FC United of Manchester

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Munich is top of United’s problems but Nani ain’t one

Last week saw a big few days for Manchester United. Prodigal son and spray tan admirer Cristiano Ronaldo sauntered back into town with the same cocksure swagger and over-preened sense of self-worth he left with four years ago, and along with his slightly misfiring team broke the hearts of his...

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Sunday, 22 July 2012

Fantasy Football 2012/13 is here

Do you think you can do a better job than the professor Arsene Wenger? Could you out-muscle Mancini at defending title winners Manchester City? Then this is your chance to prove it! Squarefootballs Fantasy Football is back for another season and we want as many participants as possible. Last season...

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Monday, 11 June 2012

England: World in Motion or Three Lions - What has been the greatest song?

England take on France this afternoon in their first game of Euro2012 but expectations of Roy Hodgson guiding the country to glory are as low as those racist yobs in Poland and Ukraine who are grabbing all the headlines. Music could hold the key. England have had some notable tournament songs i...

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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A final day fanfare for Sky and the Blues

It all came down to this then. It’s been a gruelling journey, epic in its fluctuating fortunes as the favourites for the crown jostled back and forth. Each weekend millions looked on, eagerly cheering their chosen heroes, willing them to put in the performance that would clinch the prize they so ...

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Tuesday, 08 May 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A long time ago in a Stadium far far away, ITV began their FA Cup Final coverage

The 2011-12 football season will probably be looked back upon with a real intrigue in future decades. It has been a long, incident-strewn expedition encompassing an abundance of controversy, drama and despair. It is hard to remember another campaign with more extraordinary talking points. The Luis S...

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Tuesday, 01 May 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A bad week for some as United falter and the Olympics fail to inspire

It ended with Liam Gallagher bopping along to his own record at the Etihad last night in the her-uge title showdown between the Manchester giants on Live Ford Monday Night Football. Basking in his own genius is probably a nightly ritual for Gallagher junior but what certainly hasn’t been a regular o...

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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The top 10 dives in football history

Manchester United’s Ashley Young and Chelsea’s Didier Drogba have caused controversy over the past fortnight by diving to win penalties and going down quicker than your average High Street hooker. Ashley Young started it all off by winning a cheap penalty against QPR’s Shaun Derry, when the tough m...

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Outside the Box – Football on TV: Time is running out for the Football League Show but Reading and the Saints defy the odds

Back in the hazy midsummer days of August 2011, while hoards of frenzied teenagers were marauding their way through the streets of London setting fire to police cars, looting Poundland and generally ruining Boris Johnson’s holiday; I was indulging in a regular pre-season pursuit. Like every footba...

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Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Tevez, title races and titillation in a terrific week of football TV

Well, it was a helluva’ few days in the Premier League title race last week wasn’t it? The fortunes of the twin Manchester clubs are weaving increasingly erratic patterns as the burden of the top trophy begins to heap its weight on their slumping shoulders. The last seven days or so have seen a numb...

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Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A tough week of watching tough men taking tough action; and then there was Gary Neville on Super Sunday

There are many boulevards open to footballers when the time finally comes for them to hang up their boots, delete Sir Alex’s number from their Blackberry and say goodbye to the pantomime-drudgery of the Premier League. Obviously, the twin favourites for many pros are either a cushy job coaching the ...

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Tuesday, 03 April 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: One year on from Keys and Gray but is Sky burning any brighter?

It’s been around fourteen months since the corridors and offices of Sky Sports were rocked irrevocably by the now-infamous sexism scandal surrounding part-man, part-ape Richard Keys and his bosom buddy Andy Gray – the worthy winner of Nuts magazine’s 2006 ‘TV Personality That Most Resembles a Baby...

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Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A tough week for the ‘football family’ but the future’s looking bright, and looking orange for the Toon Army

It has certainly been a difficult old week in football. Quite rightly, the grave events surrounding Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba dominated all stratums of the game over the past seven days, and by extension all of the football coverage too. This resulted in a strange ambivalence amongst the week’s acti...

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Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Failure, hope and horror – just another weekend in the lives of Leicester City and ESPN

Despite the fact it has reached the ‘business end’ of the competition, I have so far abstained from reviewing ESPN’s FA Cup coverage; this is for two purely righteous reasons. Firstly, I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to watch England’s foremost domestic cup competition and I a...

