Gordon Hill

1 May

Its probably hard for younger fans to recognise today some of the beliefs that were common place as late as the 1960s and 70s in football. Today we live in a globalised environment where many people move from country to country and settle in with ease. Yet there was certainly a belief that Southerners had a soft centre and struggled in the North. If you look at United’s history most of the players come from Scotland, ROI, Northern Ireland and around England but rarely the south specifically London. There have been exceptions – Sadler came from Maidstone, Ian Story-Moore Ipswich although he had played for Nottingham Forest and Stepney from London. However while Manchester loved skill and individuality it has never really cared for the flash type. United tried to buy Martin Peters who has stated he wasn’t sure if the North would have been ideal for him.

The likes of Gordon Hill and Malcolm McDonald did much to change this stereotyping. Gordon was signed from Millwall for 70,000 in November 1975 and left only a few years later in 1978 for 275,000 to Derby County yet became a hero to many and a crowd favourite who epitomised the Doc’s best years at United. Gordon was certainly flash at least on a football field, an old fashioned left winger with an eye for a goal. Previously United had gone with Gerry Daly on the left a hard working midfield player. Some fans likened Hill of that era to the Cantona in the 90s. He gave the side that touch more excitement that had been lacking since Best although in no way can Hill be compared to Best as a player. He scored 39 goals in 101 games and was an excellent crosser of the ball.

“I signed the contract without looking how much I was going to be paid,” he says. “I just wanted to play for United.”

Work rate wasn’t something that interested him and he once got clipped around the ear by captain Martin Buchan for not tracking back at Old Trafford. Hill I believe wasn’t the most popular of players in United’s dressing room, he loved to do his Norman Wisdom impression but many of the players tried to bring him down a level or two. Once telling him he was wanted to do an interview for television he travelled their only to find that he had wasted his time. When he returned he never said a word.

He scored a number of important goals waiting on the edge of the penalty box during corners, the ball would sometimes come to him on the volley or half volley and he would hit a screamer in to the back of the net. His best game was almost certainly the semi final against Derby in 1976 when he scored a couple of beauties and ran the Derby defence ragged. Unfortunately the two finals at Wembley he failed to produce and was subbed on both occasions. He won 6 England caps without scoring.

Dave Sexton replace the Doc and wasn’t a fan of Hill’s he preferred his wide players to be less attacking and do more tracking back. He was replaced by Mickey Thomas who had a fantastic engine but would rarely take the fans breath away.

Gordon suffered injuries and lost a yard of pace and his form never matched that of his early days at Old Trafford.

Gordon’s nickname was Merlin after the wizard. his chant would ring around the various singing sections of Old Trafford Gordon Hill king of all cockneys -Lots of cats around Manchester got called Merlin as I remember around the mid 1970s.


Benfica’s Nicolas Gaitan And Nathaniel Clyne Crystal Palace

16 Apr

I do believe that Clyne will sign for United in the summer, in fact the deal is almost concluded the Gaitan deal is less clear. Howard Nurse who has to be fair has a reputation of getting things correct has stated that his sources claim it is just his agent who is spreading the rumours and United have not concluded the deal by any stretch of the imagination. I do know United have been monitoring his progress but they do that with numerous players before deciding to attempt to buy a player or move on to other players. United will be closely monitoring several players probably 15 centre midfield players, strikers, left backs etc and they have one , two, three priority as quite often the first choice is too expensive doesn’t want to come or has other priorities.

Crerand I believe was used last season as a means to entice Nasri but that didn’t work and Rene Meulensteen was seemingly used to send fans and the media in the wrong direction with his comments.  He recently has suggested Hazard is a main interest of United which fits as it is believed he was the player Fergie watched recently. Whether this is another lead down a blind alley or a change of tact is worth watching.

Quiroz the ex United assistant manager/coach said of Gaitan – And 59-year-old Quieroz, currently head coach of Iran, has no doubt about Gaitan’s ability to acclimatise to life in England.

“From what I have seen, I have an excellent opinion about Gaitan,” he told Portugese radio station TSF.

“I do not know what United’s plans are for the left wing, but Gaitan undoubtedly has potential and capacity to play in the Premier Leaue”

I am unaware how important he is in United’s scouting of players who play in the Portuguese league nowadays

James Ducker@DuckerTheTimes wrote

“For those asking Gaitan, I’ll stress again, is NOT going to Manchester United”

I think we can rule out Gaitan becoming a United player next season!


Crerand on MUTV has also said 100% Gaitan will not be joining United next season

Prem Stats Assists and Goals

15 Apr



League Leader all teams
Cantona 16
15 from Open play 1 from dead ball
The next were Rick Holden and Le Tissier with 15 each
Other united players
Lee Sharpe 11 – 10 from open play
Ryan Giggs 10 all 10 from open play
Brain McClair 9 – 8 from open play

League Leader all teams
Chris Sutton 22
17 open play 5 from dead ball
Top United player came 3rd
Cantona 20 – 18 from open play
Other united players
Mark Hughes 13 – 12 from open play
Ryan Giggs 12 all from open play
Paul Ince 12 all 12 from open play
Roy Keane 10 – 8 from open play
Kanchelskis 9 – 6 from open play
Sharpe 9 – 6 from open play

League Leader all teams
Darren Anderton 27 – 15 from open play
The next two Chris Sutton 25 Mathew LeTissier 24
Top United player
Ryan Giggs 17 – 12 from open play
Andy Cole 9 – 6 in open play (included 6 for Newcastle as he joined United mid season)
Brian McClair 9 –8 from open play
Mark Hughes 8 – 6 from Open play
Paul Ince 8 5 from open play

League Leader all teams
Steve McManaman 25 –23 from open play
Then Ryan Giggs 17 – 12 from open play and Dwight Yorke both with 17
Cantona 16 – 14 from open play
Cole 16 – 15 from open play
Kanchelskis 11 – 10 from open play
David Beckham 10 – 7 from open play
Nicky Butt 9 – 8 from open play
Denis Irwin 8 – 7 from open play

