October 18, 2017

Everything you need to know about… Marcos Rojo

Posted on August 19, 2014 by in English Premier League, Man United

The 60-second story

Marcos Rojo’s journey from Argentina to Manchester United has been neither simple nor smooth. Lured in December 2010 from hometown club Estudiantes to Spartak Moscow, the then 20-year-old struggled – and a summer 2012 switch to Sporting Lisbon began in similar style.

Rash tackling, suspect positioning and an over-belligerent approach made him a liability at centre-back in his initial displays. Although he looked far more comfortable on the few occasions he was used at left-back, he made a full contribution to literally the worst season in the club’s 106 years of existence.

But in 2013/14, a rejuvenated Sporting finished second, and the night-and-day transition from the previous season was perfectly reflected on an individual level by the Argentine defender. Without losing his bristling aggression, Rojo showed he was intelligent enough to learn from his mistakes and was the club’s most improved player.

He became a pillar and a leader at the centre of defence, utilising his lightning pace to make endless timely interventions. He also became a potent goal threat with his powerful aerial game and thunderous left-foot shot, scoring six goals during the season – before impressing again at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
Why you need to know him
Because he’s signing for Manchester United. Marcos Rojo is a player perfectly suited to the unmatched physicality and pace of Premier League football. “I always liked English football. I’m sure I’ll adapt quickly to the style of play,” Rojo said yesterday.
His attributes back up that belief. Pacy and powerful, there is no doubt the Argentine will be up to the physical demands of English club football.
Strengths
Two of Rojo’s foremost assets are his speed and strength. He is also excellent in the air, posing a real threat in the opposition box at set pieces. He has a wonderful left foot which he uses to good effect, firing off thunderous shots and delivering dangerous crosses from the left flank. While the way he forced his move out of Sporting left an unpleasant taste, on the pitch there was never any doubting his commitment was absolute.

Weaknesses

Without being a malicious player, Rojo can be reckless in his efforts to get to the ball first, flying into tackles, as attested by 27 yellow cards and five reds in two seasons in Portugal. He has improved this facet of his game considerably, but there is still work to do: he managed to pick up a suspension after just four matches at the World Cup. When playing at centre-back, he has a tendency to be pulled out of position.
They said…
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone: “Rojo won the hearts of the Argentines at the World Cup. He was very good both attacking and defending. [Alejandro] Sabella put his trust in him and he responded really well. He had an excellent World Cup and was the best left-back among the four semi-finalists.”

Did you know?
Rojo was the only Argentine named in the Castrol Index Top 11 for the Brazil World Cup.

What happens next?
Opinion is very much split regarding whether or not Rojo’s move to Manchester United will be a success. The defender would appear to have the perfect assets to fit on the left of Louis van Gaal’s desired three-man defence: experience at both left-back and centre-back, pace to burn to cover for lack of numbers, accurate short and long-distance distribution, and unstinting energy and staying power.

He will have to work hard on his positioning and some growing pains are to be expected as he learns the new system, but just as at the World Cup, he could well prove the doubters wrong and do well at Old Trafford.

 

Man United win the Premiership and QPR get kicked out

Posted on April 29, 2013 by in Man United

Manchester United secured their 20th Premier League title Monday night after defeating Aston Villa 3-0 on the strength of a first-half hat trick by Robin van Persie. The victory gave the Red Devils a 16 point lead over Manchester City with four games remaining and thus clinching the title.

Manchester United signed a EPL club sponsorship deal with bwin last year and used some of that money over the summer to secure Van Persie, a deal that has proved to be the difference maker this season for the club.

Van Persie wasted little time reminding fans of his importance to the club this season as he first home a goal just 81 seconds into the contest. He then fired home goals at the 13th and 33rd minute to secure the hat trick. The first goal proved to be enough as the club ran a clean sheet against Aston Villa, a team struggling to remain in the premier league.

This game was a contrast in teams with differing goals. The Red Devils were looking to add another title to their long and storied history while Aston Villa is looking just to retain their spot in the Premier League. The club is just three points above Wigan with four games remaining.

