Tag Archives: persie

Robin van Persie will ignore Arsenal boos – Sir Alex Ferguson

Boos won't bother Robin! Ferguson urges Van Persie to ignore dissenting Arsenal fans

By
Chris Wheeler

PUBLISHED:

11:53 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:00 GMT, 26 April 2013

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Sir Alex Ferguson has told Robin van Persie to ignore the Arsenal boo boys on his first return to the Emirates this Sunday.

Arsene Wenger’s side will give Ferguson’s newly-crowned Premier League champions a guard of honour at the Emirates, but Van Persie is assured of a hot reception after leaving the Gunners for United in a 24million move last summer.

It has paid off with the Dutchman’s hat-trick against Aston Villa on Monday securing his first title winner’s medal, but the Arsenal fans will be less understanding.

Lending a hand: Former United player Bryan Robson was at United's training this morning

Lending a hand: Former United player Bryan Robson was at United's training this morning

WENGER'S TAKE

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants fans of the north London club to show respect for their former player Robin van Persie.

Click here to read Wenger's opinion

‘I don’t really bother about it and I don’t think Robin should bother about it either,’ said Ferguson.

‘There was a bit of booing when he
played against Arsenal at Old Trafford and you probably expect a portion
of the fans to do that. That’s the modern generation and modern
society, I’m afraid.

‘But I’m glad Arsene has done that
(guard of honour) because when they came to Old Trafford some years back
and Wiltord scored the only goal we did that, and that’s what great
clubs should do.’

Ferguson said that he understands why
Arsenal are so upset over losing one of their prize assets but believes
they have to look to the future now.

Back to business: Robin van Persie (left) and his team-mates were training after their title triumph

Back to business: Robin van Persie (left) and his team-mates were training after their title triumph

Man in the middle: Rio Ferdinand and Tom Cleverley (left) practise their ball skills

Man in the middle: Rio Ferdinand and Tom Cleverley (left) practise their ball skills

He added: ‘I know about the Tottenham derby but United have been Arsenal’s biggest rivals over the last 20 years.

‘It doesn’t sit well with their fans, and nor with Arsene for that matter, but it does happen and you just have to move on.

‘Arsenal have moved on now. They’re
challenging for a Champions League place and have every chance of doing
so, and they still play as attractive foot as anyone in the league.’

Antonio Valencia

Danny Welbeck

Relaxed Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck look calm after they helped clinch the title on Monday

Robin van Persie signs for BT Sport

Van Persie joins BT Sport's dream team! United striker to appear alongside Bale in ambitious broadcaster's ad campaign

By
Brian Lee

PUBLISHED:

10:54 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:19 GMT, 26 April 2013

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BT SPORT LOGO

BT Sport's list of big-name signings expanded again today as they added Manchester United striker Robin van Persie to their star-studded line-up.

The broadcaster, who will air 38 Premier League games next season, confirmed the news on Twitter that Van Persie will appear alongside Gareth Bale in ad campaigns for their coverage.

Van Persie leads the Premier League scoring charts this season with 24 goals to his name, one more than Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, and the Dutchman's hat-trick against Aston Villa on Monday night sealed United's 20th top-flight title.

BT have also snapped up Arsenal youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Scroll down for video

Smashing signing: Manchester United striker Robin van Persie will appear on BT Sport's ad campaigns

Smashing signing: Manchester United striker Robin van Persie will appear on BT Sport's ad campaigns

Dream team: Van Persie joins Gareth Bale and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on BT's list of stars

Dream team: Van Persie joins Gareth Bale and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on BT's list of stars

Great news! BT Sport confirmed Van Persie's signing on Twitter

Great news! BT Sport confirmed Van Persie's signing on Twitter

Oxlade-Chamberlain, who signed for the Gunners from Southampton in 2011
and has 10 England caps, will also become a BT Ambassador for the next
three years.

The 19-year-old winger said: 'I am very pleased to be named as a BT
Ambassador and to feature in the adverts and as a guest for BT Sport.