League Leader all teams
Eric Cantona 22 – 20 from open play
Followed by Paul Merson 18 Neil Ardley 17
Other united players
David Beckham 14 -7 from open play
Ryan Giggs 11 –8 from open play
Andy Cole 10 – all from open play
Gary Neville 7- all from open play
Karel Poborsky 7 – 3 from open play

League Leader all teams
David Beckham 24- 18 from open play
Followed by Steve Guppy and Steve McManaman both 21
Other United players
Ryan Giggs 15 –11 prom open play
Andy Cole 13 – 12 from open play
Paul Scholes 9 – 8 from open play

League Leader all teams
David Beckham 22 – 16 from open play
Followed by Jimmy Hasselbaink 19 and Eyal Berkovic 18
Other United players
Dwight Yorke 18 – 15 from open play
Paul Scholes 12 – 11 from open play
Nicky Butt 9 – all from open play
Andy Cole 9 – all from open play
Roy Keane 9 – all from open play
Jesper Blomqvist 7 – 6 from open play
Ryan Giggs 7 – all from open play

League Leader all teams
David Beckham 33 – 22 from open play
Followed by Ryan Giggs 21 – 19 from open play Nolberto Solano 20
Other united Players
Dwight Yorke 13 – 12 from open play
Paul Scholes 11- all from open play
Teddy Sherringham 10 – 9 from open play
Andy Cole 8 – all from open play

League Leader all teams
David Beckham 18 – 15 from open play
Followed by Lee Bowyer 15 and Paolo Di Canio 14
Other United players
Ryan Giggs 10 – 8 from open play
Roy Keane 9 – 7 from open play
Paul Scholes 9 – 8 from open play
Teddy Sherringham 9 – 8 from open play
Ole Gunner Solskjaer 9 – 7 from open play
Andy Cole 8 – all from open play

League Leader all teams
Lauren Robert 23 – 14 from open play
Followed by Robert Pires 22 and Nolberto Solano 20
United players
Ryan Giggs 18 – 16 from open play
David Beckham 16 – 12 from open play
Andy Cole 15 – 14 from open play ( 8 for United before his transfer)
Paul Scholes 15 – 13 from open play
Ruud van Nistelrooy 15 – 14 from open play
Ole Gunner Solskjaer 13 – 12 from open play
Roy Keane 10 – 9 from open play

League Leader all teams
Thierry Henry 35 29 from open play
Followed by Ryan Giggs 16 – 15 from open play and Denis Bergkamp 15
Other United Players
David Beckham 13 – 11 from open play
Ole Gunner Solskjaer 13- 10 from open play
Michael Silvestre 12 – 11 from open play
Paul Scholes 11 – 10 from open play
Ruud van Nistelrooy 11 – 10 from open play

League Leader all teams
Robert Pires 20
Followed by Steed Malbranque 19 and Thierry Henry 18
United Players
Ryan Giggs 14 – 10 from open play
Paul Scholes 12 – 11 from open play
Gary Neville 10 – 6 from open play
Cristiano Ronaldo – 9 – 6 from open play
Louis Saha 8 – all from open play ( 4 while at United)
Ruud van Nistelrooy 8 – all from open play

League Leader all teams
Frank Lampard 25 – 14 from open play
Followed by Thierry Henry 24 and Ryan Giggs 19 – 11 from open play
Other United Players
Gary Neville 8 – 7 from open play
Cristiano Ronaldo 8 – 7 from open play
Alan Smith 8 – 7 from open play

League Leader all teams
Wayne Rooney 17 – 14 from open play
Followed by Didier Drogba 16 and Thierry Henry 15
Other United players
Ryan Giggs 12 – 6 from open play
Ji-Sung Park 11- 10 from open play
Cristiano Ronaldo 9 – 8 from open play

League Leader all teams
Mikel Arteta 23
Followed by Cristiano Ronaldo 23 – 16 from open play and Wayne Rooney 21 – 20 from open play
Other United players
Ryan Giggs 16 – 11 from open play
Louis Saha 8 – all from open play

1    Cesc Fábregas    Arsenal    20
2    Ashley Young    Aston Villa    17
3    Wayne Rooney    Manchester United    13
4    Steven Gerrard    Liverpool    11
Dimitar Berbatov    Tottenham Hotspur    11
David Bentley    Blackburn Rovers    11
7    Gareth Barry    Aston Villa    10
Kenwyne Jones    Sunderland    10
9    Nicky Shorey    Reading    9
Martin Petrov    Manchester City    9
Carlton Cole    West Ham United    9
Salomon Kalou    Chelsea    9
13    Simon Davies    Fulham    8
Frank Lampard    Chelsea    8
Nicolas Anelka    Chelsea    8
Elano    Manchester City    8
Gabriel Agbonlahor    Aston Villa    8
18    Robbie Keane    Tottenham Hotspur    7
Mikel Arteta    Everton    7
El-Hadji Diouf    Bolton Wanderers    7
Roque Santa Cruz    Blackburn Rovers    7
Alexander Hleb    Arsenal    7
Cristiano Ronaldo    Manchester United


1    Frank Lampard    Chelsea    10
Robin Van Persie    Arsenal    10
3    Steven Gerrard    Liverpool    9
Dimitar Berbatov    Manchester United    9
Stephen Ireland    Manchester City    9
6    Steed Malbranque    Sunderland    8
Dirk Kuyt    Liverpool    8
James Milner    Aston Villa    8
Cesc Fábregas    Arsenal    8
10    Robbie Keane    Tottenham Hotspur    7
Gareth Barry    Aston Villa    7
Ryan Giggs    Manchester United    7
Morten Gamst Pedersen    Blackburn Rovers    7
Steven Pienaar    Everton    7
Wayne Rooney    Manchester United    7
Ashley Young    Aston Villa    7
Denilson    Arsenal    7
18    Mikel Arteta    Everton    6
Leighton Baines    Everton    6
Cristiano Ronaldo    Manchester United    6
Luka Modric    Tottenham Hotspur    6
22    Peter Crouch    Portsmouth    5
Michael Carrick    Manchester United    5

