

Opening Fixtures
18-Aug – Swansea (H)
25-Aug – Norwich (A)
01-Sep – Man City (A)
15-Sep – Chelsea (H)
22-Sep – Tottenham (A)
01-Oct – West Ham (H)

Probable Formation (4-4-2): Green; Bosingwa, Ferdinand, Nelsen, Fabio; Hoilett, Taarabt, Diakite, Park; Cisse, Zamora.

Verdict: After last season’s rollercoaster ride surving the drop, QPR’s owners have spent enough in the summer to make sure they won’t be involved in another relegation battle this season. Park Ji-Sung is by far the best signing of all – his time at Manchester United has taught him a lot, and his work-rate is probably the best in the Premier League. Former Blackburn winger Junior Hoilett is another shrewd purchase by the former Blackburn manager – Mark Hughes, along with the experienced trio of England international keeper Robert Green, New Zealand skipper Ryan Nelsen and former Everton forward Andrew Johnson. Hughes has strengthened the squad with some smart signings and I have a feeling that QPR could surprise a few people this season and exceed expectations.

Prediction: 9th.

Premier League New Signings Best XI

With just over two weeks to go for the new 2012/13 Premier League season to begin, we continue to look forward to it and build up for the new season. Today, we have decided to make a best XI of the new signings done by the Premier League clubs this summer.  

The team is formed by using the 4-2-3-1 formation. It also has a manager (who has been recently appointed) and seven substitutes. Have a look at the them and feel free to comment below.

GK – ROBERT GREEN (WEST HAM TO QPR – FREE)

The experienced England keeper may be still haunted by the goal he conceded against USA in the 2010 World Cup, but he is a safe and reliable man to have inbetween the sticks. Hughes snapped him up for free after his contract with the Hammers came to an end this June.

RB – NATHANIEL CLYNE (CRYSTAL PLACE TO SOUTHAMPTON – £2M)

The young, highly-rated but talented right-back joined the Saints for a compensation fee after his contract with the Eagles expiered in the summer. The 21-year-old, who was once a target of Manchester United, will add a lot pace to Southampton’s defence and will be a constant threat on the right-side.

CB – JAN VERTONGHEN (AJAX TO TOTTENHAM – £11M)

The Belgium international was chased by a hosts of top clubs across Europe, but in the end Tottenham won the race to sign him. With Ledley King having announced his retirement in the past month, Vertonghen will be a perfect addition to the squad and his presence will be felt at the back.

CB – RON VLAAR (FEYENOORD TO ASTON VILLA – £3.5M)

The Dutch international has spent the best part of his eight year career at Feyenoord and the hard tackling defender – who had a decent Euro 2012 campaign compared to his team – will be a great addition to Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa side – who have been poor at the back in the past couple of seasons.

LB – FABIO (MANCHESTER UNITED TO QPR – LOAN)

The young United left-back has been primed for big things in the future, but his opportunities and Old Trafford have been very limited. The pacey Brazilian, who is good with either foot is expected to be R’s first choice left-back at Loftus Road and will be hoping to impress his employees with a good season under Mark Hughes.

CM – OSCAR (INTERNACIONAL TO CHELSEA – £28M)

The young Brazilian has been one of the top performers for his country at the Olympics this year and his big money move to Chelsea has excited a lot of fans. The playmaker, who has great vision, passing and an eye for spectacular goals, is tipped for big things at Stamford Bridge.

CM -GYLFI SIGURDSSON (HOFFENHEIM TO TOTTENHAM – £8.8M)

The Iceland international had a very successful loan spell with Swansea last term and that attracted a lot of suitors for the 22-year-old midfielder. The former Reading star snubbed offers from Liverpool and Swansea to join Andre Villas-Boas at Tottenham and is expected to play a major role at White Hart Lane this season.

LW – LUKAS PODOLSKI (FC KOLN TO ARSENAL – £11.4M)

It’s not often that you see Arsene Wenger buying experienced and proven talents over youngsters, but this signing of the German international, who has more than 100 caps to his name, could be a masterstroke and could well help the Gunners win their first ever major silverware in more than seven years.

CAM – SHINJI KAGAWA (DORMUND TO MANCHESTER UNITED – £13.2M)

Kagawa has seen a steap rise in his career from Japanese League football to Premier League football in the last three years or so. The Japanese international was named the Bundesliga player of the season last term after helping Dortmund do the domestic double and his transfer to United has delighted the United fans. The playmaker is expected to play a key role in helping United regain their Premier League title this season.

RW – EDEN HAZARD (LILLE TO CHELSEA – £32.5M)

The highly-rated playmaker was the most sought-after property in Europe at the start of the summer. Manchester City and Manchester United were both interested in him, but in the end Chelsea landed the Belgium international after winning the Champions League. Roman Abramovich has again splashed a lot of money on a youngster who is expected to become one of the best player in the world.

ST – OLIVIER GIROUD (MONTPELLIER to ARSENAL – £10.5M)

The France international had a great last season as helped Montpellier win their first ever league title in their history. Arsenal ssigned the striker early in the summer beating off competition from several clubs across Europe. With skipper Robin van Persie expected to leave in the near future, Giroud will have a huge role to play this season.

