Tag Archives: carrington

Carlos Tevez will appear in court on April 3 charged with driving offences

Tevez handed April court date after being charged with driving offences

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

17:41 GMT, 13 March 2013

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UPDATED:

18:03 GMT, 13 March 2013

Carlos Tevez has been charged with driving offences and will appear in court next month.

The Manchester City striker arrived at a police station on Wednesday afternoon as he faces further issues with driving in England.

He has now been charged with driving while disqualified and driving without insurance. He will appear at Macclesfield Magistrates' Court on April 3.

Tevez was arrested last week on
suspicion of driving while disqualified, having been banned in January
after pleading guilty to counts of failing to furnish information
relating to incidents in which one of his vehicles was caught speeding.

Visit: Carlos Tevez (pictured at the back of the people carrier) arrives at the police station

Visit: Carlos Tevez (pictured at the back of the people carrier) arrives at the police station

Visit: Carlos Tevez (pictured at the back of the people carrier) arrives at the police station

If found guilty of the latest alleged offence, Tevez could face a six-month prison term.

Earlier today, he arrived in the back of a black people carrier at Cheshire Constabulary Custody Suite in Middlewich.

Tevez will be represented in his driving case by a lawyer who Manchester City staff have dubbed ‘Merlin the Magician’ because of his immaculate record of defending the Barclays Premier League champions’ players from alleged motoring offences.

Tevez’s solicitor Gywn Lewis has been labelled a magician by the club because of his ability to make ‘many worrying cases disappear’, according to law firm Burton Copeland’s website.

Driving force: Carlos Tevez was at City's Carrington training base this afternoon

Driving force: Carlos Tevez was at City's Carrington training base this afternoon

Banned: Tevez was disqualified from driving for speeding offences

Banned: Tevez was disqualified from driving for speeding offences

The Manchester-based law firm’s
website says of the solicitor: 'In an area of law where detail is
paramount, “Merlin the Magician” as he is called by personnel at
Manchester City Football Club for whom he regularly acts, has made many
worrying cases disappear.'

Lewis
is also described by his employers as someone who, over the past 20
years, 'has concentrated on his passion for defending motorists' and
'has developed a track record of unrivalled success, ranging from minor
speeding, traffic light and mobile phone infringements to the most
serious cases of drink driving and death by dangerous driving.'

Former City stars Joey Barton, Shaun
Wright-Phillips and Danny Mills have written testimonials on Burton
Copeland’s specialist website drivingoffences.com

Dazzling: Carlos Tevez scored a hat-trick in City's FA Cup tie against Barnsley

Dazzling: Carlos Tevez scored a hat-trick in City's FA Cup tie against Barnsley

Wright-Phillips wrote: 'I had need to call upon the services of drivingoffence.com and in particular Gwyn Lewis.

'I can say that I am more than happy with the thoroughly professional way in which they brought my matters to a successful conclusion.'

Despite the alleged driving offence, City manager Roberto Mancini started Tevez in City's 5-0 FA Cup hammering of Barnsley on Saturday.

The Argentina forward scored a tremendous hat-trick and set up goals for team-mates Aleksandar Kolarov and David Silva.

Manchester City stars Joleon Lescott and James Milner ready for Super Bowl

Ready for the big game on Sunday, boys And we're not talking about Liverpool's visit to Manchester…

By
Nick Metcalfe

PUBLISHED:

18:04 GMT, 1 February 2013

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UPDATED:

18:41 GMT, 1 February 2013

It's the biggest sporting event in the world, they tell us, and some of our biggest football stars can't wait for Sunday's Super Bowl.

Manchester City trio Joleon Lescott, James Milner and Micah Richards look quite the part here as they prepare for this weekend's showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers.

Ready to rumble: Joleon Lescott (left) and James Milner (right) prepare to do battle, with Micah Richards on refereeing duties

Ready to rumble: Joleon Lescott (left) and James Milner (right) prepare to do battle, with Micah Richards on refereeing duties

Lescott, a Ravens fan, and 49ers supporter Milner took part in a special quarterback 'crossbar challenge' at the club’s Carrington training ground.