1    Frank Lampard    Chelsea    14
2    Cesc Fábregas    Arsenal    13
3    James Milner    Aston Villa    12
4    Didier Drogba    Chelsea    10
5    Ryan Giggs    Manchester United    9
Aaron Lennon    Tottenham Hotspur    9
7    Matthew Etherington    Stoke City    8
Craig Bellamy    Manchester City    8
Florent Malouda    Chelsea    8
Leighton Baines    Everton    8
11    Shaun Wright-Phillips    Manchester City    7
Kevin Davies    Bolton Wanderers    7
Steven Gerrard    Liverpool    7
Gareth Barry    Manchester City    7
Morten Gamst Pedersen    Blackburn Rovers    7
Nicolas Anelka    Chelsea    7
Robin Van Persie    Arsenal    7
Ashley Young    Aston Villa    7
Antonio Valencia    Manchester United    7
Carlos Tévez    Manchester City    7
21    Andy Reid    Sunderland    6
Peter Crouch    Tottenham Hotspur    6
Alberto Aquilani    Liverpool    6
Niko Kranjcar    Tottenham Hotspur    6
Charles N’Zogbia    Wigan Athletic    6
Nani    Manchester United    6

1    Nani    Manchester United    14
2    Didier Drogba    Chelsea    13
3    Leighton Baines    Everton    11
Wayne Rooney    Manchester United    11
Andrei Arshavin    Arsenal    11
Cesc Fábregas    Arsenal    11
7    Ashley Young    Aston Villa    10
8    Joey Barton    Newcastle United    9
Chris Brunt    West Bromwich Albion    9
10    Jermaine Pennant    Stoke City    8
Rafael Van der Vaart    Tottenham Hotspur    8
Charlie Adam    Blackpool    8
13    Dirk Kuyt    Liverpool    7
Robin Van Persie    Arsenal    7
Stewart Downing    Aston Villa    7
David Silva    Manchester City    7
Theo Walcott    Arsenal    7
Peter Odemwingie    West Bromwich Albion    7
19    Peter Crouch    Tottenham Hotspur    6
Matthew Etherington    Stoke City    6
Ryan Giggs    Manchester United    6
Darren Fletcher    Manchester United    6

Top scorers

All prem seasons and all teams up until 2007/8 season

Ryan Giggs 217 – 170 from open play
David Beckham 152 –109 from open play
Followed by

Final pass Assists inside the penalty area only


1 Thierry Henry Arsenal 7
2 Nolberto Solano Newcastle 6
3 Lee Bowyer Leeds 5
4 Ian Harte Leeds 5
5 Harry Kewell Leeds 5
6 Robert Pires Arsenal 5
7 Sylvain Wiltord Arsenal 5
8 Celestine Babayaro Chelsea 4
9 Kieron Dyer Newcastle 4
10 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Chelsea 4
11 Kevin Horlock Man City 4
12 Vladimir Smicer Liverpool 4
13 Mark Viduka Leeds 4
14 Ashley Ward Bradford 4
15 Shaun Bartlett Charlton 3
16 James Beattie Southampton 3
17 David Beckham Man Utd 3
18 Patrik Berger Liverpool 3
19 Jamie Clapham Ipswich 3
20 Steven Gerrard Liverpool 3


1 Thierry Henry Arsenal 23
2 Ryan Giggs Man Utd 13
3 David Beckham Man Utd 9
4 Dennis Bergkamp Arsenal 8
5 Eyal Berkovic Man City 8
6 Geremi Middlesbrough 8
7 Steven Gerrard Liverpool 8
8 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man Utd 8
9 Ali Benarbia Man City 7
10 Andrew Cole Blackburn 7
11 Jermain Defoe West Ham 7
12 El-Hadji Diouf Liverpool 7
13 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Chelsea 7
14 Claus Jensen Charlton 7
15 Harry Kewell Leeds 7
16 Graeme Le Saux Chelsea 7
17 Massimo Maccarone Middlesbrough 7
18 Gianfranco Zola Chelsea 7
19 Darren Anderton Tottenham 6
20 Nicolas Anelka Man City 6

1 Muzzy Izzet Leicester 14
2 Paolo Di Canio Charlton 12
3 Brett Emerton Blackburn 11
4 Ryan Giggs Man Utd 11
5 Steed Malbranque Fulham 10
6 Damien Duff Chelsea 9
7 Thomas Hitzlsperger Aston Villa 9
8 Robert Pires Arsenal 9
9 Gareth Barry Aston Villa 8
10 Dennis Bergkamp Arsenal 8
11 Kevin Davies Bolton 8
12 Thierry Henry Arsenal 8
13 Steven Gerrard Liverpool 7
14 Laurent Robert Newcastle 7
15 James Beattie Southampton 6
16 Patrik Berger Portsmouth 6
17 Andrew Cole Blackburn 6
18 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Chelsea 6
19 Claus Jensen Charlton 6
20 Frank Lampard Chelsea 6

1 Frank Lampard Chelsea 16
2 Thierry Henry Arsenal 14
3 Dennis Bergkamp Arsenal 12
4 Luis Boa Morte Fulham 10
5 Stewart Downing Middlesbrough 10
6 Ryan Giggs Man Utd 10
7 Wayne Routledge Crystal Palace 10
8 Fredrik Ljungberg Arsenal 9
9 Jose Antonio Reyes Arsenal 9
10 Arjen Robben Chelsea 9
11 Danny Murphy Charlton 8
12 Nolberto Solano Aston Villa 8
13 Peter Crouch Southampton 7
14 Jonathan Greening West Brom 7
15 Eidur Gudjohnsen Chelsea 7
16 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Middlesbrough 7
17 Darren Huckerby Norwich 7
18 Xabi Alonso Liverpool 6
19 Michael Carrick Tottenham 6
20 El-Hadji Diouf Bolton 6

