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The Week So Far: Benitez, Heinze, Strikers, Nani, EVDS, Ferdinand, Gibson, Saha and Spurs

(Ed: I was about to do a round-up for the week, because, admittedly, quite a bit happened that got drowned in ‘bigger news’ items. But Ollie had already done the job – thanks mate. So I got the easy way out and did some editing and addition of some extra bits of news that got left out. So read on, if you’ve been sleeping all week.)

The week started exceptionally bad for United supporters, with a derby day loss, leaving us with only 2 points from our first 3 matches. And I won’t even mention the injury to Rooney and suspension of Ronaldo. Ronaldo has also said that he feels the three match ban he received for his sending off, as ‘unjust’. Admittedly our Premiership title defence hasn’t started as we would have liked. But perhaps one positive to take out of the match with Citeh was the great debut of Owen Hargreaves.

Striking Problems
After having scored only one goal in our first three Premiership matches, the tabloids have linked us to almost every striker available – Martins, Anelka, Berbatov are just some of the names, we have been linked to. I will leave it up to you to decide whether we need another striker, however, I will say that if we are to get another forward my pick would definitely be Berbatov. We have, reportedly, recently had a big money bid for him rejected but nothing has been said on the matter by either United or Spurs. (Ed: Meanwhile, Big Sam has come out and said that no contact has been made regarding Martins.)

Gabriel Heinze
We also had the whole Heinze affair. As you all will know he took us to court and failed. However, even more interestingly his agents apparently approached Crystal Palace with the idea of getting them to buy Heinze off of United for whatever amount of money and then sell him onto Liverpool and pocket a little on the side for themselves. His agents seem nice. However, credit must go to Palace who turned the agents away.

Ed: We had our own ‘glowing tribute’ farewell article for Heinze, although it wasn’t so much glowing as much as it was flaming.

Benitez’s Moan, Real Madrid and Robben
Well, as you should know by now, Liverpool failed to get Heinze, Benitez had his little moan and Real Madrid came and offered us even more than Liverpool did for him. So we have our 6.8 million, oh wait, was it 8 million? Hey, I’m not complaining! Liverpool didn’t get their man and we got more money that we ought to have got, not for the first time this summer (Richardson).

And just as United supporters thought it couldn’t get any better, Real Madrid go and unveil Chelski midfielder Robben. I read somewhere that Ruud Gullit said this about him, I quote:

You can’t hoover the carpet in your front room when Chelsea are playing, because, if you knock the TV, Robben falls over!

I thought that was pretty funny. Chelsea have also signed Belletti, which I take as good news, as it effectively means that they have given up on signing Daniel Alves – who is twice as good as the ex-Barcelona man.

There were mid-week internationals, with England starting the match against the Germans very well but then ultimately losing it 2-1. Ronaldo scored a spectacular goal for Portugal [video] and even the fact that he played is good for United as he wont lack too much match fitness when he returns from suspension. On a slightly sour note, however, both Rio Ferdinand and Van Der Sar picked up slight knock and are slight doubts for the Sunday Match against Spurs, but hopefully both will be fit enough to start as this is a must win game. (Ed: You can read about how our lads performed in midweek here. EVDS looks a serious doubt, but it’s not too worrying as Kuszczak is an able replacement.)

We’ve also got some glimpses of our new away kit which, may I just say, looks pretty awesome. I was going to get the home kit this year but I am now definitely going to get the away kit for a change. I wasn’t too sure about our new home kit, to begin with. Really, last year’s was much better. And the stripe on the back of the away kit doesn’t look bad either, whereas, on the home kit, the shirt would look a little stupid without a name on the back. I’m getting Rooney, 10 on the back of my shirt, what about you guys?

The Weekend Game Ahead
Finally, moving onto the Spurs match at the weekend, I’m sure Red Ranter will provide us with a match preview so I am going to keep this brief. This is a must win game for United, anything else and United could well be booed off the pitch at full-time. If we do not win there will be a large gap between us and Chelsea, one that we might not be able to close down. However I think we will turn good and give them a good beating. I also think Tevez will bag a brace. My prediction 4-0 with Tevez getting a double.

Ed’s Note and additions:

Thanks Ollie, but being the nosey prick that I am, I thought I should butt in with some of the stuff that got left out.

Nani admits feeling surprised at how quickly he’s managed to settle down into life at OT. He says that Ronaldo and Anderson, the Portuguese speaking contingent, had a big part to play and the trio have forged a good bond – which is certainly important for the club. In the article he also mentions about their being no word from SAF, as such, about his somersaults.

Some quotes from Gabby, post-transfer, as he talks about being ‘surprised’ about landing in Madrid. Hmm… read it. I don’t want to comment on it anymore.
Times Online runs an article questioning Ferdinand’s commitment to the England cause. If you ask me, it’s always club over country for me. Although I doubt Ferdinand would intentionally mess up for England. We know he’s capable of the odd nap during the game, so McLaren had better deal with it if he wants to play him.

Saha might be set for a surprise return for the Spurs game. We are not sure if this is a good move or another excuse for him to break a new organ of his body, if there is one. A fit Saha, however, would do wonders to our team. Tevez would certainly gain from a partner like him.

And Darron Gibson earned his first cap for Ireland impressing in a 4-0 win against Denmark. He had a hand to play in one of the goals.

As usual, as Ollie mentioned, I will get the preview to the Spurs game up by Saturday. Till then we will continue to cover news and views pertaining to United as we learn about them.