'As a young player, I hope I can bring some real insight into the Premier League, as part of the BT Sport team.'

Simon Green, head of BT Sport, said: 'We are thrilled that Alex has
agreed to sign up for BT Sport. Alex is emerging as an international
star, having broken into the senior team aged just 18.

'His hard work and dedication to improvement has already taken him to
great heights and serves as an inspiration to young football fans that
if you are good enough, you are old enough.'

Regular guest: Arsenal youngster Oxlade-Chamberlain will be appearing on BT Sport next season

Regular guest: Arsenal youngster Oxlade-Chamberlain will be appearing on BT Sport next season

VIDEO: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain joins BT Sport

As well as the rights to show 38 live games a season from the Barclays
Premier League, including 18 of the top picks, BT Sport has also secured
the rights to live top-tier matches from Serie A in Italy, Ligue 1 in
France, Brasileiro in Brazil and Major League Soccer in the USA.

And BT’s acquisition of ESPN’s TV channels business in the UK and
Ireland will bring the rights to show live games for the FA Cup,
Scottish Premier League, Europa League and the German Bundesliga.

BT Sport will also show up to 69 live rugby union games a season from the Aviva Premiership.

In
addition, BT has signed a deal with the Women’s Tennis Association
(WTA) to show up to 800 hours of live tennis, including the TEB BNP
Paribas WTA Championships.

I'm in: Spurs winger Bale has already signed for BT Sport ahead of their Premier League coverage

I'm in: Spurs winger Bale has already signed for BT Sport ahead of their Premier League coverage

And... action: Bale films an advert for BT Sport

And… action: Bale films an advert for BT Sport

Arsene Wenger tells Arsenal fans to respect Robin van Persie

Show some respect! Wenger tells Arsenal not to boo Van Persie on Emirates return

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

08:43 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:05 GMT, 26 April 2013

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Arsene Wenger has demanded Arsenal supporters respect Robin van Persie when the former captain returns to the Emirates.

Wenger sold Van Persie to United for 24mllion last summer and the Dutchman went on to win the Premier League title at Old Trafford.

And ahead of his first return to the North London club, Wenger has pleaded with the Emirates fans to be respectful.

Show some respect: Arsene Wenger wants Arsenal fans not to boo Van Persie

Show some respect: Arsene Wenger wants Arsenal fans not to boo Van Persie

He said: 'I can only reiterate I want the
player to be respected. I've said that for every player who has left,
even players who have left in more controversy than RVP.

'RVP has a massive talent an is a
world class player. Fantastic technique and has plenty of experience.
He's played in a World Cup final.

'You don't focus on what we've lost.
We just want to get round it. We always miss a big player. It took us a
while to get round it, but we've scored a similar number if goals this
season.

'It's always difficult to lose big players

Wenger confirmed that the Arsenal players will give the United players a guard of honour ahead of kick off and says he hopes it will spur his side on to challenge for the title next season.

He added: 'They have been remarkable, especially at home. They've won it in a convincing way.

'What we know is that we will need a great performance to beat Manchester United. That's what we will focus on.

'I have a respectful relationship with Sir Alex. We spoke personally about RVP, that's the only way the deal could be done.

I'm French, but I want the English tradition to be respected. I hope we can have a guard of honour next year.

'We can only focus in out own performance. We are on a good run'

As for the remainder of Arsenal's season, Wenger says the Gunners must focus on making the top four and qualify for the Champions League.

He added: 'We can only focus in out own performance. We are on a good run.

'I'm confident we will make top four. But we need total focus and willingness to do that. We have no room to drop points.'

On the subject of Liverpool striker Luis Suarez's 10-game ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, Wenger believes the Uruguayan's previous indiscretions worked against him.

He added: 'What has gone against Suarez is his history. That's the only explanation I can find for the severity of the punishment.'