1 Didier Drogba Chelsea 11
2 James Milner Aston Villa 10
3 Ryan Giggs Man Utd 9
4 Jose Antonio Reyes Arsenal 9
5 Wayne Rooney Man Utd 9
6 Yossi Benayoun West Ham 8
7 Luis Boa Morte Fulham 8
8 Frank Lampard Chelsea 8
9 Danny Murphy Charlton 8
10 Xabi Alonso Liverpool 7
11 Mikel Arteta Everton 7
12 Andrew Cole Man City 7
13 Mido Tottenham 7
14 Ji-Sung Park Man Utd 7
15 Michael Carrick Tottenham 6
16 Kevin Davies Bolton 6
17 Steven Gerrard Liverpool 6
18 Stelios Giannakopoulos Bolton 6
19 Thierry Henry Arsenal 6
20 Morten Gamst Pedersen Blackburn 6


1 Francesc Fabregas Arsenal 13
2 Cristiano Ronaldo Man Utd 13
3 Mikel Arteta Everton 12
4 David Bentley Blackburn 11
5 Dimitar Berbatov Tottenham 11
6 Morten Gamst Pedersen Blackburn 11
7 Wayne Rooney Man Utd 11
8 Frank Lampard Chelsea 10
9 Ryan Giggs Man Utd 9
10 Peter Crouch Liverpool 8
11 Aaron Lennon Tottenham 8
12 James Milner Newcastle 8
13 Nicolas Anelka Bolton 7
14 Stewart Downing Middlesbrough 7
15 Steven Gerrard Liverpool 7
16 Glen Little Reading 7
17 Gabriel Agbonlahor Aston Villa 6
18 Kevin Davies Bolton 6
19 El-Hadji Diouf Bolton 6
20 Kevin Kilbane Wigan 6


GOALS Leading Scorers


1     Dimitar Berbatov     Manchester United     20
Carlos Tévez     Manchester City     20
3     Robin Van Persie     Arsenal     18
4     Darren Bent     Aston Villa     17
5     Peter Odemwingie     West Bromwich Albion     15
6     Florent Malouda     Chelsea     13
Rafael Van der Vaart     Tottenham Hotspur     13
Dirk Kuyt     Liverpool     13
Andrew Carroll     Liverpool     13
DJ Campbell     Blackpool     13
Javier Hernández     Manchester United     13
12     Kevin Nolan     Newcastle United     12
Clint Dempsey     Fulham     12
Charlie Adam     Blackpool     12
15     Didier Drogba     Chelsea     11
Wayne Rooney     Manchester United     11
17     Frank Lampard     Chelsea     10
Johan Elmander     Bolton Wanderers     10
Fernando Torres     Chelsea     10
Maxi Rodríguez     Liverpool     10
Salomon Kalou     Chelsea     10
Asamoah Gyan     Sunderland     10
Steven Fletcher     Wolverhampton Wanderers     10
Samir Nasri     Arsenal     10
25     Tim Cahill     Everton     9
Roman Pavlyuchenko     Tottenham Hotspur     9
Kenwyne Jones     Stoke City     9
Charles N’Zogbia     Wigan Athletic     9
Theo Walcott     Arsenal     9
Nani     Manchester United     9


1     Didier Drogba     Chelsea     29
2     Wayne Rooney     Manchester United     26
3     Darren Bent     Sunderland     24
4     Carlos Tévez     Manchester City     23
5     Frank Lampard     Chelsea     22
6     Jermain Defoe     Tottenham Hotspur     18
Fernando Torres     Liverpool     18
8     Cesc Fábregas     Arsenal     15
9     Emmanuel Adebayor     Manchester City     14
10     Louis Saha     Everton     13
Gabriel Agbonlahor     Aston Villa     13
12     Florent Malouda     Chelsea     12
Dimitar Berbatov     Manchester United     12


1     Nicolas Anelka     Chelsea     19
2     Cristiano Ronaldo     Manchester United     18
3     Steven Gerrard     Liverpool     16
4     Fernando Torres     Liverpool     14
Robinho     Manchester City     14
6     Kevin Davies     Bolton Wanderers     12
Darren Bent     Tottenham Hotspur     12
Frank Lampard     Chelsea     12
Dirk Kuyt     Liverpool     12
Wayne Rooney     Manchester United     12
Gabriel Agbonlahor     Aston Villa     12
12     Ricardo Fuller     Stoke City     11
Peter Crouch     Portsmouth     11
John Carew     Aston Villa     11
Robin Van Persie     Arsenal     11
16     Matthew Taylor     Bolton Wanderers     10
Robbie Keane     Tottenham Hotspur     10
Jermain Defoe     Tottenham Hotspur     10
Djibril Cissé     Sunderland     10
Benedict McCarthy     Blackburn Rovers     10
Emmanuel Adebayor     Arsenal     10
Carlton Cole     West Ham United     10
Kenwyne Jones     Sunderland     10
Amr Zaki     Wigan Athletic     10
25     Dimitar Berbatov     Manchester United     9


1     Cristiano Ronaldo     Manchester United     31
2     Emmanuel Adebayor     Arsenal     24
Fernando Torres     Liverpool     24
4     Roque Santa Cruz     Blackburn Rovers     19
5     Robbie Keane     Tottenham Hotspur     15
Dimitar Berbatov     Tottenham Hotspur     15
Benjani Mwaruwari     Manchester City     15
Yakubu Aiyegbeni     Everton     15
9     Carlos Tévez     Manchester United     14
10     John Carew     Aston Villa     13
11     Jermain Defoe     Portsmouth     12
Wayne Rooney     Manchester United     12
Leading Premiership goalscorers 2006/7

