Tag Archives: Ryan Giggs

Premier League ‘Bosman XI’ – Team Of Stars Out Of Contract In The Next Summer

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As we get close to the new year and the January transfer window, we make a team with the Premier League players who will be out of contract at the end of the season and could leave for free.

From the start of the new year, all these players can start negotiating with other clubs for a better contract and can join them for nothing in the summer. This year the likes of Michael Owen, Emile Heskey and Paul Scharner found new clubs, while Owen Hargreaves, Craig Gordon and Harry Kewell are left waiting for a phone call.

So come next summer which players could be moving on for free from the Premier League? Here is our Premier League ‘Bosman XI’..

Premier League Bosman XI

Subs:- Brad Friedel (Tottenham), Kolo Toure (Man City), William Gallas (Tottenham), Maynor Figueroa (Wigan), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Mladen Petric (Fulham), Franco di Santo (Wiagn).

Note:- The likes of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Jamie Carragher are also in their final year of their respective deals but have been excluded from the team because it is too hard to see them playing for anybody else.

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Revealed – Manchester United Have The Best Youth Academy In England

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According to research by Sporting Intelligence, Manchester United have the best youth academy having produce more first-team players for club in Europe’s top 5 leagues than any other team in England.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side are ranked fifth in the world behind the likes of Barcelona, Olympique Lyonnais, Real Madrid and Stade Rennais. Twenty of the twenty-four players who have graduated from the Old Trafford academy have gone on to play in the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 or the Serie A.

Nine of the twenty-four players produced are still at United ( including Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Darren Fletcher, Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck), and the remaining 15 playing elsewhere include the likes of Phil Neville (Everton), Kieran Richardson (Fulham), Phil Bardsley (Sunderland), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96), Paul Pogba (Juventus) and Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City).

Elsewhere in the Premier League, Arsenal came second behind United with 20 players, Aston Villa third with 15, Tottenham and West Ham joint fourth with 13 primary products. Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City are in seventh with 12 home grown players, while Chelsea are eight with total 12 players and Liverpool are tenth with a total of 10 primary products.

Outside the Premier League, Barcelona are the undisputed kings of producing players – with a massive 38 players produced by the famous La Masia academy. And it’s not only the number of production that impresses, its the unbelievably high talent level too. The likes of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Pedro, Victor Valdes, Carles Puyol, Jordi Alba, Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique are all home-grown players.

Ligue 1 club Olympique Lyonnias lie second behind Barcelona with 29 primary products, while Real Madrid have 27 home grown players. Another French club, Stade Rennais, are above Manchester United with 21 primary prodcuts. Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich are sixth with a total of 23 players followed by Sochaux, Real Sociedad, Atalanta and Atletico Madrid.

Top 10 from the Premier League

Manchester United – 24 total academy products
Arsenal – 20 academy products
Aston Villa – 15 academy products
Tottenham Hotspur – 15 academy products
West Ham United – 13 academy products
Newcastle United – 13 academy products
Manchester City – 12 academy products
Southampton – 12 academy products
Chelsea – 12 academy products
Liverpool – 10 academy products

Complete list..

Top 10 from Europe

Barcelona (La Liga) – 38 academy products
Olympique Lyonnais (Ligue 1) – 31 academy products
Real Madrid (La Liga) – 29 academy products
Stade Rennais (Ligue 1) – 24 academy products
Manchester United (Premier League) – 24 academy products
Bayern Munich (Bundesliga) – 23 academy products
Sochaux (Ligue 1) – 22 academy products
Real Sociedad (La Liga) – 21 academy products
Atalanta (Serie A) – 21 academy products
Atletico Madrid (La Liga) – 21 academy products

Complete list..

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

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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.

Wayne Rooney Stars In Spoof James Bond Trailer (Video)

The Huffington Post Uk Comedy have made a spoof video with the England and Manchester United striker – Wayne Rooney staring as James Bond in a trailer for Skyfall.

Daniel Craig, who plays James Bond, is the star of the latest 007 film, which was released worldwide today (2nd November in India). However, the Liverpool fan will have to look out for a secret agent with Everton in his blood, as a super-imposed Rooney slides under tables and delivers some classic Bond punishment in this parady. The video also includes cameo roles for his United team-mates Ryan Giggs and Patrice Evra, and some of his clips from various other ads he has starred in.

Here have a look at the video below, and tell us what you think about ‘Awfall’..

Premier League’s Top 5 Golden Oldies To Watch This Season

With just over ten days to go for the new 2012/13 Premier League season to kick-off, we continue to look forward to it and build up for the new season. Today, we look at the top five Golden Oldies in the Premier League. Five players who have been a vital part of the Premier League for the last few years and continue to impress us even today – with their advancing ages – whenever they play. 