Manager – ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS (UNEMPLOYED TO TOTTENHAM)

The Portuguese had a distatourous time at Stamford Bridge which lasted for just over nine months, after he had helped Porto to do the treble in the previous season by winning the League, domestic cup and the Europa League. Villas-Boas was given another chance to prove himself in the Premier League after he was appointed as the new boss at White Hart Lane to succeed Harry Redknapp. The 34-year-old will be hoping make the most of his second chance and help Tottenham secure Champions League football for the next season.

Subs – Jussi Jaaskelainen (Bolton to West Ham for Free), Steven Whittaker (Rangers to Norwich for Free), James Collins (Aston Villa to West Ham for £2.8m), Marko Marin (Werder Bremen to Chelsea for £8.6m), Park Ji-Sung (Manchester United to QPR for £2.7m), Junior Hoilett (Blackburn to QPR for Free), Fabio Borini (Roma to Liverpool for £11.7m).

5 Reasons Why Manchester United Will Be Champions This Season

With just one round of fixtures to go, Manchester City and Manchester United are both leveled on points at the top of the table but City lead on goal difference and the Citizens are the favourites to win their first title in years.

City entertain QPR in the final match of the season, while United travel to Sunderland. City are odds-on favourite to win the match against the Rs and go on to win the title on Sunday. It seems very straightforward for City to win the title now, but somehow something in me says that come this Sunday, Manchester United will be celebrating their 20th league title. Here are the 5 reasons that are making me think like that.

1. Manchester United Will Win At Sunderland

Last game of the season is a must-win game for United, if they have to stand any chance of winning the title. But having said that and after watching the previous game against Swansea, I feel like the pressure is off Sir Alex Ferguson’s team. It was quite clear from the crowd’s and the player’s attitude during the Swansea game that they believe that the title had been won by City. But all said and done, they will want to end the season with win and will do so by destroying Sunderland, who have nothing left to play for anymore on the final day and whose season seems to have ended for some weeks now. The Black Cats have taken just 5 points from the last 8 games with their last win coming against QPR, more than a month ago.  The stats also favour a United win, with the visitors having won 8 of the last 10 games and drawn the remaining 2.

2. QPR Need To Avoid Defeat To Stay Up

QPR are currently 17th is the league table just two points above the relegation zone. Below them are Bolton with 35 points, two less than the Rs and they travel to Stoke on the final day of the season. Playing against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium is not the easiest thing to do, buts it’s not beyond imagination to see the Wanderers pick all three points. Should that happen, QPR must avoid defeat against Manchester City to avoid relegation just on goal difference. As always, the final round of fixtures will kick off at the same time, so QPR will be desperate to get at least one point which they need.

3. Fergie And His Mind Game 

One can never beat Sir Alex Ferguson in mind games ask the likes of Kevin Keegan and Rafael Benitez. We have seen it in the past and we will see it again this week. This season he has been strangely subdued but in the last week or so we have seen some spark. First, he lost his temper and squared off with Roberto Mancini on the touch-line and late accused the City manager in his post-match interview saying:

“He was out on that touch-line the whole game haranguing the referee, the fourth official and the linesmen. The minute I come off the bench for a bad tackle by De Jong on Welbeck, he was out again. He can’t have it both ways. He’s been complaining about referees this season but he won’t be complaining tonight that’s for sure.”

Mancini didn’t stay quite and replied sarcastically:

“Who said this? Him, no? He doesn’t talk with the referee or the fourth official? No, never.”

Before the Swansea game when Sir Alex was asked if City had one hand on the title? He replied saying ‘No, they have two hands on the title.’ But after the game, he was at it again, goading his form player Mark Hughes to lead his team to an improbable draw or defeat at the home of his fiercest rivals:

“QPR need a point and they’re fighting for survival. The whole future of the club could be resting on the game and I only wish Sparky was playing. But Mark knows his job all right. He was sacked by City in a very unethical way and he’ll remember that.”

I think this is just the start, expect some more comments from both the managers during the week.

4. Mark ‘Sparky’ Hughes

Ambition tempted him to leave a promising “project” at Blackburn Rovers and head to mega rich City in 2008. Just 18 months into the job, he was sacked in bitter circumstances and replaced by the current manager, Roberto Mancini. To this day, Hughes believes that he wasn’t given a chance to complete what he had started and that he would have done a better job than Mancini, had he still been manager. That is his opinion, but what is definitely a fact is that come this Sunday, Hughes will do whatever he can to destroy his former employers’ dreams of winning their first league title in 44 years. Hughes said:

“It would be just fantastic to go there and get something. They are going for the title and we’re trying to stay in the league. When I took over at QPR, I looked at the fixtures and that one lurked ominously in the distant future. It does feel a little bit fated for them and for us.”

If Sparky is able to get anything out of that game at the Etihad, then he will be an even bigger United legend than he is today.

5. Money Can’t Buy Titles

I am a Manchester United fan and I believe that football teams should be ‘made’ and not be ‘bought’. I hope you get the difference. Nothing could be more of a slap in the face of a true football fan than the fact that a club like Manchester City could spend a billion pounds, buy some of the world’s best players and build the best team in the world. Yes, I know its been done before by the likes of Chelsea and Real Madrid and they have won titles but it’s disturbing as well. With the amount of money City have spent over the last one-two seasons, even the likes of Wolves and Blackburn could challenge for the league title. I know now City are the favourites to join the list of teams to have bought their way to a title but it would give me a great deal of happiness and joy were this not to happen.