Tuesday, August 02, 2005

[manchesterunited_rulez] Digest Number 288

There is 1 message in this issue.

Topics in this digest:

1. Win back the title, Ronaldo, Rooney
From: -=abi=- <abi1hp@yahoo.com>

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Message: 1
Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2005 07:48:32 -0700 (PDT)
From: -=abi=- <abi1hp@yahoo.com>
Subject: Win back the title, Ronaldo, Rooney

August 1, 2005

GARY Neville threw down the gauntlet to brilliant kids Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Last night he told them: 'Go and win us the title back.'

The Old Trafford defender believes the dynamic duo have all the weapons and firepower Manchester United need to blitz the Premiership this season.

And he's convinced the pair can lead United into a new era by taking the burden of responsibility from the old guard of Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, who have helped carry Sir Alex Ferguson's men over the past decade.

Neville insists the time has come for the 40 million ($116.5m) stars to prove they are greats in the making by showing they're now experienced enough to carry the title fight to Chelsea and Arsenal without falling back on the argument that they're too young to lead from the front.

Just as Jose Mourinho relied on John Terry, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole to pulverise the Premiership into submission for their first League crown in 55 years last season, Neville is confident Roo and Ronny can be a devastating double act for Fergie's team.

Says Neville: 'Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney are not young players any more - they are first team players who have bedded in.

'Cristiano has been playing for United for two years now while Wayne has been playing for England for two seasons and United a year. That's enough bedding in period in my eyes and I'm sure in their eyes as well.

'The performances they've produced in those two seasons have been absolutely sensational at times so they are not young players any more.

'I think this season everybody wants to see from them the type of polished, explosive performances that will go and win us the League.

'Because that's what this club wants now - players who this season and in the years to come are going to go out and win us League titles as other players have done before them.'

Neville's been a fixture at right back for almost a decade, living through the years of Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Keane at their peak as United dominated English football with a swagger and authority that many believed couldn't be broken.

But two years ago Arsenal smashed United's stranglehold with their own Gallic brand of power football and last time around Chelsea relentlessly hunted down the crown demanded by Roman Abramovich's staggering investment.

Neville knows United must respond this season - and he sees parallels from 1995, when Fergie introduced the Famous Five, having cleared out established stars like Mark Hughes, Paul Ince and Andrei Kanchelskis.

'This is a pre-season where, to be honest with you, the stakes are very high. There are more questions about us now than there have ever been and it's not really been like this since my first season in the team when the manager brought a few of us through.

'There were questions about us then and we answered them. Now there are questions about us again and we need to answer them this time.

'Going two seasons without wining the League is just not good enough for this club and the players know that. But there's no point talking about it - we've got to go out and do it, go out and make it right.

'As well as Wayne and Cristiano I do think we've got two or three players who have trained with us this pre-season who are looking very good, looking like first team players.

'I think Keiron Richardson's come back and looks a completely different player. We always knew he had the talent and anyone who ever watched Kieron in training will tell you it would be a tragedy if he doesn't make it as a Manchester United player.

'He seems to have the lot. He's quick, he's strong, he works hard and he's got the ability to go along with it as well. And now with the confidence he's got from playing for West Brom and England in the summer he has taken his game on.

'David Jones has come in and looked like a very good midfield player. Then there is Guiseppe Rossi and Phil Bardsley, who look like first team players, too.

'Sometimes players have come in and trained with us in recent seasons and they've just not stood out. That's not good enough. You've got to come in to a United team and make the manager and the first team players think 'hang on, he can play a bit'.

'Because there's no point being nearly as good as the players already there because the manager will always go for experience.

'He's not going to go for a young player over an experienced player unless he sees they're going to be better than the experienced player. And these players, to be honest with you, two or three are looking like they have that potential.'

Neville is desperate to prevent another barren season - and avoid the painful humiliation of facing fans used to success not failure.

'What happened last season hurt. I remember after our last home game we walked round the pitch as we always do, win or lose.

'But it was a terrible empty feeling.I was walking round looking at the fans thinking 'we've let them down. we've underachieved'.

'We've lost the Championship in previous seasons but usually we've done our best. You can lose a championship and still have done your best, but last season, particularly towards the end, we just fell away in such a disappointing manner.

'We put in performances that nobody enjoyed being responsible for and we have got to give our all to put it right this season.'

ROONEY DOUBLE IN MAN U WIN: Wayne Rooney scored twice to help Manchester United beat Japanese J-League side Urawa Reds 2-0 in the last match of their pre-season tour of the Far East yesterday.

The England striker lifted United to 1-0 lead with a close-range shot six minutes into the second half before adding a second with a superb chip in the 64th minute.


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