And in case you were worrying about events taking a controversial turn, Richards was also on hand to undertake refereeing duties.

Milner eventually emerged as the victor, but only after a rule change. After both were successful with two events at hitting the crossbar, the winner was decided by who threw closest to the bar. Milner now hopes this is a lucky omen for events in New Orleans.

He said: 'It's pretty late but I'll try watching as much as I can. I think the 49ers will win it but it's going to be close.

Doing battle: Lescott and Milner are both big American football fans

Doing battle: Lescott and Milner are both big American football fans

'They're the favourites going in but with it being Ray Lewis' last game I don't think the Ravens want to let him down. I've seen clips of Lewis on the field and off the field.

'As a leader he seems unbelievable. He gets everyone going and it'll be a great if he signs off with the big one.'

Give us a smile, James: Lescott, Richards and Milner ahead of this weekend's big game

Give us a smile, James: Lescott, Richards and Milner ahead of this weekend's big game

Milner

Lescott

Who's going to be celebrating 49ers fan Milner (left) and Ravens supporter Lescott (right)

Lescott
said: 'I am a massive NFL fan and will be shouting for the Ravens this
Sunday. I tend to stay up as it's an entertainment event with the half
time show.

'We were lucky enough to visit the Baltimore Ravens when we toured the USA and I got to meet Ray Lewis.

'It would be a fitting end to an
outstanding career if the Ravens won the Vince Lombardi trophy in New
Orleans for him on Sunday.'

Richards, who is a relatively new
convert to the NFL, said: 'To be honest, I'm more of an NBA fan but it's
a big weekend for the NFL and I'll be watching.'

The day job: Milner training with City on Friday ahead of their clash with Liverpool on Sunday

The day job: Milner training with City on Friday ahead of their clash with Liverpool on Sunday

Up for the cup: Lescott (right) in action for City in their FA Cup clash with Stoke last weekend

Up for the cup: Lescott (right) in action for City in their FA Cup clash with Stoke last weekend

The three players will have more pressing matters on Sunday before the Super Bowl, and that's a Premier League clash with Liverpool.

A 0-0 draw at QPR in midweek saw City lose further ground in the title race, with local rivals United beating Southampton and moving seven points clear.

Roberto Mancini's men will be desperate for victory over the Merseysiders, before some of the City players settle down, along with millions of others, for a ball game of a very different kind.

Watch the City stars take part in their special American football challenge…

Sergio Aguero in line for Manchester City return against Fulham

Aguero boost as City striker is back in training… and he could play against Fulham

By
Ian Ladyman

PUBLISHED:

16:08 GMT, 16 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:24 GMT, 16 January 2013

Manchester City have been boosted today by the return to training of star striker Sergio Aguero and he has an outside chance of playing against Fulham on Saturday.

Aguero has not featured for the Barclays Premier League champions since injuring his hamstring against Stoke City on New Year’s Day.

Training day: Aguero was pictured in his kit at Carrington on Wednesday

Training day: Aguero was pictured in his kit at Carrington on Wednesday

Training day: Aguero was pictured in his kit at Carrington on Wednesday

Training day: Aguero was pictured in his kit at Carrington on Wednesday

But it is understood that the Argentine – who spent time with a specialist in Italy in a bid to make a quick recovery – took part in a light session today and has an outside chance of being ready for a return to action at the Etihad on Saturday.

A City source said: 'Sergio is back and looks good. He didn’t train fully with the first team so we won’t know until maybe Friday whether he will make the Fulham game yet.

On the mend: Aguero limped off against Stoke on New Year's Day

On the mend: Aguero limped off against Stoke on New Year's Day

'But he came through everything okay today and the signs are good.'

City manager Roberto Mancini will not want to rush Aguero back in to action, especially given that his team have tougher games than the Fulham one on the horizon.

