United fans refuse to sing name of own player

Fabio Capello, the England head coach, was among the observers at Old Trafford, presumably to see whether the reports of Michael Owen’s renaissance are true, and he may have left the stadium with his mind still unclear. This was a mixed evening for Manchester United’s new striker, one in which his partnership with Wayne Rooney looked slick and effective but also notable for the frequency with which he passed up presentable opportunities to mark his home debut with a goal.

A striker of Owen’s predatory abilities will undoubtedly be frustrated when he recalls the five chances that came his way before he was substituted 63 minutes into this friendly. It was noticeable, too, that his name was not sung by an uncertain Old Trafford crowd but it would be wrong for him to be heavily criticised. For the most part Owen looked sharp and alert and, apart from a clumsy finish when he was sent clear by Darren Fletcher in the second half, it could not be said that he looked rusty or uninterested or out of touch or any of the allegations that were frequently levelled at him during his unhappy time at Newcastle United.

That said, this was an altogether more satisfactory evening for another of Sir Alex Ferguson’s new signings. Antonio Valencia may not create the same buzz of excitement as his predecessor on the right wing but the Ecuadorian did show he could be an astute signing. One burst of acceleration there took him past two defenders before he crossed superbly for Wayne Rooney to open the scoring with a 52nd-minute header, and he was also involved in the second goal, scored by the 19-year-old Tom Cleverley.

Unusually, before this game Ferguson had not selected Owen alongside Rooney for a single minute of the club’s pre-season programme, a schedule that has taken them from Kuala Lumpur to Munich, plus stop-offs in Seoul and Hangzhou, meaning this was the first opportunity for the Old Trafford crowd to check out United’s new-look attack and, specifically, whether it was a partnership that would instantly click or need some fine-tuning.

The answer arrived in the 25th minute when Rooney, playing in the classic No10’s position where he is indisputably at his best, angled a wonderfully measured pass to send Owen running clear. It was a pass of disguise and beauty, a moment of penetrative brilliance that split the entire Valencia defence. Owen was in his usual position, hanging on the shoulder of the two centre-halves, loitering with intent. Suddenly he was away, and he would get to the ball first, winning the race ahead of Csar Snchez and lifting the ball up and over the goalkeeper.

It was a moment of classic Owen, except for the ball spinning just by the right-hand post. Yet it was a sunrise of a smile that would suffuse Owen’s face. At Newcastle it would have been a scowl, a shake of the head perhaps, but Owen’s body language has completely changed. He looks as if he has fallen back in love with the game.

He had already flashed a header over the crossbar and, before half-time, there was another chance to beat Snchez but Valencia, sixth in La Liga last season, were decent opponents. Michel struck the crossbar in a first half that saw the Spaniards frequently attempt to trouble Ben Foster, deputising for Edwin van der Sar behind a defence lacking Nemanja Vidic and with the young Belgian Ritchie De Laet playing at right-back.

Van der Sar collected the Premier League’s golden glove award before kick-off to recognise the 21 clean sheets he kept last season, but the Old Trafford crowd will not see him again until the end of September. He suffered a broken finger during the penalty shoot-out against Bayern Munich at the end of Wednesday’s friendly at the Allianz Arena and that means, for the first time in his four years on United’s payroll, Foster has the opportunity to have an extended run in the side although he played only until half-time here before being replaced by Tomasz Kuszczak. Valencia changed 10 players at that point and eventually lost their way.

"United fans refuse to sing name of Owen player "

Hiiiiiii Yoooooooooooo

[quote=“Flano”]"United fans refuse to sing name of Owen player "

Hiiiiiii Yoooooooooooo[/quote]

Ah shite, how did I miss that…

I’m not a music snob. It’s just my taste is better than everyone elses and everyone should like what I like.

What point are you trying to make? Sure I didnt hear them sing Cleverlys Name either. :confused:

Fuck Cleverly

Just reproducing what the Guardian man obseved, and not what the Observer man guarded.

Dont be Smart


The atmosphere was actually good last night at the game. Probbably due to the locals actually going for once. The Daytrippers like myself will be there for the opening game of the season. :wink:

Who do you have first up, Shan?

You’ll need points on the board early if you want to stay up.

[quote=“Bandage”]Who do you have first up, Shan?

You’ll need points on the board early if you want to stay up.[/quote]

Yeah yeah. :wink: Birmingham at home first day. Valencia can be compared more to Beckham than Ronaldo as he can put in balls for Rooney/Owen/Berbatov to get onto and score.