Arsenal guard of honour for Manchester United and Robin van Persie

Arsenal players OBJECT to giving old boy Van Persie and champions United guard of honour

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

11:35 GMT, 23 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:08 GMT, 24 April 2013

Reluctant Arsenal players are
privately unhappy about giving newly crowned champions Manchester United — and their
former captain, Robin van Persie — a guard of honour when they meet at
the Emirates Stadium on Sunday – but they are still expected to perform the honour.

A
guard of honour is a tradition in games involving teams who have just
won the title. Privately, a number of Arsenal players have expressed
objections towards the gesture, particularly in front of their own
supporters, but it is understood it will still go ahead.

Arsenal’s
pain will be offset by a 1.5million bonus they will receive due to a
clause inserted in Van Persie’s contract when he signed last summer. The
clause was activated when United won the title.

Homecoming: Van Persie and United head to the Emirates this weekend

Homecoming: Van Persie and United head to the Emirates this weekend

NOW READ ASH WEDNESDAY…

CLICK HERE: As much as it will hurt Wenger, Arsenal should give United a guard of honour… just as Ferguson did in 1991

Meanwhile, David
Gill has promised the champions will invest in new players this summer, though he expects Manchester City to be active, also.

He said: 'I’m sure they will come back. They’ve got some ambitious plans on their investment and their academy. But that’s what the excitement of the Premier League is. I’m sure all the clubs who missed out this season will be doing business in the summer – as we will be – with a view to come back all guns blazing next year.'

The out-going chief executive has also praised the work of the American owners. Gill claims United's success proves the determination of the Glazers to keep things progressing on and off the pitch, and that some of the criticism they get is unfair.

Guard of honour: United applaud Chelsea on to the Old Trafford pitch in May 2005

Guard of honour: United applaud Chelsea on to the Old Trafford pitch in May 2005

Guard of honour: United applaud Chelsea on to the Old Trafford pitch in May 2005

Dutch of class: Van Persie spent eight years at Arsenal

Dutch of class: Van Persie spent eight years at Arsenal

He
added: 'The Glazers have definitely demonstrated that since they have
taken over they have shown that what happens on the pitch is crucial to
the club’s ambitions off it.

'There
are still a small number of dissenters and they will always be there
and they have had long held views which they are not going to change. We
respect those, but ultimately, someone has to own the club.

'They
[Glazers] get the personal enjoyment and the important thing is that
there is really no ego about them. They operate behind the scenes here,
they don’t walk around saying “we own the club”, and they are very
mindful of the traditions and the history of the club and people.

'Clearly, if you own an asset and it comes up with winning a 20th title, it’s unbelievable.'

Robin van Persie says Chelsea v Manchester United FA Cup tie won"t be a "great game" because of tiredness

It won't be a thriller! Van Persie believes fatigue could affect blockbuster FA Cup tie

By
Simon Stone, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

21:05 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:05 GMT, 30 March 2013

Robin van Persie has warned fans not to expect an FA Cup classic between Manchester United and Chelsea on Monday.

With Chelsea still involved in the Europa League and UEFA frowning on fixtures between England's top clubs on Champions League designated days, the FA were left with little option other than to schedule the eagerly-anticipated quarter-final replay just two days after Premier League fixtures.

Even the potential for an evening kick-off was ruled out as Fulham are due to take on QPR in the Barclays Premier League at Craven Cottage.

Influence: Robin van Persie helped Manchester United to a 1-0 win at Sunderland

Influence: Robin van Persie helped Manchester United to a 1-0 win at Sunderland

Influence: Robin van Persie helped Manchester United to a 1-0 win at Sunderland

It means United will be in action 48 hours after today's win at Sunderland, with Chelsea having marginally less time to prepare following their defeat at Southampton.

It is the kind of scheduling that has England's European counterparts scratching their heads in bewilderment.

And Van Persie points out it is difficult for the players to reach a high level of performance twice in such a short period of time.

