Out With The Old

This summer’s English football transfer window saw more last-minute signings than any other I can remember, and not only were there lots of players switching clubs, but many of them were big names too. Manchester United were the busiest of the lot, bringing in a whole host of players to help re-build a flagging squad with the hope of an immediate return to European competition. Angel di Maria and Marcos Rojo had barely had time to unpack their suitcases before they were joined at the club by Dutchman Daley Blind and Colombian striker Radamel Falcao.

A trip to cover the England U18 team against the Netherlands was followed by the new players’ unveilings at Old Trafford…

A grid of stock pictures from the England U18 match against the Netherlands at Leigh Sports Village near Manchester
A grid of stock pictures from the England U18 match against the Netherlands at Leigh Sports Village near Manchester

 

Man Utd manager Louis van Gaal arrives for a photocall alongside new signings Radamel Falcao (L) and Daley Blind
Man Utd manager Louis van Gaal arrives for a photocall alongside new signings Radamel Falcao (L) and Daley Blind
Man Utd manager Louis van Gaal poses during a photocall with new signings Radamel Falcao (L) and Daley Blind
Man Utd manager Louis van Gaal poses during a photocall with new signings Radamel Falcao (L) and Daley Blind

 

Manchester United replica shirts for sale in the club's megastore, many of which bear the name of new signing Falcao
Manchester United replica shirts for sale in the club’s megastore, many of which bear the name of new signing Falcao

 

On Saturday, I travelled to Anfield to see how a Suarez-less Liverpool would fare against Aston Villa…

 

Young Liverpool fans have their picture taken on a mobile phone outside Anfield
Young Liverpool fans have their picture taken on a mobile phone outside Anfield

 

A young Liverpool fan with a Liver bird shaved into his hair
A young Liverpool fan with a Liver bird shaved into his hair

 

A sign showing support for Liverpool's new signing, Mario Balotelli
A sign showing support for Liverpool’s new signing, Mario Balotelli

 

Steven Gerrard of Liverpool battles with Gabriel Agbonlahor of Aston Villa
Steven Gerrard of Liverpool battles with Gabriel Agbonlahor of Aston Villa

 

Dejan Lovren of Liverpool flies through the air past Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan
Dejan Lovren of Liverpool flies through the air past Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan

 

Gabriel Agbonlahor the first and only goal of the game after just 9 minutes
Gabriel Agbonlahor the first and only goal of the game after just 9 minutes

 

Philippe Senderos of Villa and his teammate Nathan Baker celebrate victory over Liverpool
Philippe Senderos of Villa and his teammate Nathan Baker celebrate victory over Liverpool

 

The next day I returned to Old Trafford, where Manchester United were taking on Queens Park Rangers in the tea time kick-off. The ‘Gaal-acticos’ (as they’d already been cringingly dubbed) were out to make a statement. It’s clear the manager isn’t the sort of person to accept anything less…

 

A tattoo of the Man Utd club crest on a fan's leg
A tattoo of the Man Utd club crest on a fan’s leg

 

A young Man Utd fan welcomes the influx of megastars to Old Trafford
A young Man Utd fan welcomes the influx of megastars to Old Trafford

 

Robin van Persie sprays water over his face before their game against Queens Park Rangers
Robin van Persie sprays water over his face before their game against Queens Park Rangers

 

Water drips from Robin van Persie's face
Water drips from Robin van Persie’s face

 

Angel di Maria's free kick bounces into the corner of the net to give Man Utd a 1-0 lead
Angel di Maria’s free kick bounces into the corner of the net to give Man Utd a 1-0 lead

 

Ander Herrera strikes home to extend Man Utd's lead to 2-0
Ander Herrera strikes home to extend Man Utd’s lead to 2-0

 

Wayne Rooney adds a 3rd goal for Man Utd
Wayne Rooney adds a 3rd goal for Man Utd

 

Ander Herrera (L) of Man Utd congratulates Wayne Rooney on his goal
Ander Herrera (L) of Man Utd congratulates Wayne Rooney on his goal

 

Ander Herrera (L) and Angel di Maria (R) celebrate with Wayne Rooney after he scored their 3rd goal
Ander Herrera (L) and Angel di Maria (R) celebrate with Wayne Rooney after he scored their 3rd goal

 

Juan Mata completes the rout, scoring Man Utd's 4th goal of the afternoon
Juan Mata completes the rout, scoring Man Utd’s 4th goal of the afternoon

 

Juan Mata celebrates after scoring Man Utd's 4th goal
Juan Mata celebrates after scoring Man Utd’s 4th goal

 

A grid of stock pictures showing Man Utd's new signings in action
A grid of stock pictures showing Man Utd’s new signings in action

 

Robin van Persie of Man Utd battles with former teammate Rio Ferdinand, now of QPR
Robin van Persie of Man Utd battles with former teammate Rio Ferdinand, now of QPR

 

Armand Traore of QPR looks disappointed as his side crash to a 4-0 defeat
Armand Traore of QPR looks disappointed as his side crash to a 4-0 defeat

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s