1 Didier Drogba Chelsea 20
2 Benedict McCarthy Blackburn 18
3 Cristiano Ronaldo Man Utd 17
4 Wayne Rooney Man Utd 14
5 Mark Viduka Middlesbrough 14
6 Darren Bent Charlton 13
7 Kevin Doyle Reading 13
8 Dimitar Berbatov Tottenham 12
9 Dirk Kuyt Liverpool 12
10 Ayegbeni Yakubu Middlesbrough 12
11 Nicolas Anelka Bolton 11
12 Andrew Johnson Everton 11
13 Robbie Keane Tottenham 11
14 Frank Lampard Chelsea 11
15 Obafemi Martins Newcastle 11
16 Robin Van Persie Arsenal 11
17 Bobby Zamora West Ham 11
18 Jermain Defoe Tottenham 10
19 Thierry Henry Arsenal 10
20 Nwankwo Kanu Portsmouth 10


1 Thierry Henry Arsenal 27
2 Ruud van Nistelrooy Man Utd 21
3 Darren Bent Charlton 18
4 Robbie Keane Tottenham 16
5 Frank Lampard Chelsea 16
6 Wayne Rooney Man Utd 16
7 Marlon Harewood West Ham 14
8 Craig Bellamy Blackburn 13
9 Ayegbeni Yakubu Middlesbrough 13
10 Henri Camara Wigan 12
11 Didier Drogba Chelsea 12
12 Collins John Fulham 11
13 Mido Tottenham 11
14 James Beattie Everton 10
15 Hernan Crespo Chelsea 10
16 Steven Gerrard Liverpool 10
17 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Middlesbrough 10
18 Alan Shearer Newcastle 10
19 Shola Ameobi Newcastle 9
20 Djibril Cisse Liverpool 9


1 Thierry Henry Arsenal 25
2 Andrew Johnson Crystal Palace 21
3 Robert Pires Arsenal 14
4 Jermain Defoe Tottenham 13
5 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Middlesbrough 13
6 Frank Lampard Chelsea 13
7 Ayegbeni Yakubu Portsmouth 13
8 Andrew Cole Fulham 12
9 Peter Crouch Southampton 12
10 Eidur Gudjohnsen Chelsea 12
11 Tim Cahill Everton 11
12 Robert Earnshaw West Brom 11
13 Robbie Keane Tottenham 11
14 Wayne Rooney Man Utd 11
15 Didier Drogba Chelsea 10
16 Robbie Fowler Manchester City 10
17 Emile Heskey Birmingham 10
18 Fredrik Ljungberg Arsenal 10
19 Kevin Phillips Southampton 10
20 Shaun Wright-Phillips Manchester City 10


1 Thierry Henry Arsenal 30
2 Alan Shearer Newcastle 22
3 Ruud van Nistelrooy Man Utd 20
4 Mikael Forssell Birmingham 17
5 Nicolas Anelka Manchester City 16
6 Juan Pablo Angel Aston Villa 16
7 Michael Owen Liverpool 16
8 Ayegbeni Yakubu Portsmouth 16
9 James Beattie Southampton 14
10 Robbie Keane Tottenham 14
11 Robert Pires Arsenal 14
12 Louis Saha Fulham 13
13 Les Ferdinand Leicester 12
14 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Chelsea 12
15 Kevin Phillips Southampton 12
16 Andrew Cole Blackburn 11
17 Paul Dickov Leicester 11
18 Mark Viduka Leeds 11
19 Hernan Crespo Chelsea 10
20 Jason Euell Charlton 10


1 Ruud van Nistelrooy Man Utd 25
2 Thierry Henry Arsenal 24
3 James Beattie Southampton 23
4 Mark Viduka Leeds 20
5 Michael Owen Liverpool 19
6 Alan Shearer Newcastle 17
7 Nicolas Anelka Manchester City 14
8 Harry Kewell Leeds 14
9 Robert Pires Arsenal 14
10 Paul Scholes Man Utd 14
11 Gianfranco Zola Chelsea 14
12 Robbie Keane Tottenham 13
13 Teddy Sheringham Tottenham 12
14 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Chelsea 11
15 Tomasz Radzinski Everton 11
16 Kevin Campbell Everton 10
17 Dion Dublin Aston Villa 10
18 Jason Euell Charlton 10
19 Eidur Gudjohnsen Chelsea 10
20 Sylvain Wiltord Arsenal 10


1 Thierry Henry Arsenal 24
2 Alan Shearer Newcastle 24
3 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Chelsea 23
4 Ruud van Nistelrooy Man Utd 23
5 Michael Owen Liverpool 19
6 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man Utd 15
7 Eidur Gudjohnsen Chelsea 14
8 Marian Pahars Southampton 14
9 Juan Pablo Angel Aston Villa 12
10 James Beattie Southampton 12
11 Fredrik Ljungberg Arsenal 12
12 Michael Ricketts Bolton 12
13 Darius Vassell Aston Villa 12
14 David Beckham Man Utd 11
15 Jason Euell Charlton 11
16 Robbie Fowler Leeds 11
17 Frederic Kanoute West Ham 11
18 Kevin Phillips Sunderland 11
19 Mark Viduka Leeds 11
20 Matt Jansen Blackburn 10


1 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Chelsea 23
2 Marcus Stewart Ipswich 19
3 Thierry Henry Arsenal 17
4 Mark Viduka Leeds 17
5 Michael Owen Liverpool 16
6 Teddy Sheringham Man Utd 15
7 Emile Heskey Liverpool 14
8 Kevin Phillips Sunderland 14
9 Alen Boksic Middlesbrough 12
10 James Beattie Southampton 11
11 Jonatan Johansson Charlton 11
12 Frederic Kanoute West Ham 11
13 Gustavo Poyet Chelsea 11
14 Alan Smith Leeds 11
15 Les Ferdinand Tottenham 10
16 Eidur Gudjohnsen Chelsea 10
17 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man Utd 10
18 Ade Akinbiyi Leicester 9
19 David Beckham Man Utd 9
20 Lee Bowyer Leeds 9

just united


Ronaldo 10
Rooney 7
Tevez 5
Ferdinand 2
Nani 2
Saha 2
Giggs 1
Pique 1
Scholes 1
Vidic 1