Alex Ferguson to send Davide Petrucci and Scott Wootton to Peterborough

Ferguson to send Petrucci and Wootton to Posh (to help his son avoid relegation)

season, and has
also had temporary spells at Tranmere Rovers and Nottingham Forest.

Wootton has made four first-team
appearances at Old Trafford this season – in the Capital One Cup matches
against Newcastle United and Chelsea, and the two Champions League
group stage games with Cluj.

Wootton was also wanted by Bristol
City, Birmingham and Blackburn, according to reports. He is also
reportedly in talks over a new two-year contract at United.

Time to help my son: Ferguson will send Petrucci and Wootton to Peterborough

Time to help my son: Ferguson will send Petrucci and Wootton to Peterborough

Cheers dad: Peterborough are 21st in the Championship and in danger of relegation to the third tier

Cheers dad: Peterborough are 21st in the Championship and in danger of relegation to the third tier

Italian-born Petrucci, 21, was acquired from Roma in July 2008 but the midfielder saw his first-team breakthrough delayed by a succession of injuries.

He is currently the captain of United's reserves and would gain from first team experience at Peterborough as he pushes for a senior debut at old Trafford next season.

Currently, he is best known for being punched by Nani in a bust-up at United's Carrington training ground.

Meanwhile, young United winger Robbie Brady has joined Hull City.

Sir Alex Ferguson: The master of fear and intimidation

The master of fear and intimidation: Clever, witty, withering, belligerent, mischievous and slightly deluded… this was classic Fergie

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UPDATED:

22:49 GMT, 28 December 2012

Ten minutes before Sir Alex
Ferguson’s weekly press conference was officially due to begin at
Carrington yesterday, and the Manchester United manager was already in
full flow.

As referee Mike Dean and his
assistants found out at Old Trafford on Boxing Day, Ferguson has been
known to make up the rules as he goes along.

For those reporters who got there in
time to witness it, this was classic Ferguson. Clever, witty, withering,
belligerent, mischievous and, yes it has to be said, slightly deluded.

Poor decision: Ferguson was unhappy with the officials after Evans's controversial own-goal

Poor decision: Ferguson was unhappy with the officials after Evans's controversial own-goal

Poor decision: Ferguson was unhappy with the officials after Evans's controversial own-goal

Dismissing Newcastle as ‘a wee club in the North East’ is a putdown that will be remembered long after Ferguson has left Old Trafford; it’s right up there with ‘knocking Liverpool off their f***ing perch’ and ‘when an Italian tells me it’s pasta on the plate, I check under the sauce to make sure’.

The Scot knew exactly what effect that line would have, what headlines it would create, and that’s the clever bit.

/12/28/article-2254115-063A6BCA000005DC-912_634x476.jpg” width=”634″ height=”476″ alt=”Off you go: Dean sent Wenger to the stands at Old Trafford in 2009″ class=”blkBorder” />

Off you go: Dean sent Wenger to the stands at Old Trafford in 2009

Off you go: Dean sent Wenger to the stands at Old Trafford in 2009

Three days short of his 71st birthday, you had to admire him for rolling
up his sleeves and rolling back the years to put Pardew and Newcastle
in their place.

After walking in shortly before 9.20am, slightly windswept but
completely composed, he was so eager to get started that some
journalists had not even entered the building when he delivered the
killer line that felt like it was prepared in advance.

‘I’m the manager of the biggest club in the world,’ said Ferguson with a
twinkle in his eye and venom in his voice. ‘I’m not like Newcastle, a
wee club in the North East.’

At a stroke he became public enemy No 1 on Tyneside, although his
popularity will have shot up in Sunderland. For pure pantomime you
really couldn’t beat it.

That’s what makes Ferguson’s weekly address such compulsive viewing, and
he knows it. Less of a press conference, more an audience with
footballing royalty.

Empty seats denote those reporters who have been exiled for their sins,
while microphones on handheld metal poles hover around a draughty room
upstairs at United’s academy building to pick up every faltering
question asked from the floor while Ferguson holds court.

