This is the fourth in a series of previews of Fulham's opponents in the English Premier League. Manchester United are one of the best football clubs in the world. The team resides in Manchester England. They play their matches at Old Trafford. The capacity is over 75,000. This club's huge fan base is worldwide.
Last season Manchester United finished second in the English Premier League. They had won the title three years in a row before last year's campaign. This club is still a juggernaut. They are led by Sir Alex Ferguson who has to be one of the greatest managers of all time. Players to watch include Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs, and Dimitar Berbatov. Manchester United are loaded again this season.
To help me with this preview I wanted to find the right person who knows this club inside and out. Scott the Red has the website Republik of Mancunia. This blog is an excellent place to go for fans of Manchester United. I would highly recommend it. Scott is born and bred in Manchester England. He is a United season ticket holder. He has also been blogging on Manchester United since the 2005 - 2006 season.
Scott is definitely the right person to speak about his club. I asked him several different questions about the team. I think his answers will give an insight to the upcoming season for Manchester United. Below is my Q & A with Scott the Red of Republik of Mancunia.
What are your thoughts on last year's season for Manchester United?
Scott the Red: It was our worst season for a while, so I'm amazed we finished just 1 point behind. Injuries happen to every team, but I've never known a team to be without pretty much all their players from one position. I remember the game against Fulham, we had Kuszczak in goal, Carrick and Fletcher as our central defenders, and De Laet, who has only ever played a couple of games for us, at right back. You are never going to win the league when putting out sides like that but there wasn't a lot we could do about it. We have 10 defenders in the squad but they were pretty much all injured.
What are your general feelings on the state of Manchester United as the season is about to begin?
Scott the Red: The same as they are at the beginning of every season. I think we'll win the league. We could do with another central midfielder, with Anderson and Hargreaves still not about, but I'm hoping Nani and Valencia will improve on last season, with Hernandez adding to what we've already got too.
What Manchester United players are the keys to your success this season?
Scott the Red: Rooney, obviously. Not just in terms of goals but the way his never-say-die attitude influences the rest of our players. Darren Fletcher for that same battling input. If we can keep Vidic and Van der Sar fit that will have a massive effect too.
What style of play would you say Manchester United play?
Scott the Red: Attacking. We're solid defensively which gives the rest of our team license to go forward.
What are the strengths of Manchester United?
Scott the Red: We've got a load of players who are proud to play for our team. I remember Harry Redknapp talking about our lads last season, saying that we had players who didn't even make the bench for Spurs last season, but were up in the stands celebrating every goal and contesting every decision, and he was saying that attitude is what every club should aspire to have - players that aren't even in the match day squad but react like fans when the game is going on. By and large, our players care about what happens on the pitch, not just when the next pay day is, and that's what gives us the extra effort come injury time!
What are the weaknesses of Manchester United?
Scott the Red: Players like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs are still absolutely quality, but don't have the legs to play ever game, and we don't have the consistent quality to replace them.
What players were key acquisitions so far for Manchester United?
Scott the Red: Hernandez. I know it's too early to judge, but since signing for us, he's scored in every game in the pre-season. He looks a class act and at 22, his best years are ahead of him. Smalling could be a key one for the future, particularly with Rio getting on and being so injury prone these days, but we'll see.
Who are some of the young players of the future for Manchester United?
Scott the Red: Tom Cleverley seems to be the brightest emerging star. He had a great season on loan for Watford and has looked good in the pre-season.
On your manager Sir Alex Ferguson, do you think he is the greatest manager ever in English football?
Scott the Red: Yes. Had he just won a lot of trophies with one team, that would be one thing, but he's built four or five teams at United now, and won the league with all of them. 11 league titles, 2 European Cups, 5 FA Cups, 4 League Cups, plus a fair few other European and World titles. I mean, there's surely no question he's the best, is there?
Do you think he will retire once Manchester United have the most titles in English football?
Scott the Red: Nope. Obviously he is driven by beating Liverpool's record but that's not the be all and end all to him. I'm sure it mattered to him a lot more in the early days but they haven't won the league for 20 years. Fergie has got bigger fish to fry.
What are your thoughts on your owners the Glazer family?
Scott the Red: I think they are diabolical.
What are your predictions for Manchester United in the Champions League?
Scott the Red: It's all about Barcelona really, isn't it? You can't look past them winning it this season. But United will give it a good go. I don't think we've got the depth to be serious contenders but with the luck of the draw, you never know eh.
What are your predictions for Manchester United in the English Premier League?
Scott the Red: I think we'll win it.
I want to thank Scott the Red for his help and his time on this preview. Please do check out his website the Republick Of Mancunia. I also did a preview for his website on Fulham. Please feel free to check it out here.