Dejection: Chelsea's top-four hopes suffered a blow on Saturday as they were beaten 2-1 by Southampton

Dejection: Chelsea's top-four hopes suffered a blow on Saturday as they were beaten 2-1 by Southampton

Sublime: Rickie Lambert's beautiful free-kick proved to be the winner at St Mary's

Sublime: Rickie Lambert's beautiful free-kick proved to be the winner at St Mary's

'It is not ideal,' he told MUTV.

'Normally on the second day your muscles are quite bad but now we have to play at this certain time.

'It is a shame but we can't do anything about it because there are Champions League games in midweek and Chelsea are still in the Europa League.

'We just have to deal with it.

'People have to realise they can't expect a great game of football because it is not possible.

'If it happens I am glad, but don't expect it because these games are just too close to each other.'

Back from the brink: Chelsea came from 2-0 behind in the original tie at Old Trafford to force a replay

Back from the brink: Chelsea came from 2-0 behind in the original tie at Old Trafford to force a replay

Van Persie was speaking after United's 1-0 win at Sunderland, which maintains their 15-point advantage over Manchester City with just eight games remaining.

City will be the opponents for Monday's victors at Stamford Bridge, with Van Persie eager to get his hands on a trophy he won with Arsenal but United have not lifted since 2004.

'It has been a while,' he said.

'It has been nine years since we last won it and we want to win the double.

'We made a big step today but we want to go for both. We have a chance to reach the semi-final against City.'

World Cup qualifying round up with Mario Balotelli and Robin van Persie both scoring twice

Super Mario continues scoring streak with two goals for Italy… and Van Persie moves above legend Cruyff in Dutch record books

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

23:49 GMT, 26 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:59 GMT, 26 March 2013

Mario Balotelli continued his hot streak in front of goals with both goals in Italy's 2-0 win over Malta.

The former Manchester City striker struck a penalty home in the eighth minute before rounding off the win with a cheeky lob inside the area on the stroke of half-time.

The victory, which also saw keeper Gianluigi Buffon deny Malta's Michael Mifsud from the penalty spot, puts Italy three points clear of Bulgaria at the top of Group B.

All smiles: Mario Balotelli celebrates scoring his second goal in Italy's 2-0 win over Malta, and in action (below)

All smiles: Mario Balotelli celebrates scoring his second goal in Italy's 2-0 win over Malta, and in action (below)

MALTA, MALTA - MARCH 26: Mario Balotelli of Italy#9 and Gareth Sciberras of Malta compete for the ball during the FIFA 2014 World Cup qualifier match between Malta and Italy at Ta Qali Stadium on March 26, 2013 in Malta, Malta.

Meanwhile, Robin van Persie's season got even better as a brace in Holland's comfortable 4-0 win over Romania lifted him above Dutch legend Johann Cryuff in the national side's all-time scoring table.

Former Spurs midfielder Rafael van der Vaart opened the scoring in the 11th minute, while after the break Van Persie struck twice, the second a penalty, and Jeremain Lens added a fourth in the final minute to leave the Netherlands seven points clear at the top of Group D.

Van Persie wasn't the only Premier League player starring in their national sides' win, as Chelsea's Eden Hazard netted the only goal of the game in Belgium's victory over Macedeonia.

Jubilation: Robin van Persie celebrates topping Johan Cryuff's scoring record, and with Arjen Robben (below)

Jubilation: Robin van Persie celebrates topping Johan Cryuff's scoring record, and with Arjen Robben (below)

RVP

The winger took the ball past two defenders before firing low with his left foot to cement his side's place at the top of Group A above Wales' conquerers Croatia.

Liverpool centre back Daniel Agger was also on target, salvaging Denmark a point against Bulgaria by converting from the spot to earn a 1-1 draw.

Watford's on-loan star Matej Vydra was another English-based player to score twice, setting the Czech republic well on their way to a 3-0 victory at Armenia before the visitors sealed the win through substitute Daniel Kolar.