5. BRAD FRIEDEL – TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (41 YEARS)

For many players, age is just a number but for some keepers it’s not even a number and Brad Friedel is one of those. At the age of 41, the former American international remains Tottenham’s first choice keeper as he looks forward in making some more spectacular saves and helping Spurs qualify for the Champions League next season. There have been rumours of Tottenham signing a new number one this summer, but Friedel has said that he will continue work hard and fight for his place in the first-team.

4. CRAIG BELLAMY – LIVERPOOL (33 YEARS)

Bellamy looked at home during his second spell at Liverpool and was probably the much-needed spark in Liverpool’s disastrous league campaign last season. The 33-year-old Welshman has been a regular performer in the Premier League with the likes of Newcastle, Blackburn, West Ham & Manchester City and was also the Reds top performer in the League Cup last season. Sadly, if the reports are to be belived then Bellamy could be playing his trade in the nPower Championship next season with Cardiff City.

3. FRANK LAMPARD – CHELSEA (34 YEARS)

Lampard is one of the most famous footballers around the world because of his legendary status at Chelsea. The England international has been a mainstay in the Chelsea first-team since his arrival at Stamford Bridge from West Ham in 2001. At the age of 34, Lampard with his brilliant passing abilities and an eye to score spectacular goals, is a huge part of the Chelsea team as they look to win the Premier League title for the first time in two years and also defend their Champions League trophy.

2. PAUL SCHOLES – MANCHESTER UNITED (37 YEARS)

At the start of last season it looked like football had lost one of it’s greatest sons when Scholes decided to hang his boots. Then in January, the Ginger Prince returned and showed the world his true class and proved that age is just a number. The former England international played a vital role last season helping United finish second in the league to Manchester City, just on goal difference. The midfield maestro made 17 appearances for the Red Devils scoring four goals, which made Sir Alex Ferguson offer him a new one-year deal.

1. RYAN GIGGS – MANCHESTER UNITED (38 YEARS)

With over 900 plus appearances, 160 plus goals and 12 league titles to his name, Giggs is by far the most decorated players in the Premier League’s history. At the age of 38, the former Wales international has been an one-club man with Manchester United and is an important part of the Red Devils squad. He looks energetic and tireless whenever he comes on to play and remains a threat to the opposition defence even today. He is a true legend, an inspiration and a role model for everyone in the game.

Top 10 Best Players Never To Play At The European Championships

As we continue our build-up for the upcoming UEFA EURO 2012 finals in Poland & Ukraine, we take a break from previewing the teams taking part in the competition and at the top ten best players never to play at the European Championships.

10. Paolo Rossi (Italy)

The widely publicised Totenero match-fixing scandal of 1980 meant Rossi was hit with a two-year (down from three) suspension in the prime of his career. He made a resounding comeback, leading Italy to World Cup glory in 1982, but the Azzurri’s failure to qualify for France 1984 meant Rossi never graced a European Championship.

9. Matt Le Tissier (England)

Le Tiss’s pitifully low count of eight international caps is considered by many as one of the gravest injustices in England football. One of the most entertaining and naturally talented players of his generation, his absence from the national setup was especially foolish considering his incredible penalty taking ability, converting 47 of 48 career attempts.

8. Jari Litmanen (Finland)

The first Finnish footballing superstar, Jari Litmanen still plays club football at 40, for Helsingin Jalkapalloklubi (or HJK Helsinki), remains vice-captain of his country and is the only footballer to have played international matches in four different decades. He will be 45 by the time UEFA EURO 2016 rolls around.

7. Zbigniew Boniek (Poland)

A Polish footballing maestro known for electric pace and deft technique, Boneik guided his national team to a staggeringly impressive third place in the 1982 FIFA World Cup. But he and his talented ‘white and red’ teammates could not repeat the same level of success at European Championships. Poland first qualified for the tournament in 2008.

6. George Best (Northern Ireland)

An automatic international choice when fit, Best was capped 37 times for Northern Ireland, scoring nine goals from 1964 to 1977. The Irish Football Association recently described him as the “greatest player to ever pull on the green shirt of Northern Ireland”, but his trailblazing displays were never enough to secure major-tournament football.

5. Ian Rush (Wales)

One of the greatest strikers of the ’80s and ’90s, Wales inability to qualify for the a major tournament meant Rush never showcased his prolific goalscoring ability or his moustache on the biggest international stage. He did score the winner in a memorbale UEFA EURO 1992 qualifying victory over Germany and is Wales’s record goal-getter, with 28 in 73 games.

4. Alfredo Di Stéfano (Spain)

Despite being regarded as one of the greats, Di Stéfano’s international career makes for distressing reading. Unluckily missing out on World Cups for Argentina, Di Stéfano gained citizenship for Spain, hoping for a chance in fortune. But when Spain failed to qualify for UEFA EURO 1968 and injury kept him out of the subsequent World Cup, he hung up his underused international boots.