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Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Beckham, Best, Henry or Cantona: Who were the coolest footballers to ever live?

We would all like to be footballers, right? The money, the women, the cars. Oh, and the playing of football. That’s pretty good. But some are cooler than others. Too cool, even. So cool they make everyone else look like silly, awkward, emasculated chumps. So who were the 10 coolest footballers to e...

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Outside the Box – Football on TV: A mad Mario meets a melodic Manc and the result is perfect harmony

The twin worlds of football and music have not always been cosy bedfellows. Lest we forget the audio abominations that still stain jukeboxes up and down this land: ‘Fog On The Tyne’, that god awful attempt by Ant and Dec to appeal to people other than 12-year old girls during the 2002 World Cup, ...

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Tuesday, 06 March 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: QPR’s cautionary tale of success, greed and sweaty men is a real winner for the BBC

In every avenue of the vast road map of life, there have been distinguished comedy legends. The political world has Boris Johnson, Gordon Brown and Margaret Thatcher; in the music fraternity we have all had a good giggle at Keith Richards and Gareth Gates; and let’s not forget Jordan… she doesn’t re...

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Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: No handshake for Evra and no love lost between the partisan pundits at Sky

Think about this for a second. How many times do you think you have seen Luis Suarez’s hand this weekend? Ten times? Twenty? A hundred? I’m sure I’ve seen his wandering hand more than I’ve seen my own two in the past 48 hours, such has been the swirling media-frenzy since he refused to settle his di...

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Saturday, 04 February 2012

A Scott to be England captain . . . Why Parker is the right man for Fabio

So its official, John Terry has been stripped of the England captaincy AGAIN! After previously having the armband removed as a result of his alleged affair with Wayne Bridge’s ex-girlfriend, his latest dethroning comes as a result of the on-going race scandal involving Anton Ferdinand. Stripping T...

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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A prosperous week for Liverpool in the cups but off the field is a different story

The days leading up to the weekend’s FA Cup Fourth Round ties were not particularly pleasant for many football fans, a week in which the unseemly and murky face of football was glaringly apparent. Many column inches were devoted to the tax-evasion trial of Spurs manager Harry Redknapp, as well as th...

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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Confusion reigns at City as Coleman fluffs his lines

Have you played Football Manager 2012? You may wonder how a game brimming with data, facts and incalculable statistics comes to contain such a dearth of information. Well, in the early stages of the games development, some spotty oik is charged with the task of finding someone close to each of the 7...

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Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: An incident-packed week at the BBC leaves Savage short of support and Lineker lost for words

They say a week in football is a long time and it can certainly be said that there was enough controversy, incident and wonder crammed into the last seven days of football to keep Joey Barton’s Twitter account going for years. The fallout from the Manchester derby, the return of Scholes and Henry, t...

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Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Manchester disunited but the magic of the FA Cup is alive and well

The much talked about magic of the FA Cup was present in abundance this Sunday during the huge third round Manchester showdown, in fact there was more magic contained in the 90 minutes than during a Paul Daniels swingers party. Chris Foy’s card tricks, a disappearing City captain and most mystifying...

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Tuesday, 03 January 2012

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A football overkill but Fabregas’ Barcelona adventure keeps us watching

At the top of this article you will see, if you can get past the crass, self-congratulatory overuse of my own name, that the tagline for this column mentions that there isn’t enough football on the TV. Obviously this pithy line is actually nonsense as there is in fact far too much football clogging ...

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Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Stelling and his merry mates bring festive cheer and genuine fear in the absence of any football

If we boil it down, there are two distinct ways to spend the festive period. You either endure the holiday wallowing in a pit of desperate desolation, alone with no hope of joviality, good tidings or communal kinship. Sat crestfallen in front of Eastenders on Christmas night, nursing a bottle of gin...

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Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A battle of wits ends in defeat for Worthy’s warhorses, but football marches on

Let’s face it. Our footballing heroes don’t have the greatest reputation when it comes to brainpower and academia do they? A cautionary glance at the post-match interviews every week on Match Of The Day show us superstars struggling to grasp the complexity of questions such as, “How do you feel the ...