Own goals 1


Nani 6
Giggs 4
Rooney 4
Tevez 4
Brown 2
Evra 2
Anderson 1
Ferdinand 1
Hargreaves 1
Scholes 1
Simpson 1

Leading Goalscorers 99/00

1 Kevin Phillips Sunderland 30
2 Alan Shearer Newcastle 23
3 Dwight Yorke Man Utd 20
4 Michael Bridges Leeds 19
5 Andrew Cole Man Utd 19
6 Thierry Henry Arsenal 17
7 Paolo Di Canio West Ham 16
8 Chris Armstrong Tottenham 14
9 Steffen Iversen Tottenham 14
10 Niall Quinn Sunderland 14
11 Tony Cottee Leicester 13
12 Marian Pahars Southampton 13
13 Kevin Campbell Everton 12
14 Dion Dublin Aston Villa 12
15 Nwankwo Kanu Arsenal 12
16 Robbie Keane Coventry 12
17 Hamilton Ricard Middlesbrough 12
18 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man Utd 12
19 Paulo Wanchope West Ham 12
20 Gary McAllister Coventry 11


Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Leeds 18
2 Michael Owen Liverpool 18
3 Dwight Yorke Man Utd 18
4 Nicolas Anelka Arsenal 17
5 Andrew Cole Man Utd 17
6 Hamilton Ricard Middlesbrough 15
7 Robbie Fowler Liverpool 14
8 Julian Joachim Aston Villa 14
9 Alan Shearer Newcastle 14
10 Gianfranco Zola Chelsea 13
11 Dennis Bergkamp Arsenal 12
12 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man Utd 12
13 Dion Dublin Aston Villa 11
14 Gustavo Poyet Chelsea 11
15 Tony Cottee Leicester 10
16 Jason Euell Milton Keynes Dons 10
17 Tore Andre Flo Chelsea 10
18 Marcus Gayle Milton Keynes Dons 10
19 Noel Whelan Coventry 10
20 Lee Bowyer Leeds 9


1 Dion Dublin Coventry 18
2 Michael Owen Liverpool 18
3 Chris Sutton Blackburn 18
4 Dennis Bergkamp Arsenal 16
5 Kevin Gallacher Blackburn 16
6 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Leeds 16
7 Andrew Cole Man Utd 15
8 John Hartson West Ham 15
9 Darren Huckerby Coventry 14
10 Paulo Wanchope Derby 13
11 Francesco Baiano Derby 12
12 Nathan Blake Bolton 12
13 Paolo Di Canio Sheff Wed 12
14 Marc Overmars Arsenal 12
15 Dwight Yorke Aston Villa 12
16 Duncan Ferguson Everton 11
17 Tore Andre Flo Chelsea 11
18 Matt Le Tissier Southampton 11
19 Steve McManaman Liverpool 11
20 Egil Ostenstad Southampton 11


1 Alan Shearer Newcastle 25
2 Ian Wright Arsenal 23
3 Robbie Fowler Liverpool 18
4 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man Utd 18
5 Dwight Yorke Aston Villa 17
6 Les Ferdinand Newcastle 16
7 Fabrizio Ravanelli Middlesbrough 15
8 Dion Dublin Coventry 13
9 Dennis Bergkamp Arsenal 12
10 Steve Claridge Leicester 12
11 Stan Collymore Liverpool 12
12 Matt Le Tissier Southampton 12
13 Eric Cantona Man Utd 11
14 Efan Ekoku Milton Keynes Dons 11
15 Osvaldo Juninho Paulista Middlesbrough 11
16 Dean Sturridge Derby 11
17 Chris Sutton Blackburn 11
18 Duncan Ferguson Everton 10
19 Kevin Gallacher Blackburn 10
20 Emile Heskey Leicester 10


1 Alan Shearer Blackburn 31
2 Robbie Fowler Liverpool 28
3 Les Ferdinand Newcastle 25
4 Dwight Yorke Aston Villa 17
5 Andrei Kanchelskis Everton 16
6 Teddy Sheringham Tottenham 16
7 Chris Armstrong Tottenham 15
8 Ian Wright Arsenal 15
9 Eric Cantona Man Utd 14
10 Stan Collymore Liverpool 14
11 Dion Dublin Coventry 14
12 David Hirst Sheff Wed 13
13 John Spencer Chelsea 13
14 Savo Milosevic Aston Villa 12
15 Anthony Yeboah Leeds 12
16 Dennis Bergkamp Arsenal 11
17 Andrew Cole Man Utd 11
18 Robbie Earle Milton Keynes Dons 11
19 Ryan Giggs Man Utd 11
20 Tony Cottee West Ham 10


1 Alan Shearer Blackburn 34
2 Robbie Fowler Liverpool 25
3 Les Ferdinand QPR 24
4 Stan Collymore Nottm Forest 22
5 Jurgen Klinsmann Tottenham 20
6 Matt Le Tissier Southampton 19
7 Teddy Sheringham Tottenham 18
8 Ian Wright Arsenal 18
9 Uwe Rosler Manchester City 15
10 Dean Saunders Aston Villa 15
11 Chris Sutton Blackburn 15
12 Andrei Kanchelskis Man Utd 14
13 Paul Rideout Everton 14
14 Peter Beardsley Newcastle 13
15 Tony Cottee West Ham 13
16 Dion Dublin Coventry 13
17 Bryan Roy Nottm Forest 13
18 Eric Cantona Man Utd 12
19 Andrew Cole Man Utd 12
20 Ian Rush Liverpool 12