His demeanour dictates the mood just as he decides when proceedings begin, regardless of the arrangement.

A cosy cup of tea and a sticky bun with Roberto Martinez at Wigan it
certainly ain’t. And that’s the way Ferguson wants it. Whether it’s
journalists coming to Carrington or match officials walking out at Old
Trafford, it suits him to get people out of their comfort zone.

For all his success in evolving as a manager to cope with the modern
footballer, fear and intimidation remain Ferguson’s most effective
weapons. Dean and his assistants were reminded of that on Wednesday and
did nothing about it.

Ferguson is actually required by the Premier League to conduct an
after-match press conference as well, just like every other manager, but
has refused to do so for years. They do nothing about it. You cannot
therefore blame clubs for feeling that there is one rule for them and
another for United.

A few hundred yards away at their own Carrington training base
yesterday, Manchester City were shaking their heads in disbelief over
the FA’s decision to take action against Roberto Mancini for suggesting
after the defeat at Sunderland that referee Kevin Friend ‘ate too much
at Christmas’.

City have until next Wednesday to give their observations, and will
point out that Mancini was being light-hearted, but a misconduct charge
is sure to follow.

Comparing the two cases, they are baffled that their manager will be
punished and Ferguson will not — although it’s only fair to point out
that the United boss was banned for two games and fined 20,000 three
years ago for saying that Alan Wiley was not physically fit enough to
referee.

This week has been a reminder that no-one stirs up the emotions — his own and everybody else’s — quite like Sir Alex Ferguson.

It’s what makes him who he is. It’s why we’ll miss him so much when he’s gone.

Sir Alex Ferguson installed tanning booths at Manchester United

Ferguson installed tanning booths so United players could top up their Vitamin D levels

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UPDATED:

09:38 GMT, 19 December 2012

Read the full Fergie study…

You can purchase the Sir Alex Ferguson case study from Harvard Business School HERE

At a successful club like Manchester United, no stone is left unturned in preparing the players for action – and that even includes their sun tan.

A fascinating study into the methods of manager Sir Alex Ferguson by academics at the Harvard Business School in Boston has revealed that United had a Vitamin D machine installed for compensate for Manchester's lack of natural sunlight.

Ferguson also gave players staggered one-week breaks during the winter months so they could replenish their Vitamin D.

Sunshine indoors: Manchester United had a Vitamin D tanning booth installed in the dressing room at their Carrington training ground (below) so the squad could counterbalance the lack of sunlight in Manchester

Sunshine indoors: Manchester United had a Vitamin D tanning booth installed in the dressing room at their Carrington training ground (below) so the squad could counterbalance the lack of sunlight in Manchester

Manchester United's Carrington Training Complex

The study, entitled 'Sir Alex Ferguson: Managing Manchester United', said the tanning booth was installed in the players' dressing room at their Carrington training ground.

It says: 'He [Ferguson] could talk enthusiastically about the new Vitamin D machine (which perhaps most resembled a tanning booth) in the players' dressing room at Carrington, put there to help them counterbalance the lack of sunlight in Manchester, or his plan for the new season to give players staggered one-week breaks in the winter months to replenish their Vitamin D.'

The tanning booth is one of many secrets revealed by Ferguson in the Harvard study, by Anita Elberse and Tom Dye, including that he doesn't use his notorious hairdryer technique as often as he used to.

Study: The front page of the Harvard Business School thesis

Study: The front page of the Harvard Business School thesis

Insight: The study, by Harvard Business School academics, offers a fascinating in-depth look at the methods of Sir Alex Ferguson

Insight: The study, by Harvard Business School academics, offers a fascinating in-depth look at the methods of Sir Alex Ferguson

It also covers how he prepares his team, the way he conducts his team-talks and how he changes a game's direction at half-time.

Staff at the club have spoken of the specially-modified tanning booth in the changing rooms, which is used about three times a week by each player to top up their Vitamin D levels.