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Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A love-in for O’Neill as marvel Martin ruins Rovers’ day

It was clear at 1pm on Sunday what the overriding theme of the day was going to be on Sky Sports’ Live Super Sunday. Ed Chamberlain, growing more and more comfortably into the role of football anchorman, opened the afternoon’s football coverage by loudly proclaiming, “Sunderland’s new era begins tod...

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Tuesday, 06 December 2011

Outside the Box – Football on TV: The rise and fall of the sprightly Savage is far from a waltz in the park

Do you remember the first time you ever saw Star Wars? That intoxicating and bedazzling rush of pure unadulterated excitement as you sat slack-jawed, unable to wrench your eyes away from all the bright lights, whizzing space ships and questionable acting? And perhaps you also remember the desolate f...

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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A hair-raising spectacle on Saturday turns to sombre reflection on Sunday

Take a look around you. Chances are that if you are reading this in a public place; a library, at your office while you should be working or perhaps even on the Tube, then someone close by is displaying some facial hair that seems to be a little out of place. These moustachioed menfolk are either un...

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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A test of comedy quizzing is passed with help from the inspiring Irish

Ok, before we go any further let me first congratulate the Irish team on their impressive qualification for the European Championships next summer. There was the inevitable party mood for the second leg of the Republic of Ireland v Estonia match last Tuesday and I’m sure there are not many that begr...

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Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Spain conquered, but Fabio gets a reality check from a Spurs and England legend

I don’t know if you noticed but the greatest footballing nation of recent years popped over during the weekend. You could quite legitimately be forgiven for letting it pass you by though, as the life of an England supporter over recent times has left the vast majority of us bare husks, bereft of hop...

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Tuesday, 08 November 2011

Outside the Box – Football on TV: ITV begin to repay their debt with a feast of Man City delights

It’s the 12th June 2010. Seven thirty-four on a warm summer’s evening. My friends and I are huddled around my television, just as a million more expectant eyes are doing at the same moment up and down the nation. Then pffft … nothing. A moment’s darkness was followed by some guff about Hyundai cars ...

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Tuesday, 01 November 2011

Outside the Box – Football on TV: A bad week for JT just gets worse and worse as the news hacks attack!

It’s been a bad old week for Chelsea and England captain John Terry hasn’t it? The on-going racism row between Terry and his accuser Anton Ferdinand has been front and back page news since the incident occurred a week ago and the story shows no signs of halting. Like most I have seen the footage...

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Monday, 31 October 2011

The View Outside The Premier League: Southampton Make Their Mark While Burton Hit Barnet For Six

As statements of intent go, Southamptons victory over Middlesbrough could hardly have been more emphatic. Taking on the side with the best away record in the Championship and the meanest defence, the Saints swept them aside by a three-goal margin. Ever since the campaign began the South coast clu...

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Saturday, 29 October 2011

Arsenal, Coventry and Leicester: Can a new ground be blamed for a lack of success?

It has been a traumatic decade for followers of Coventry City. The Sky Blues were relegated from the Premier League in 2001 and in the proceeding 10 years the Midlands club have rarely threatened a return to the big time. You could argue that the club’s move to the Ricoh Arena has hindered their pro...

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Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Manchester United got off lightly: Here's five of the worst results ever

Manchester City rocked the champions at Old Trafford, hitting Fergies men for six, but Hugh Larkin recalls five of the worst beatings of all time. As Chris Pettit reminded us elsewhere on this site - Manchester Citys spectacular 6-1 victory at Old Trafford was the second jaw-dropping scoreline of t...

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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Mancini’s Manchester magicians spoil the party… and this column

Why always me? This week I was going to talk to you about the light-hearted Sky Sports knockabout quiz Take It Like a Fan. I was armed with reams of faint praise for the show and was readying my keyboard for a glittering review and even a possible recommendation for you all to check it out. But al...

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Thursday, 20 October 2011

Can any player, including Messi, be considered 'the greatest'?

Ah, the Champions League. Bringer of drama, stopper of dreamers, platform for Ray Wilkins to say ‘my word’ 50 hundred thousand times. And there are other things that are nearly always discussed, certainly when seeing the two dominant Spanish sides play. The great debate has moved from trying to ...

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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Football on Sky is becoming a fairytale thanks to Wilkins the Wizard

So we were repeatedly told that it was the ‘biggest club game in world football’ as Liverpool and Manchester United met at Anfield on Saturday for the ever-intense North-West derby. The fevered atmosphere was apparent at Sky for Live Ford Football Special and there was an almost fairytale mood in ...

