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United Slip, Dzeko's Champers, Salford FC, Devils, And-Erson

Week 1: Premier League kicks off in NW sport round-up

Written by . Published on August 18th 2014.

United Slip, Dzeko's Champers, Salford FC, Devils, And-Erson

Van Gaal's False Start

What has pre-season taught us? Not a lot on this evidence. Just when the Van Gaal allstars had conquered the best teams around the world as part of their globe trotting, shirt-selling pre-season campaign, they were brought back down to earth with a bump.

The much praised tactician tinkered with his team throughout, dropping his favoured 3-5-2 for 4-4-2 at half time, but could find no way past a counter-attacking Swansea side that seemed to pick holes in Van Gaal's formation at will.

Expect an emergency meeting between chief executive Ed Woodward and VG very early in the week to outline plans to strengthen the fragile squad. Whilst the blue half of Manchester addressed their weaknesses over the summer, it appears that the red half still have a lot of work to do.

Reports suggest VG has demanded the acquisition of Di Maria. Anderson, Nani and Young all look set for the chop, with Nani involved in a possible swap deal for Sporting Lisbon's Dojo.


Strong City Out The Blocks

What a difference a week makes. One-paced, predictable and unmotivated a week ago at Wembley compared to vibrant, exciting and hard-working against a rejuvenated Newcastle side on Sunday - and that was just Edin Dzeko. His back heel-assist being the champagne moment of the match and a clear sign that the Bosnian is playing with confidence.

A clean sheet was a predictable outcome with Newcastle failing for the sixth time in seven meetings to beat Joe Hart. With Pellegrini insisting that the Champions avoid a repeat of the 'disaster' they experienced after winning the title, this clean sheet, away win and scoring return of talisman Aguero is a strong signal of intent from the Blues.

Salford See Off Scarborough

The red half of Manchester couldn’t do it, but the red half of Salford could. Starting off a new era with a comprehensive victory. The game of the weekend was at Moor Lane, where the 'Class of 92' backed side got the season off to a winning start.

With Phil Neville in attendance, alongside a crowd of over 300, Salford City FC ran out 4-1 winners against Scarborough FC with a combination of a Gareth Seddon hat trick and a promising debut from former Manchester United player Danny Webber.

If you want to follow a cup campaign from start to finish, Salford City have been drawn in the FA Cup preliminary round, which is only thirteen wins from Wembley. No odds were available on their chances of victory next May.

Salford City FCSalford City FC

Salford Red Devils.

Manchester’s Premier Rugby League club kept their slim play-off hopes alive with a win over the Catalan Dragons. A less than impressive first half of the season has been rescued by the signing of New Zealand full back Kevin Locke. Much like Accrington Stanley signing Lionel Messi in the January transfer window, Salford have been riding along on the back of Locke’s talent with a further two tries and three converted kicks seeing them to a 34-22 victory.

Iestyn Harris' side have three must-win-games remaining and must hope other results go their way if they are to make the play-offs.

Lancashire CC

Red Rose favourite James Anderson spearheaded an ever improving England Cricket team to victory against a dismal Indian team in the final test match of the series at The Oval. In the process Anderson edged to only three wickets short of Sir Ian Botham’s 383 wicket record. Though he will have to wait until April 2015 before England are back in their cricket whites for the five day format.

Botham, when quizzed about the prospect of who is the better cricketer, pointed out that Jimmy will have to score fourteen test hundreds before he really catches him up. You tell him Beefy.

James Anderson: not as good as BeefJames Anderson: not as good as Beef

Stat Of The Week

The increase in money from the old to the new Premier League television deals could be used to subsidise match day ticket prices in full. In other words, if the extra £2bn (£667m a season) was passed fully onto fans, ticket prices would be free (based on a £30 ticket).

Or give it all to the players, they probably need it.

Stupid Stat Of The Week

Saturday's BBC Football Focus asked viewers to vote on 'Who's Going To Win The League' poll on Saturday 16 August. Current champions Manchester City only received 7% of the vote... 7%? Lawro's collar nearly flew off.

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AnonymousAugust 20th 2014.

Angel Di Maria would never sign for the now "clapped out" Man United. I think he'd be a fantastic acquisition for Man City instead though. Navas has been so disappointing out on that right wing - and Sami Nasri's ability to turn games on their head (like Silva & Di Maria can) just isn't there really. If Valencia buy Negredo for £25 million, plus our other sales - then a £50million bid for Di Maria under FFP rules may be in our reach? Erm, I wonder.

1 Response: Reply To This...
LVG Will Do For Me!September 3rd 2014.

Not only Di Maria but Falcao too!

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