It is likely to be a large Vitamin D lamp, which emits ultraviolet rays to trigger the formation of Vitamin D. It helps bone strength and stimulates feel-good brain chemicals such as serotonin.

The lamps are used to treat people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

WITH 140 DAYS OF RAIN A YEAR, IT'S LITTLE WONDER FERGIE WANTED TO BRING IN A BIT OF SUNSHINE

Manchester has a reputation as being one of the wettest places in the UK, so it's little wonder Sir Alex Ferguson had a tanning booth installed so the players could top up their Vitamin D levels.

The city has an average annual rainfall of 806.6 millimetres (31.76 inches) and 140 days of rain each year, though both are actually below the national average.

Former United players Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez complained about the cold and rainy Manchester climate, but while the former went to sunnier Spain, the latter moved across the road to City.

Manchester United players laugh at annual youth team pantomime

Ho, ho, ho! Tis the season to be jolly… but just what is Fergie and his Manchester United stars laughing at

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UPDATED:

16:21 GMT, 14 December 2012

Just what has made Sir Alex Ferguson and his players laugh so hard

Has someone shown them the Premier League table, which shows a very healthy six-point lead over bitter rivals City

Perhaps Nemanja Vidic is smiling because he's finally seen the back of the treatment table, or Ryan Giggs has been told he's getting another contract extension.

Or maybe, Mario Balotelli's notorious lack of direction has led him to turn into the wrong training ground in his camouflaged Bentley.

Tis the season! Sir Alex Ferguson is tickled by something in the club's annual Christmas panto, performed by youth team players

Tis the season! Sir Alex Ferguson is tickled by something in the club's annual Christmas panto, performed by youth team players

All smiles: Ryan Giggs (left) and Wayne Rooney in fits of giggles at something in the panto. Rooney was reportedly the butt of many jokes

All smiles: Ryan Giggs (left) and Wayne Rooney in fits of giggles at something in the panto. Rooney was reportedly the butt of many jokes

The real reason is much better –
they're watching the annual United youth team pantomime today, a chance for
the up and coming stars to lampoon the senior boys without fear of
Fergie's wrath.

It's an annual tradition at the
Carrington training complex after a slap-up Turkey meal where the
sprouts and spuds are usually doled out by Sir Alex himself.

It was also a bit of light relief for the young charges, who were beaten 4-3 at home by Burnley in the FA Youth Cup this week and so missed out on a tie with Manchester City.

Rare smile: Even defensive hardman Nemanja Vidic found the performance hilarious

Rare smile: Even defensive hardman Nemanja Vidic found the performance hilarious

Jolly: Phil Jones is in stitches as the youth players take the mickey

Jolly: Phil Jones is in stitches as the youth players take the mickey

Apparently, Wayne Rooney was once
again the butt of most of the jokes in the performance, with the younger
lads poking fun at his weight.

'They're considering hiring fat suits,' said a club source last week.

Rio Ferdinand alluded to the show on Twitter, saying: 'Funny day at training today….pity the weather didn't reflect our mood! #gloomy'

Last year, he was ridiculed for his
hair transplant when a youth team player dressed up in a Rooney No10
shirt, Shrek mask and curly black wig.

He then gave a mock interview, describing how the follicle transplant had changed his life.

Very funny! Jonny Evans makes no effort to hide his amusement

Very funny! Jonny Evans makes no effort to hide his amusement

Hot under the collar Did one of the youth teamers have the nerve to lampoon Sir Alex

Hot under the collar Did one of the youth teamers have the nerve to lampoon Sir Alex

The real Rooney couldn't do anything but laugh – though I'm sure his face was bright red.

Another target last time was Spanish
goalkeeper David De Gea, who had been caught stealing a doughnut from
Tesco earlier in the year.

A youth team player walked onto the stage munching a box of Krispy Kremes.

But there was controversy too, with reports that an unidentified player threw a mince pie at Sir Alex.