On target: Chelsea's Eden Hazard scored Belgium's only goal in their triumph over Macedonia

On target: Chelsea's Eden Hazard scored Belgium's only goal in their triumph over Macedonia

In England's group, Goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Yevhen Khacheridi helped 10-man Ukraine edge to a 2-1 win over Moldova, who grabbed a late consolation through Alexandr Suvorov.

Robert Lewandowski scored two penalties either side of Lukasz Piszczek's strike, while Lukasz Teodorczyk and Jakub Kosecki were also on the scoresheet as Poland hammered San Marino 5-0.

On the up: Watford's Czech Republic striker Matej Vydra celebrates after scoring his second goal

On the up: Watford's Czech Republic striker Matej Vydra celebrates after scoring his second goal

Germany moved five points clear of Sweden at the top of Group C after their Borussia Dortmund connection inspired them to a 4-1 win over Kazakhstan.

Marco Reus was on target twice with Mario Gotze and Ilkay Gundogan also scoring for Joachim Low's men.

Top of the group: Marco Reus of Germany scores his team's fourth goal in their rout over Kazakhstan

Top of the group: Marco Reus of Germany scores his team's fourth goal in their rout over Kazakhstan

Greuther Furth's Heinrich Schmidtgal scored a consolation for the visitors, who caused Germany an unexpectedly high number of problems in the second half.

Stuttering Portugal also claimed a win, with second-half goals from Bruno Alves and Hugo Almeida sealing a 2-0 Group F victory at 10-man Azerbaijan.

Manchester United 1 Reading 0 – Match report

Manchester United 1 Reading 0: Rooney grabs winner against managerless Royals

PUBLISHED:

19:21 GMT, 16 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:37 GMT, 16 March 2013

Wayne Rooney's 16th goal of the season was enough to propel Manchester United 15 points clear with just nine games remaining in the Barclays Premier League title race.

Rooney's deflected first-half effort saw off a dogged Reading outfit, who worked hard but lacked the class to fashion an equaliser.

The Royals now look certainties for relegation, sliding seven points adrift of safety with one game fewer than United to save themselves, their decision to axe Brian McDermott akin to shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.

Jumping for joy: Wayne Rooney celebrates after scoring for Manchester United against Reading

Jumping for joy: Wayne Rooney celebrates after scoring for Manchester United against Reading

MATCH FACTS

Man Utd: De Gea, Smalling, Ferdinand, Vidic, Buttner, Welbeck, Giggs, Anderson (Kagawa 85), Young (Carrick 74), Rooney, van Persie.

Subs Not Used: Lindegaard, Evans, Valencia, Hernandez, Powell.

Goals: Rooney 21.

Reading: Taylor, Kelly (Morrison 88), Pearce, Mariappa, Shorey, Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Robson-Kanu (Le Fondre 70), McCleary, Hunt (Blackman 70).

Subs Not Used: McCarthy, Gunter, Harte, Akpan.

Booked: Hunt, Kelly.

Att: 75,605

Ref: Lee Mason (Lancashire).

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LATEST PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE, FIXTURES AND RESULTS

Thirteen points will do it for Sir Alex Ferguson's men to clinch a record 20th championship – and given one of their remaining games is against nearest challengers Manchester City, they might not even need that.

Yet taking maximum advantage of City's defeat at 10-man Everton earlier in the day was not the biggest talking point.

For that revolved around Rio Ferdinand, who rolled back the years to turn in another marvellous performance, which included claiming the assist for Rooney's winner.

The will he-won't he debate over Ferdinand's international return may not be answered for certain until Monday night, when Hodgson's squad are due to report at St George's Park.

However, there can be no doubt why Hodgson has been willing to go back on all those previous indications that he had 'moved on' from the 34-year-old.

Quite apart from the vast experience that would make Ferdinand such an unflappable presence in that vital World Cup qualifier in Montenegro on March 26, the former West Ham man also possesses an assurity in possession that few Premier League defenders of any nationality, let alone English, can match.