1 Andrew Cole Newcastle 34
2 Alan Shearer Blackburn 31
3 Matt Le Tissier Southampton 25
4 Chris Sutton Norwich 25
5 Ian Wright Arsenal 23
6 Peter Beardsley Newcastle 21
7 Mark Bright Sheff Wed 19
8 Eric Cantona Man Utd 18
9 Les Ferdinand QPR 17
10 Dean Holdsworth Milton Keynes Dons 17
11 Rod Wallace Leeds 17
12 Tony Cottee Everton 16
13 Kevin Campbell Arsenal 14
14 Ian Rush Liverpool 14
15 Teddy Sheringham Tottenham 14
16 Ryan Giggs Man Utd 13
17 Trevor Morley West Ham 13
18 Mark Stein Chelsea 13
19 Efan Ekoku Norwich 12
20 Jan-Aage Fjortoft Swindon 12


1 Teddy Sheringham Tottenham 21
2 Les Ferdinand QPR 20
3 Dean Holdsworth Milton Keynes Dons 19
4 Mick Quinn Coventry 17
5 Alan Shearer Blackburn 16
6 David White Manchester City 16
7 Chris Armstrong Crystal Palace 15
8 Brian Deane Sheff Utd 15
9 Mark Hughes Man Utd 15
10 Matt Le Tissier Southampton 15
11 Mark Robins Norwich 15
12 Paul Wilkinson Middlesbrough 15
13 Ian Wright Arsenal 15
14 Lee Chapman Leeds 14
15 Ian Rush Liverpool 14
16 Mike Newell Blackburn 13
17 Dean Saunders Aston Villa 13
18 Tony Cottee Everton 12
19 Dalian Atkinson Aston Villa 11
20 Mark Bright Sheff Wed 11

The Next United Manager

30 Mar

I think the vast majority of fans would want Fergie to stay on until he decides the day, after his achievements and the pleasure he has given United fans over the years this should be a given. However I often get asked who I think the next United manager will be and who I would like. The next United manager I expect will be Jose Mourinho I believe the special one has told friends in the media of his desire to take charge of United but would prefer not to take on the position immediately after Fergie calls it a day. However I doubt he would turn the opportunity down if offered the position.  He fulfills much of the criteria he is a proven winner, certainly in the top 3 best managers in the world, and has experience of managing big clubs and some of the biggest and best players in the world. After Busby resigned United went through a number of different managers but none of them before Fergie had a proven winning record of trophies Dave Sexton won the FA Cup and Cup Winners Cup with Chelsea was the most successful and achieved those 6 years before joining United.

Since then United have grown in to one of the biggest and most successful clubs in the world with the club embracing the globalised era. When Fergie first joined United he was known to go up to players and say, “big place this”, the club nowadays has grown out of all recognition, as have the expectations. I think Fergie was being serious when he said he would struggle taking charge of the club for the first time today. The criteria where the special one doesn’t fit the requirements are the brand of football he has a history of playing, his short-term outlook where he builds clubs through buying players rather than think long-term and develop youth which has been a critical factor of United’s ethos over the years. He also has tended to fall out with the owners of most of his previous clubs. Moreover the way he conducts himself as a man and a representative of his club isn’t the United way. I will not always defend some of the things Fergie does but he has enormous respect in the game, I cannot say the same thing about the so-called special one who I feel would embarrass the club and fans and probably create wider divisions amongst fans.

You may have guessed Jose would not be my choise, ideally I would go for Pep who I think carries himself well, his teams play great football and encourages youth, people say why would he leave Barca but managers rarely stay at clubs any length of time nowadays. Although the negatives to his appointment are considerable, his lack of experience he has only managed Barca and their B team and the duties of a coach at Barca are limited compared to those as a United manager.  He also took over a great team so how would he cope building one or when things go wrong, how would he cope with his lack of knowledge of the premiership and the media etc.

The modern-day thinking is that managers struggle to motivate players if they stay at a club any length of time as the players have heard it all before so many times. It is interesting to see how Fergie keeps motivating players such as when we were losing at HT to Blackpool many thought Fergie  would let  rip with the hairdryer instead he said to the players you’ve got us in to this mess how are you going to get us out of it. He went to each player for how they were going to change the game in favour of United and wouldn’t move on until he was satisfied with each answer. It is this desire to win and the ability to change tactics and keep players motivated which makes Fergie so rare.  While I like and rate the likes of Moyes it would be difficult to believe he has the drive or ability to turn players in to winners or keep that desire going inside players. Harry Redknapp is a good manager but in 30 years of management he has won one major trophy the FA cup. There are lots of good managers but very few winners.

I doubt the next United manager will last more than 5 years at best, the pressure will be considerable and it will be interesting to see the funds which are made available. Fergie has obviously made it a priority he does not want to be remembered in the way that Busby was by leaving the next United manager with an ageing team and little in terms of youth coming through the club. Fergie will leave the next United manager some of the best young talent in the world and the manager will not face power struggles with senoir players in the way post Busby managers did or recent Chelsea managers have.

I think tradition is important, things usually become traditions if they have benefits, United should always play great attacking football, they should encourage youth and they should be the leaders on how to conduct themselves on and off the field, role models. The manager is obviously a critical figure in achieving or ignoring these objectives!

Mind Games

28 Mar

Mind games effect can be over-stated, I have major doubts Keegan’s outburst was the major factor behind Newcastle losing the title. And mind games are happening every time anyone communicates, it seems they only become critical when the media says that these are mind games and then fans watch to see what happens the next few games. Having said that there are certain occasions it is obvious to all that what certain people are saying is directed at attempting to upset or rather cause players/managers/fans to question certain things resulting in them asking questions they would not usually ask or make decisions from doubt.