It would be a brave man to parody the boss in the panto, but pie-throwing is surely the height of foolishness!

P.S. At least Fergie finds it funny this time!

Last year, Rooney landed himself in hot water on a Manchester United-themed quiz show. In a game of charades, he was asked to act out the film 'Bend It Like Beckham' for teammates Ryan Giggs and Jonny Evans to guess.

They just couldn't get it, so Rooney pointed at Sir Alex on the opposing team and mimed a boot being kicked into his face – a reference to the nasty incident involving Becks in the dressing room after a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal in a 2003 FA Cup final.

To say Fergie didn't look impressed was an understatement and he just said: 'That'll cost you.'

Ryan Giggs would buy karaoke machine for Sir Alex Ferguson this Christmas

Sing your heart out, Fergie! Karaoke machine would top Giggs' Christmas list for United boss

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UPDATED:

02:49 GMT, 13 December 2012

What do you get for the man who has everything Well, certainly in terms of trophies anyway.

Ryan Giggs says he would buy Sir Alex Ferguson a karaoke machine – if only to keep the Manchester United manager quiet around the club’s Carrington training ground.

Sing up! Giggs would buy Fergie and Karaoke machine

Sing up! Giggs would buy Fergie and Karaoke machine

Sing up! Giggs would buy Fergie and Karaoke machine

‘I’ve done all my Christmas shopping,’
said the United veteran. ‘I’m organised. I’ve done a bit of shopping, a
bit online. Get it out of the way earlier.

‘What would I buy the manager He likes singing around the place, so maybe a karaoke machine for when he gets home … so he’s singing there rather than around the training ground!’

After so long in the game, Giggs is used to being separated from his family at Christmas but admits that not seeing his children Zach and Libby is the most difficult part.

‘Christmas is just something we’re used to,’ he added. ‘I've known nothing different since I was 15. It's tougher when you've got kids. It's difficult knowing you're in a hotel that night but the kids understand. They’re probably too busy to notice I’ve gone.’

Gareth Barry to miss Manchester City"s trip to Newcastle after Mark Clattenburg fallout

Barry to miss City's trip to Newcastle after deciding not to contest FA charge for using abusive language towards Clattenburg

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 12 December 2012

Gareth Barry will miss Manchester
City's trip to Newcastle on Saturday after deciding not to contest a
one-match ban for using foul and abusive language towards fourth
official Mark Clattenburg at the end of the Manchester derby.

On Tuesday night Barry was said to be shocked by the FA’s action. The incident came just days after
John Mikel Obi was banned for three games and fined 60,000 for a
similar offence against Clattenburg, who was embroiled in a race row
with the Chelsea player when he took charge of the game against
Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in October.

The 37-year-old official from Tyne and Wear was later cleared of any wrongdoing by the Metropolitan Police and the FA.

Absent: Gareth Barry accepted a one-match suspension and will miss the match against Newcastle

Absent: Gareth Barry accepted a one-match suspension and will miss the match against Newcastle

Blue Sunday: Gareth Barry (left) reflects on the Manchester derby defeat to rivals United

Blue Sunday: Gareth Barry (left) reflects on the Manchester derby defeat to rivals United

In the firing line: Fourth official Mark Clattenburg (right) with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

In the firing line: Fourth official Mark Clattenburg (right) with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson on Sunday

Clattenburg was the fourth official
at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday when it is alleged that Barry ‘used
abusive and/or insulting words’ towards him after City’s 3-2 defeat to
United.

Both City and the FA refused to
confirm that Clattenburg is the official in question in an attempt to
spare him from any more unwanted publicity.

But Sportsmail understands he was the
one on the receiving end of Barry’s comments as the England midfielder
stormed down the tunnel moments after Robin van Persie’s injury-time
winner.