They all count: Rooney's shot took a deflection off Reading defender Alex Pearce before nestling in the net

They all count: Rooney's shot took a deflection off Reading defender Alex Pearce before nestling in the net

He created United's first chance for a
start with an elegant crossfield pass to Ashley Young, which the winger
controlled on the edge of the area before drilling a cross-shot just
beyond Robin van Persie, and more importantly, the far post.

Ferdinand's next incursion was the crucial one.

Nipping in to intercept Garath McCleary's poor pass, Ferdinand advanced into the open space and nipped round a static Mikele Leigertwood before feeding Rooney just to his left.

No joy: Robin van Persie tries his luck with a free kick but United failed to build on their slim advantage

No joy: Robin van Persie tries his luck with a free kick but United failed to build on their slim advantage

The striker took aim and once his
shot flicked off Alex Pearce, former Manchester City goalkeeper Stuart
Taylor had no chance of keeping it out.

Ferdinand's part was acknowledged by
the Stretford End though, along with a non-too-subtle hint that he
should reject the chance to extend his 81-cap international career.

Either side of Rooney's goal, Danny Welbeck went close on a couple of occasions and Robin van Persie tried his luck from 20 yards.

Battle: Rio Ferdinand vies for the ball with Noel Hunt as United edge to victory at Old Trafford

Battle: Rio Ferdinand vies for the ball with Noel Hunt as United edge to victory at Old Trafford

These are not the most productive of times for the Dutchman though, who has now scored once in his last 10 games.

After being thrust into the spotlight
following McDermott's controversial dismissal earlier in the week,
Eamonn Dolan became the 15th manager, including caretakers, to face the
Red Devils in their first Premier League game in charge.

Most have lost. And whilst Dolan was
not quite accepting of his fate, he seemed to have settled on a policy
of damage limitation despite Reading's position becoming even more
perilous due to earlier triumphs for Southampton and Aston Villa.

My ball: Nemanja Vidic and Noel Hunt battle during United's victory which takes them 15 points clear

My ball: Nemanja Vidic and Noel Hunt battle during United's victory which takes them 15 points clear

Only once did the visitors truly
threaten before the break, when Hal Robson-Kanu let fly with a shot
David de Gea would not have reached if it had been on target.

They should have had a chance to
equalise immediately after it though when Nemanja Vidic shoved Adrian
Mariappa over inside the box. Reading appealed for what TV replays
showed to be a clear foul but referee Lee Mason was unmoved.

United failed to profit from their good fortune, with Welbeck and Young going close either side of a wild effort from Van Persie that flew out from a throw-in.

Blow: Ashley Young's evening was cut short by injury but United held on to beat Reading at Old Trafford

Blow: Ashley Young's evening was cut short by injury but United held on to beat Reading at Old Trafford

Van Persie's loss of form seems to
have crept up unnoticed. His free-scoring ways earlier in the season are
a mere memory now, with Taylor repelling a well-struck free-kick to
keep the former Arsenal man out.

Whilst Rooney did fire over from long-range, the hosts gave Reading enough hope to believe an equaliser was possible.

It did not come though. And as certain as it appears United will end the season champions, Reading looked destined the finish it in the Championship.

In charge: Careataker manager Eamonn Dolan watched his Reading side suffer a narrow defeat

In charge: Careataker manager Eamonn Dolan watched his Reading side suffer a narrow defeat

Gareth Bale is like watching Barcelona – Martin Keown

Martin Keown's Premier League bootroom: Bale It's just like watching Barcelona…

By
Martin Keown

PUBLISHED:

22:59 GMT, 22 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:25 GMT, 23 February 2013

Gareth Bale is an incredible talent. I watched Barcelona play this week and I thought how nicely he would fit into that team.

If he were playing for Arsenal there would be a lot of talk about: 'Can they keep him'

But it doesn't apply in the same way at Spurs, where he's on a long-term deal.