3. Eusébio (Portugal)

He almost single-handedly took Portuguese national team to the World Cup semi-finals in 1966 (and won the Golden Bott while he was at it), but the great Eusébio could never replicate the same success in Europe, despite many worthy qualifying attempts between 1962 and 1972. Scored 41 goals in 64 international matches.

2. David Ginola (France)

As common a feature of football as any is that of the French national side squabbling. Unfortunately, as in Ginola’s case, these fractions all too often result in the omission of some of their finest talent. After a falling out Gerard Houllier over France’s failure to qualify for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, the French wizard saw his international career come to a premature end.

1. Ryan Giggs (Wales)

Captain of England schoolboys, Giggs didn’t qualify for the full team because of Welsh grandparents and the fact he was born in Cardiff. Though still an inspirational fugue on the pitch for one of the world’s leading clubs, it’s unrealistic, to say the least, that English football’s most decorated player will reverse his international retirement for UEFA EURO 2016.

5 Things We Learned From The Manchester Derby

In one of the most important games ever in the history of the Premier League, Manchester United traveled to the Etihad Stadium to take on Manchester City with the Premier League title up for grabs. 

With the Blue half of Manchester coming out on top with a 1-0 win – courtesy of a first half headed goal by skipper Vincent Kompany – here was a shift in power in the race for the title. Aside from the obvious result, Into The Top Corner has a look at the 5 things we learned from the Manchester Derby.

1. United Went For A Draw

Manchester United started the game with a defensive formation and looked as if they were happy taking just a point back home. United started with five in midfield with the likes of Park and Giggs in the team. With the formation, United didn’t seem to want the game at all and rarely went forward with any real intent to take on the City defence. Wayne Rooney, who led the line, was cut a forlorn figure up front and United rarely threatened the City goal with just three attempts. Sir Alex Ferguson will surely be ruining the dropped points against Everton at Old Trafford after this game.

2. City Deserved The Win

It goes without saying that City were far more better side on the occasion and completely deserved their win. After their early nerves had settled, City completely dominated the game and United were unable to make anything of the ball when they had the possession. The likes of Aguero, Nasri and Yaya Toure looked threatening against a United defence, who were happy to contain them. For all their possession they eventually made it count, when Kompany headed his side ahead just before half time with a strong header which ultimately provided his team with a crucial 3 points that could well decide the title race.

3. Komapny Led By Example

Whenever a big game like this comes, you look to your captain for inspiration, leadership and guidance. Patrice Evra was disappointing for United. His usual overlapping runs down the left-wing were restricted by some excellent work by Samir Nasri and Pablo Zabaleta. Evra showed his impatience by overstretching for tackles and committing some needless fouls in his own half.

Vincent Kompany, on the other hand, will be a player who will take all the headlines. The Belgium international rose above Chris Smalling just before half time to score the winner from a David Silva corner that made his team the favourites to win the title this season.

4. City’s Midfield the Difference

City started with their inform midfield of David Silva, Yaya Toure, Gareth Barry and Samir Nasri, while United went with a five-man midfield containing the likes of Nani, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick and Park Ji-Sung.

It took some time for City to settle in the game but once they did their midfield started dominating the game. Samir Nasri especially was very impressive on the night by combining perfectly at times with his other midfielders and the forwards. The former Arsenal man played most of the game out on the right but no way did he drift out of the game. Despite blowing a sure-short opportunity to seal the game off during the closing stages, Nasri could be pleased with his performance.

On the other hand, United’s midfield was very poor. They gave away possession quite cheaply. Park Ji-Sung and Nani were both ineffectively and were easily defended against by the City defence. It was a huge gamble to pick Park ahead of Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young and it backfired. Park was the by far the worst player on the pitch. He struggled to get a foothold in the match, seemingly pass the ball on as quickly as possible as soon as it got to him and almost looking lost, despite his efforts. But at the same time, to make the Korean a scapegoat for the defeat would be completely unjust, given that the whole team performance was well below United’s standards.

5. Title Race Is Still Not Over

Both the teams are leveled on points and City lead on goal difference but both teams have two matches remaining and six points to plat for, so to say that title has been decided would be a bit premature.

Look at the remaining fixture, City have toughest as they face Champions league chasing and inform Newcastle United away at the Sports Direct Arena, and a Queens Park Rangers side at home, who are fighting to stay in the Premier League, so no result is assured. On the other hand, United play Swansea City at Old Trafford next followed by Sunderland away on the final day of the season. Two teams who have nothing to play for anymore this season as they both are well placed in the mid table.

The win for City over their city rivals United certainly makes them the favourites and puts them in the driving seat. But only two wins in their remaining two games will guarantee them a first League title in years.