Rio Ferdinand in training at Carrington on Tuesday

Robin van Persie (left) and Rio Ferdinand in training

No scar, Rio Ferdinand's face looked in far better shape during United's training session at their Carrington headquarters on Tuesday morning after he was last seen bleeding at the end of the Manchester derby

No scar Rio Ferdinand

Shocking: Ferdinand was left bloodied after being hit by a coin thrown from the crowd at the Etihad

Shocking: Ferdinand was left bloodied after being hit by a coin thrown from the crowd at the Etihad

The goal came from a free-kick awarded by referee Martin Atkinson for Carlos Tevez’s foul on Rafael da Silva.

At first it was thought that Barry
had clashed with his manager Roberto Mancini as he left the pitch at
full time, but the City boss confirmed his player was unhappy with the
officials.

‘The referee and linesmen made some mistakes today,’ remarked Mancini after the game. ‘I don’t know what Gareth said.’

After receiving Atkinson’s report the
FA issued a statement that read: ‘Manchester City’s Gareth Barry has
been charged by the FA for a breach of its Rule E3 in that he used
abusive and/or insulting words towards a match official following the
Manchester City v Manchester United game on Sunday 9 December 2012.’

As the fall-out from Sunday’s derby
continued, a 15-year-old boy was arrested by police investigating a
racist tweet sent to Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand. He was
later bailed pending further enquiries.

Police are still trying to identify
the fan who threw a coin at Ferdinand as he celebrated United’s late
goal, cutting the defender above the left eye.

Another supporter, one of nine people
charged over a variety of offences committed on the day, had to be
restrained by City goalkeeper Joe Hart after he ran on to the pitch and
tried to confront Ferdinand.

Robin van Persie glad he chose Manchester United over Manchester City

It's all smiles now I'm at Old Trafford, says former City target Van Persie

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 7 December 2012

Right choice: Van Persie has scored 10 Premier League goals this season

Right choice: Van Persie has scored 10 Premier League goals this season

The two Manchester clubs spent all summer haggling over him and, three months into this intriguing season, Robin van Persie is preparing to play his first derby game in the North West.

The Dutch forward has scored 10 times in 13 Barclays Premier League starts and City manager Roberto Mancini’s frustration at not being able to land a player he earmarked a year ago has only grown.

For the player, there seems to be no doubt he made the right decision in leaving Arsenal for Old Trafford. ‘I made my mind up quickly and I am coming into work with a big smile on my face every day,’ Van Persie told MUTV on Friday night. ‘It is not really work, it is my hobby. I love football, but everyone has been so nice and I have been having the time of my life. So I don’t regret that decision.

‘Of course in a derby you have lots of people involved – fans and players. Everyone is really committed and we will do all we can to win. It is not a decider to win the league, but we can make a huge step forward.’

The story of how Van Persie ended up at United and not City is interesting. He told friends in Holland he always fancied Old Trafford, while United scoff at suggestions they just offered more money.

At City, though, Mancini remains convinced he would have signed the player at the start of the summer – after first making ‘contact’ in March – had his board come up with what he believed to be an appropriate offer.

Training day: United prepare for the fixture at Carrington on Friday

Training day: United prepare for the fixture at Carrington on Friday

Mancini was diplomatic on Friday but, as his own strikers struggle for goals, the Italian underlined the value of Van Persie. He said: ‘United were a strong team and bought Van Persie and also Kagawa. They put another 25 goals into the squad. Am I frustrated No. In this moment, it is in the past.’

Whatever the truth of the saga, Van
Persie has certainly been at the heart of United’s season as Sir Alex
Ferguson’s team have repeatedly come back from difficult situations.

Poker face: Mancini kept his composure on Friday

Poker face: Mancini kept his composure on Friday

The striker added: ‘We can score in any minute of the game, from any angle. From corners, from free-kicks, from open play, with headers. If you look at the history of this club, it’s a lot about comebacks and it says a lot about the players, the manager, the staff, the whole club.

‘If you can do it once it’s nice, if you can do it a couple more times it’s even nicer but if you can do it as often as us it is a strength. So whatever happens on Sunday, everyone knows we always bounce back.’

whos the most ruthless.jpg