Wigan, Queens Park Rangers, and Reading where slated for relegation after the season based on their position. Aston Villa is three point ahead of Wigan with four games left but is not the only club flirting with relegation. Sunderland, Stoke City, and Newcastle United are only 6 points above Wigan and must keep losses to a minimal to stave off relegation. QPR will be relegated this season but, Harry Rednapp has will stay with the club and help them retrieve their rightful position in the English Premier League.

Champions League Final 2013 Predictions

Posted on February 12, 2013 by in Champions League, Man United

The UEFA Champions League matchups have been announced and football enthusiasts across the globe are busy speculating on which teams will make it through to the finals. Today, we’ll explore the Champions League Final 2013 predictions.

Notably, to the dismay of many football fans who would love to see a high-stakes encounter between longtime rivals Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson, favourites Manchester United and Real Madrid will not be appearing in a 2013 Champions League matchup.

The reason? Both Real Madrid and Manchester United have been selected to play in the stand-out tie of the last 16 Champions League teams on 13th February 2013. Despite their incredible popularity, only one of the two teams will be eligible to play in the final.

Note; if any games in the tournament right up to the final Unibet will refund loosing bets on a generous range of Championship betting markets.  Live betting markets included if losing bets are on Correct Score, Halftime/Fulltime and First Goalscorer, and Last Goalscorer markets.  

A total of 16 teams have proceeded to the knock-out stage, which is comprised of 16 match ups. The most likely successors are Real Madrid and Barcelona, which will no doubt meet each other again in the final. Real Madrid hold the record for most Champions League finals, as they’ve won a total of 9.

Let’s have a look at the knock-out stage matches and the latest predictions. The first legs will be played on 12, 13, 19 and 20 February, with the second legs slated for 5, 6, 12 and 13 March 2013.

On 20 February, Milan and Barcelona will take to the pitch. This match is going to be one to watch, since many predictions have Barcelona coming out on top and proceeding to the finals. The second leg is scheduled for 12 March, 2013.

Valencia will take on Paris Saint-Germain on 12 February, with a second leg slated for 6 March. This match up will also be one to watch, as David Beckham will be playing for free. Predictions have Paris Saint-Germain knocking out Valencia.

Among the most anticipated match ups, Manchester United and Real Madrid will battle it out on the pitch on 13 February, with a second leg set for 5 March. Predictions have Real Madrid coming out on top.

Another match-up, set for 20 February, is between Galatasaray and Schalke 04, with a second leg set for 12 March, 2013. Predictions have Schalke 04 coming out on top for the win.

The second match-up is between Celtic and Juventus, with the first leg scheduled for 12 February and the second leg to take place on 6 March. Of this pairing, predictions have Juventus favoured for the win.

On 19 February, Arsenal and Bavern Munich will take to the pitch for the first leg; a second leg is slated for 13 March. Arsenal is the favourite and predictions have this team taking this knock-out match.

Shakhtar Donetsk will play Borussia Dortmund on 13 February. The second leg is set for 5 March. Of these two teams, it’s predicted that Shakhtar Donestsk will take the win.

And finally, Porto will take on Malaga on 19 February. The second leg is set for 13 March. If predictions are correct, Porto will be victorious.

A monumental battle for the top 4

Posted on December 31, 2009 by in English Premier League, Liverpool, Man United, Spurs

How will the fight for premiership title develop? The battle for the top four is hotting up.

With Chelsea not looking the dominant force they once where it is not a clear cut finish for the Premiership title.  Some have commented that Chelsea are not the dominant force they once where.  With the parture of Didier Drogba to play in the Africa Cup of Nations Carlo Ancellotti is having to put his hope in the young strikers Fabio Borini and Daniel Sturridge.  Neither have scored for the club before.  Ancellotti can’t rely on Anelka because he is injured.  On top of this fellow Ivory Coast player Salomon Kalou and Ghana’s Michael Essien are also leaving to play in the Africa cup of Nations.

(more…)