News, views and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.
Boss David Moyes praised Shinji Kagawa for ‘his best performance yet’ this season after being included in the Champions League clash, following his ‘plea’ for more access to first-team football.
“It was Shinji's best game in my time," said Moyes.
"We brought him in during pre-season and he hasn't really found his feet. This time I saw something from Shinji which I hadn't seen in other games. I was really pleased with that."
United also introduced their new ‘singing section’ at Old Trafford on Wednesday night’s win, intended to improve the atmosphere within.
Those supporters involved in the singing section hope to extend it for more games this season, hailing it as a success.
In the continuing fallout from Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography, former Arsenal player and Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson revealed he was ‘shocked’ by Ferguson’s criticism of Roy Keane in his book.
"I'm absolutely shocked," he told Sky Sports News.
“I can understand a player from the early eighties in the lower leagues who never really earned a lot of money in the game who brought a book out and probably had to have a go at a couple of players to sell a book. I can understand that.”
“But someone like Sir Alex Ferguson? He's done so much in the game. Surely when he said he wanted to write a book, the book company said 'you need to slaughter him, him and him or we aren't really going to print this,” he added.
Reds boss Brendan Rodgers dismissed the comments about the England captain as ‘harsh’ and criticised Ferguson for lacking ‘values.’
"I think everyone who's seen the comments will think they are harsh.”
"Anyone who’s been in football knows that whatever is said behind closed doors and in the changing room is something you wouldn’t want to hear again," he said.
Joey Barton took to Twitter to defend Gerrard against Ferguson’s remarks:
"On a serious note. Gerrard for me, was better than Roy Keane. At one stage he was up there with the best midfielders in the World,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, Stoke boss and former United player Mark Hughes ‘warned’ United they can only afford to lose three more games if they want to retain the title.
“I think Manchester United will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season for the title,” he explained.
“But you have to be careful. There are only a certain amount of games you can lose. Five or six enables you to still be in the title race.”
“Lose any more than six then you make it very difficult for yourself, nigh on impossible. They have lost three at the moment. They can't afford many more slip ups,” he added.
United face Hughes’ Stoke this weekend, with full previews and team news released tomorrow.
image: © Paolo Camera