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Friday, 07 October 2011

England: Would you welcome Arsene Wenger as England manager?

England take on the might of Montenegro tonight in a game that could seal their place at Euro 2012, however most of the talk building up to the match has been about who will follow in the footsteps of the Italian Fabio Capello after the tournament in Poland and Ukraine. Will it be everyone’s favouri...

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Tuesday, 04 October 2011

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Tevez, tantrums and Trigger? The pundits pull no punches when it comes to Carlos the Jackal

By the time this weekend came around I, like most, was sick to death of hearing about Carlos Tevez this, Carlos Tevez that, suspensions, fines, lip-readers, caveman, Aleksandar Kolarov, Argentina, Mancini. The whole overblown schism engulfed the country’s consciousness like some toxic mist and re...

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Tevez, Mourinho and Zidane: Why football loves those shocking moments

When sitting down, reclining and watching the football on the TV, there are a few annoying things that one can expect. The first is that we will be subjected to some truly awful punditry and the second is we’ll probably be listening to the brilliant atmosphere – thousands upon thousands of footb...

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Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Outside the Box – Football on TV: You’re On Sky Sports… or should that be Moron Sky Sports?

There are three clearly defined pursuits enjoyed by the average football fan. One, demonstrating the unwavering certainty that they know the best way for their team to play. Secondly, morphing into yob-like tyrants at the very sight of an opposition supporter and lambasting them with vociferous ange...

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Monday, 26 September 2011

The View Outside The Premier League: Forest's McClaren Finally Gets A Break

A managers tenure can turn on individual events. Steve McClaren could have been staring at a sixth straight defeat with Nottingham Forest if Watfords former Forest player Joe Garner had buried a close range header midway through the second period of Saturdays evening game. The Hornets paid for it w...

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Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Morning Glory could soon be a thing of the past for the guys at Soccer AM

Morning. The time of day when we, as human beings, fall into two distinct categories. On one hand you may be an enterprising, full-blooded marauder, charging about here there and everywhere with an unbounded vitality and zest for adventure. Alternatively, you might be a feckless layabout. Those of u...

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Wednesday, 07 September 2011

Top 10 bizarre injuries to footballers

Swansea City’s vice-captain Alan Tate is set to miss most of the Swans’ debut season in Premier League after breaking his leg in a freak golfing accident. The versatile defender was a passenger in a golf buggy that lost control and Tate will have to watch the majority of the club’s rollercoaster adv...

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Tuesday, 06 September 2011

Outside the Box – Football on TV: Golden Oldies at Sky prove to be Masters

The legendary American comedian Bob Hope once quipped, “Middle age is when your age starts to show around your middle”. This observation proved to be spectacularly apt as I tuned in to Sky Sports’ Grand Final Masters this weekend. If you’re unfamiliar with the annual Masters summer contest it runs...

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Monday, 05 September 2011

The View Outside The Premier League - MK Dons Challenge Looks Strong

With the Championship suspended for international week the spotlight fell onLeague One and MK Dons turned in another impressive performance to bag three points from the long trip to Carlisle. After reaching the play-offs last season Karl Robinsons squad are targeting automatic promotion. For many f...

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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Arsenal: Samir Nasri - Following Money or The Eastlands Dream?

Arsene Wengers stance on the imminent departure of Samir Nasri from the Emirates has been both refreshing and laden with common sense.He used the analogy that I have always believed in and relates to the normal working world.As much as you may love the company you work for, if you were headhunted to...

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Monday, 22 August 2011

The View Outside The Premier League: Adkins Has The Saints Marching

As Southampton maintained their perfect record for the season with a hard-earned win over Millwall its worth reflecting on the managerial career of Nigel Adkins - not the biggest name but mightily effective at getting the best out of the resources to hand. Adkins lost just 72 of the 200 games he ha...

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Thursday, 18 August 2011

Public Enemy No1 - Newcastle's Joey Barton

In football there are two types of players the fans love. There are those who we love for what they do on the pitch week, week out; and then there are those who we just simply love to hate. In this weekly feature we are going to look at the latter and following last weekends little fracas at St Jame...

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