Reuters Soccer Blog
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“You can’t win anything with kids,” said former Liverpool defender Alan Hansen of Manchester United’s young team in 1995. Alex Ferguson’s troops went on to win the Premier League that season in 1996.
Are we about to see a similar outcome in the 2011/12 season after Ferguson hauled off the experienced trio of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Michael Carrick with United 2-0 down to rivals Manchester City before they staged a second-half comeback to win the Community Shield 3-2 on Sunday?
Centre backs Phil Jones and Jonny Evans coped well with City’s vast array of attacking talent, while Carrick’s replacement Tom Cleverley was pivotal in the move that led to Nani’s sublime equaliser, pinging passes with Wayne Rooney around the box.
Rooney even called them “young”, the England man himself only 25.
Another youngster is new keeper David de Gea, who was far from convincing in the first half but saved smartly from David Silva in the second period and will need some time to convince any early doubters that he is the man to fill the boots of Edwin van der Sar.
Enjoy. That we will. Cristiano Ronaldo is back for Real Madrid and Gareth Bale for Tottenham Hotspur as four teams prepare for their biggest games this season in the Champions League quarter-final first legs on Tuesday.
Spurs forward Rafael van der Vaart is returning to the Bernabeu and would clearly love to make an impact on his old side.
Welcome back after a breathtaking weekend of soccer action around Europe. If you missed anything then read our European roundup.
Now for some blogs. The real drama of the weekend came on Saturday, when FIFA banned the snood (in our picture). Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has said they shouldn’t be worn by real men. What do you think?
Has Alex Ferguson got lucky or did he see something in Nani that nobody else could?
The Scot has always stood by the Manchester United winger despite his extremely unfavorable comparison with Cristiano Ronaldo and on Sunday against Arsenal all the pieces appeared to fall into place for a player who has flattered to deceive.
Enter Ryan Giggs.
The veteran Welshman was introduced as a substitute for the often infuriating Nani after 57 minutes and took just five more to provide the pass from which Dimitar Berbatov broke the