The real deal: Gareth Bale has been in world-beating form at Tottenham of late

The real deal: Gareth Bale has been in world-beating form at Tottenham of late

Class act: The Spurs winger fires in a freekick against Lyon in the Europa League

Class act: The Spurs winger fires in a freekick against Lyon in the Europa League

Last season Robin van Persie was the best player in the Premier League, so Manchester City tried to buy him.

But he went to Manchester United instead and now they are benefiting from that switch in power.

Bale is in the same bracket: the sort
of player who makes things happen. It will be Bale who decides if
Tottenham can finish in the top four.

They need to make sure he stays fit
and it will be a delicate balancing act with the Europa League. I think
he is one of the best players in Europe right now.

Running with the ball in full flight,
there are not many better sights in football. He looks like he could
take off. I also like the defiance in his game.

Villa chiller at Arsenal

When his team are losing he is
providing the answers. He's also been working hard at his free kicks,
which means he's thinking hard about his game and trying to improve in
certain areas.

Tottenham have other good players:
Emmanuel Adebayor, Jermain Defoe and Mousa Dembele, who has added power
to the Spurs midfield, but they are all playing cameo roles compared to
Bale.

Their manager, Andre Villas-Boas,
said this week that he has yet to unlock Adebayor's potential and I
agree. Maybe he just needs to understand him a bit better.

You have got to keep Adebayor hungry
without showering him with too much praise. He improved more than any
other player who has worked under Arsene Wenger.

What's the score

When he came to Arsenal he was an
incredible athlete but his finishing was wayward, his touch wasn't clean
and he struggled to get that big frame around the pitch.

When he left he looked like a world beater. I think Adebayor needs to benefit from this period of stability at Tottenham now.

The manager needs to get behind him but the Togolese striker also needs to push himself, just like Bale has done.

ABOUT TIME

FIFA have finally agreed to use
goalline technology at the 2014 World Cup. Isn't it ridiculous it has
taken them this long It won't be the end of the debate, though.

Instead of analysing TV replays, we will argue about the accuracy of the technology.

We also need to educate people that the whole of the ball has to be over the white line for it to count as a goal.

Keep your hair on, Fellaini

Marouane Fellai ni thinks he gets booked so often because of his flamboyant hairstyle.

Sorry Marouane, but it's nothing to do with your hair: it's your reaction that counts against you.

He is seldom the first offender when
the cards come out. I felt sorry for him in his spat with Ryan Shawcross
but he has to learn not to react.

Keep your hair on: Marouane Fellaini

Keep your hair on: Marouane Fellaini

You have to be able to look after yourself but you just can't rise to it – although I was sometimes guilty of that, I admit.

P.S. Arsene Wenger has accused his
critics of 'superficial analysis', but I would love to know his thinking
behind the triple substitution he made against Bayern Munich.

I've never seen him do that before.

Bootroom

Reading v Wigan

Bootroom teams

Manchester United 2 Reading 1: match report – Javier Hernandez and Nani score

Manchester United 2 Reading 1: Clinical Nani and Hernandez see off brave Royals

PUBLISHED:

21:56 GMT, 18 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 18 February 2013

Manchester United were made to sweat after Jobi McAnuff scored a late Reading goal after the hosts had gone two goals up.

After relentless pressure, Sir Alex Ferguson's men finally scored on 69 minutes when Nani struck from an Antonio Valencia pass.

Javier Hernandez scored United's second just three minutes after the opener, but McAnuff coolly slotted past David de Gea to make things interesting for the final ten minutes.

