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UNITED WE STAND

344 | 5

1.Anderson was loaned to which Italian club in 2014?

2. Gary Pallister was sold to who in 1998?

3. Daniel James joined United from which club in 2019?

4. What African country does Amad Diallo represent at international level?

5. What were the scores in last season’s two league games against West Ham?

Answers on page 30

6. Which former Dutch United keeper is the current goalkeeping coach at Shakhtar Donetsk?

7. Who am I? Zwolle, Cambuur, William II, PSV, United (127 games, one goal), Lazio, Milan, Ajax.

8. In what season did United last face Bristol City in a competitive game?

9. Between 2015 and 2017, Javier Hernandez played in the Bundesliga for which German team?

10. Can you name all six clubs David Moyes has managed professionally?

Mad Cyril While still incredibly early days, it seems clear that the new regime under Jim Ratcliffe appears to have way more authority on all aspects of the club than a 25 per cent stake may have suggested. Keeping the Glazers on in any way is far from ideal, of course, but this looked like the only way to get a foot in the door and assert any influence at all. Since it has come to light that the rival bid from Qatar failed to prove sufficient finance anyway, then there was no other choice and, while we may dislike Ratcliffe’s tax avoidance and dubious politics, he has taken more action to improve the club in a few weeks than the Glazers have in nearly 20 years.

Appointing Omar Berrada as the new chief executive shows the new regime’s intent to employ the best in class. Some Reds have found old anti-United tweets from Berrada and flagged them up. Personally, I find the allegations of corruption at his two previous clubs, city and Barcelona, slightly more a cause for concern.

Berrada believes that any players not deemed a success within two years should be moved on. That should be music to the ears of fans — in the same week we were told Anthony Martial will be out for a further 10 weeks with a groin strain. Will we even notice he isn’t available?

All the players and management alike must surely now be feeling the pressure to perform all of a sudden, after working under a rudderless regime doing as they pleased for so long, on astronomical wages they don’t deserve. Shape up or be shipped out. Certain players have become public enemy number one in the eyes of the fans due to lack of work-rate and having ideas above their station, but the general malaise actually applies to most of them. I have watched United for four decades plus and, for the first time, if someone asked me who my favourite player is, I wouldn’t be able to answer, and definitely not because I’m spoiled for choice.

Our match-going support have been VERY tolerant with the players and manager; there are no obvious protestations at matches, more an acceptance and apathy. But patience is wearing thin. Lack of effort or, in some cases, players who are simply not good enough. Most of whom are on bumper contracts, so tough decisions will have to be made by the new regime. Bite the bullet and write off millions to make a statement? Time will tell.

The manager must be feeling this also. During the disastrous start to the campaign, was there anybody at the club to make a decision? To pull him up on our lack of tactics? How are we outplayed week in, week out by inferior players who simply look like they are coached better? Why the same schoolboy mistakes, game after game?

Once the off-field recruitment is all put into place, then it will be the on-field. Players and management have got time to plead their case, but will they have long enough?

with us, is he? 12: In a world full of madness and sadness there’s some good news, with the celebration around ex-Liverpool striker Sadio Mane’s marriage. The 31-year-old has wedded his long-term girlfriend in a ceremony in Dakar. He is now returning to the Africa Cup of Nations, and she’s going back to school as she’s only 18. Long-term girlfriend…. 13: Reading emulate our efforts of a couple of years back by getting their game called off against Port Vale – abandoned after thousands of supporters stormed the pitch in the 16th minute in protest against club owner Dai Yongge. Fans have protested throughout the season, setting up the “Sell Before We Dai” group. Tennis balls had been thrown in the opening minute of the game, which caused a delay, but once the 16th minute came (the amount of points the club has been deducted under Dai Yongge) thousands of fans ran on and got the game abandoned. The game will be replayed, and a suspended three-point deduction applied should any more games be called off. 14: Tottenham come to Old Trafford and gain a draw they seem more pleased with than we are. 15: Everton and Nottingham Forest have been charged for breaking financial rules, and both face a points deduction. So why just these two teams? Richard Masters, Prem boss, was asked whether big clubs were treated differently to others when it came to the league’s PSR. “The standard directions [on PSR] are for everybody, they’re not just for the small clubs,” he answered. That’s nine-times league title-winners Everton, double European Cup winners Nottingham Forest. “Small clubs”? 16: Jose Mourinho has been sacked by Roma; a fourth defeat to Lazio in six marking the end of a love affair with the fans of the club. And at last a date has been set for city to answer charges for their alleged 115 misdemeanours. When? You’re not allowed to know. So why the delay when other clubs are punished? Because the other clubs have “co-operated” and were found guilty (though still deny it and have

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