When it becomes clear that this is the objective though the pressure is placed not only on those who the remarks are aimed at but the person who is making them. He enters a dangerous arena, if you want to use the media to put pressure on another and it backfires it can and has destroyed championship challenges in the past. It is difficult to deny that Rafa’s rant had anything but negative side effects on his team. Rafa’s remarks had no affect on the United management and players but Liverpool’s results certainly suffered, good management takes pressure away from players bad management makes them more aware of factors outside football and that concentration and relaxed way of playing is broken.

City with Mancini are trying to do it through payment of ex players, Vieira has obviously been given the role to attempt to unsettle United players but can this work? It takes the heat of Mancini as it is directed to the player, however you cannot really hurt people when things are going well, it just bounces off and you feel stronger as your confidence isn’t weakened how can it be? What have United players got to question? They are playing good football on top of the league, winning most weeks while City have dropped a pretty impressive lead, and continue to drop points and players who were dynamite early in the season such as Silva are looking relatively average at the moment.

Vieira having failed painfully over his comment on Paul Scholes has either took advice or has worked out he cannot affect United at the moment directly because they are on form, so he is attempting to influence refs and the media in the hope that the next big decision will go against United as the ref and assistant refs remember the media fuss about United getting decisions. I believe this is illegal in the game nowadays probably another reason why Mancini is not saying it but using Vieira.

This again I suspect will only backfire against City and Vieira reading the tweets from numerous non United fans they think Vieira is looking very foolish and if that is the dominant thinking throughout football the next dubious decision for or against City may not go the way they hope. People do not like to be used and manipulated when they find out they are being used in mind games.

To play and win in mind games is not easy, it often works against the person playing them especially if they start them and try to usde the media or officials in the game.

Pleasurable memory

28 Mar

Could you please go in to the comment section and write for about 2 mins on something that gives you a great deal of pleasure and memories of when you have felt this way. Please do not write about sex or anything anyone might find offensive. Before you put fingers to the keyboard go in to the memory and recall the pleasure. Do not worry about spelling, or grammar or anything such as that just explain the pleasure.

Thanks in advance.



Could Past Greats Cope?

24 Mar

A question I get asked perhaps more than most is how well do I think the top players of past eras would get on today? Fergie and many others claim the best players of yesteryear would be great players in any era. Personally I have my doubts about this as I think you can only have so many great players at any one time, the very special ones stand out.

While I cannot conclusively answer the question I can give the reader some tools to analyse the question seriously and be able to give a more informed opinion. I will use the English league as the basis of most of the discussion but the analysis evidence can easily be transferred over to any league. There are obviously advantages and disadvantages of playing in both eras.

Firstly I will state that  the quality of modern-day football is at a far higher standard than it has ever been. In the past decade we have moved towards a global game with the best players from all over the world playing in the premiership, while in was rare to see non-British players playing in the prem during the 50s, 60s and 70s.The first World Class player from foreign shores was probably Ardiles in 1978. Over the past decade we have seen Ronaldo, Henry, Vieira, Drogba, Essien, Cech the list goes on and on and even the so-called average foreign player has lifted the standard unquestionably. Moreover the development of training methods and fitness regimes and medical advances help players to reach levels of fitness unseen in previous eras. The development of squads has allowed players to become athletes of the highest order, previously players were trained to last the season as squad rotation was never an option. If you have ever trained to the peak of fitness you will know it is much easier to get an injury. As a consequence of this each game fans get to see fresh players, much fitter, better prepared with less niggles turn out each week. This increases the level and players have to keep improving or they wont stay in the team or league very long. Having these advantages would almost certainly improve the players of previous eras.

The pitches are superb today and made for football, after a few months in the past eras players had to play in mud heaps, or/and frozen pitches, grass and smooth surfaces were soon gone. The balls when wet increased in weight  up to 20 percent, the boots and shorts hardly comparable to today’s designer technology. Moreover players were allowed to get away with GBH before being booked and skilful players were quite rare as they could be fouled out of games. These factors resulted in the type of play and the reason for the evolution of the long ball and physical demands of the English game and the emphasis on teamwork and work rate.

Perhaps the biggest change has been tactics, Busby’s favourite pre match saying go out and enjoy yourself with little consideration to the opposition is a thing of the past. Today tactics, systems and knowledge of individual players is critical to success.

However a critical factor is that if we look at players they go through eras without a mass exodus, this tells us that players rise to the challenge. And the incremental improvements in the standards most season are something players can and do take on board. Charlton was a top player in the 50s 60s and early 70s. Giggs I would argue has played some of his best football after the age of 35.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a player and thought the standard of the game has surpassed him now without reference to his age.

I think however if a player was to be a top player in the 1950s and suddenly  moved in to the modern-day he would struggle, he would be lost, the game is so different but going through a timeline of gradual changes it is easier to adapt and change small parts of the player’s game.

And of course the size of players has changed considerably, a big strong player in the 50s may be seen as relatively small in today’s game. And that would have an enormous effect when he could brush players off with ease and out jump the opposition to find himself unable to do this his confidence would also take a battering.

I have attempted to look from past to modern-day but if we were to take the modern-day player back in time I have no doubt many would struggle. It was a time when men were men, and you had to take it, there was very little protection for skilful players only really your team mates who would protect you if the opposition tried to put you out of the game.

Another critical factor is the culture shock and sense of values, making such big jumps in time back or forward would be extremely difficult to cope with, things change incrementally and people learn to accept them even if they do not agree or like them, being placed in the modern-day game for a player brought up in the poverty years of the war and seeing the attitude of some team mates would be unbearable for some I suspect. Football is about doing things you do each day for years and feeling confident and at ease. If doubts, unhappiness lack of confidence seep in to a player’s game they will lose form.

Players I have no doubt would have made it in any era as a true greats are George Best and Bobby Charlton and would probably have been even better in today’s game than the eras they starred in. However I’m not sure if the likes of Law Moore and many others would have been stars in the modern game. I think the fact we see so many less English Scottish and Welsh players in the top division and so many African’s South American’s non-British Europeans etc is a clear demonstration that most of the players from the past would struggle to get in the premiership today.