Near post: Javier Hernandez nodded the ball past Adam Federici to put the Reds 2-0 up

Near post: Javier Hernandez nodded the ball past Adam Federici to put the Reds 2-0 up

Breached: Nani finally opened the scoring for Manchester United at Old Trafford

Breached: Nani finally opened the scoring for Manchester United at Old Trafford

MATCH FACTS

Manchester United: De Gea, Jones (Nani 42), Smalling, Vidic, Buttner, Valencia, Anderson (Carrick 84), Young (Van Persie 64), Cleverley, Hernandez, Welbeck

Subs not used: Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Giggs, Kagawa

Goals: Nani 69, Hernandez 72

Reading: Federici, Shorey, Mariappa, Morrison, Kelly, Karacan, Leigertwood (Guthrie 63), McAnuff, Le Fondre, Hunt, McCleary (Robson-Kanu 70)

Subs not used: Andersen, Gunter, Pearce, Daniel Carrico, Pogrebnyak

Goal: McAnuff 81

Referee: Andre Marriner

More to follow…

Wheeling away: Nani came off the bench for Phil Jones in the first half

Wheeling away: Nani came off the bench for Phil Jones in the first half

Fist pump: Sir Alex Ferguson gestures to the home crowd as he makes his way out after half-time

Fist pump: Sir Alex Ferguson gestures to the home crowd as he makes his way out after half-time

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Chase: Danny Guthrie attempts to keep pace with Manchester United's Anderson

Chase: Danny Guthrie attempts to keep pace with Manchester United's Anderson

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Blow: Phil Jones was taken off in the first half through injury

Blow: Phil Jones was taken off in the first half through injury

Blow: Phil Jones was taken off in the first half through injury

Blow: Phil Jones was taken off in the first half through injury

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Words of wisdom: Ferguson (left) talks to fourth official Phil Dowd as the pair leave at half-time

Words of wisdom: Ferguson (left) talks to fourth official Phil Dowd as the pair leave at half-time

Wayne Rooney to stop taking penalties for Manchester United

Spot of bother: Rooney hands over penalty duties to Van Persie after series of misses

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

10:22 GMT, 2 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:59 GMT, 2 February 2013

Wayne Rooney has announced will stop taking penalties for Manchester United and hand the responsibility over to strike partner Robin van Persie.

The England striker admitted his form from 12 yards has not been good enough and feels it is time to allow Van Persie to become the designated penalty taker.

Rooney’s record from the spot during his Old Trafford career is poor with 17 goals from 28 attempts and his most recent miss against West Ham in the FA Cup proved to be his last.

Over it goes: Wayne Rooney misses from the spot against West Ham

Over it goes: Wayne Rooney misses from the spot against West Ham

Ryan Giggs stepped up to take the spot kick against Fulham in the FA Cup last week – and scored – despite Rooney being on the pitch.

And Rooney said: 'To be honest, it was my choice. At a club like this, to miss two penalties the way I have and not hit the target was not good enough.

'I went in to speak with the manager and said, 'I spoke with Robin van Persie and said he can take them'.’

Rooney has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks with former United captain Roy Keane saying the miss against West Ham would be the 'last penalty' Rooney would take.

Over it goes: Rooney sees his effort go over the bar

Over it goes: Rooney sees his effort go over the bar

Meanwhile, Sir Bobby Charlton has hailed Rooney and backed the Manchester United striker to join the growing list of players to reach a century of England caps.

Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole is set to become the seventh player to make 100 England appearances when Brazil visit Wembley on Wednesday, and Charlton fully expects Rooney – who has 78 caps at the age of 27 – to follow suit.

That's it: Rooney decided to stop taking penalties after this miss

That's it: Rooney decided to stop taking penalties after this miss

Charlton, England's record goalscorer with 49 goals in 106 internationals, said in the new book England Centurions: 'Wayne Rooney has the potential to reach 100 caps and much more. He is a great talent, an automatic choice when we have a shortage of top international talent.'

Cole will follow in the footsteps of Peter Shilton (125), David Beckham (115), Bobby Moore (108), Charlton, Billy Wright (105) and Steven Gerrard (100) in reaching the milestone if he takes the field against Brazil.

Charlton said of the 32-year-old: 'Ashley Cole is a good player, and no-one could not be considered top quality to reach 100 caps, and also in top condition because it does demand stamina to play on for so long.

'So I would wish all those reaching 100 caps 'good luck'.'