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Friday, November 9, 2007

Peter Schemeichel

Full name: Peter Bolesław Schmeichel
Date of birth: November 18, 1963 (1963-11-18) (age 43)
Place of birth: Gladsaxe, Denmark
Height: 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Playing position: Goalkeeper
Appearances: 296
Goal: 1


Rooney out for a month

Wayne Rooney will be out of action for up to four weeks after injuring his ankle in training on Friday.

The striker will miss Sunday's match against Blackburn Rovers. Fortunately the upcoming international break means he could miss as little as three further games, against Bolton, Sporting Lisbon and Fulham.

Sir Alex will be hopeful of having the 22-year-old striker ready for action for the trip to Anfield on 16 December.

A club spokesperson told "Wayne Rooney injured his right ankle in training and will be out for about four weeks."

It is even more frustrating considering Rooney's scintillating form since overcoming a fractured metatarsal sustained on the opening day of the season.

He has only just been named Barclays Player of the Month for October, having netted eight goals in his last seven games.

Sir Alex had said earlier on Friday that he wants to use Louis Saha sparingly and from the substitutes' bench, but he will now be forced to call on the Frenchman as Carlos Tevez's regular strike-partner. Read more...

Saha set for new role

Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed plans to use Louis Saha as a substitute more often.

Six of the Frenchman’s seven appearances this season have come as a sub, and Sir Alex increasingly envisages the 29-year-old forward being an impact player to come off the bench and change games.

Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez have performed exceptionally this term. But where Saha was once seen as a first-choice starter, Sir Alex now plans to use him tactically and, he hopes, to greater effect.

“The situation Louis finds himself in with his knee condition means he won’t play every game,” said Sir Alex. “The dilemma is whether to start him or bring him on.

“If you look at the composition of the side, he is different from everyone else, so he makes a bigger impact as a substitute. He makes a great impact. Therefore my inclination is to use him as a sub. He’s fine with that.”

United had great success using Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as a substitute. The Norwegian forward – 150 of his 366 appearances for United coming as a sub – often struck the winning goal or a last-gasp equaliser. Although Sir Alex was keen to point out that Solskjaer and Saha are not in the same mould, he will be hoping the French striker can make a similar impact. And with Solskjaer now on United’s coaching staff to work with the strikers, he may impart some of his vast knowledge.

“They are different types of players,” he said. “Ole could come on and score a goal in any situation. He was the best at it. His ratio of goals coming on as sub – and in important games, too – was incredible. But Louis does more for the team in terms of his speed, physical presence, aerial ability. He brings a lot of qualities to the team.” Read more...

Quartet back in contention

Ryan Giggs, Owen Hargreaves, Rio Ferdinand and Wes Brown are all in contention for Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash with Blackburn Rovers at Old Trafford after being rested for the midweek win over Dynamo Kyiv.

The quartet watched from the stands as the Reds thrashed the Ukrainians 4-0, booking their place in the Champions League knockout stages.

Sir Alex Ferguson has no fresh injury worries ahead of the game with only long term absentees Paul Scholes, Ji-sung Park, Mikael Silvestre and Ben Foster absent from the squad.

“There are no injuries," the Reds boss said on Friday. "Everyone is fit and the players that we rested on Wednesday are all available, too.

"It gives us our strongest squad of the season going into the Blackburn game, so we’re happy with the way things are going.” Read more...

Pique has bright Reds future

Spain's top clubs have shown an interest in taking Gerard Pique to la Liga, but Sir Alex Ferguson says the defender is firmly part of United's plans.

Pique turned in another impressive display for the Reds on Wednesday and also scored his first goal for the club in the 4-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv.

The 20-year-old Catalan has proved this season that he is a valuable member of United's squad and an excellent understudy to Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

"I'm not surprised so many Spanish clubs want him," said Sir Alex. "He's 20, can play centre midfield and right back as well as in central defence. But we have no intention of letting him go."

Pique, who joined United as a 16-year-old from Barcelona's youth ranks, had a successful spell in Spain on loan at Real Zaragoza last term.

He joined United at the same time as Giuseppe Rossi in 2004. Sir Alex reluctantly let Rossi leave in the summer for Villarreal as the Italian striker sought first-team opportunities. But Pique will not be taking a similar route, his future lies firmly at Old Trafford. Read more...

Owen enjoys OT experience

Owen Hargreaves may have graced some of the finest venues in world football with Bayern Munich and England, but he was taken aback when he sat and savoured the Old Trafford experience.

Having been substituted against Middlesbrough last month, the 26-year-old midfielder sampled life as a spectator - a rare occasion he actually enjoyed.

Owen told United Radio: "I've been very fortunate to play in some fabulous places. I've played in two World Cups, a European championship, a Champions League final… it's very difficult to compare those experiences.

"I used to play in front of 70,000 people for Bayern Munich. But I will say that I actually enjoyed watching the last 30 minutes against Middlesbrough after I'd come off.

"I leaned over to Giggsy and said 'you must be so happy to have played here for your whole career'. I think Old Trafford helps you feel very strong and it's great to be a part of it."

Hargreaves will hope to be back in action at Old Trafford this weekend as the Reds resume Premier League duties against Blackburn Rovers. He was rested in midweek for the 4-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv, the test of Mark Hughes' strong side will suit his combative qualities. Read more...

Ronny in Euro glory vow

Cristiano Ronaldo is convinced Manchester United can blast their way to European glory. United stumbled in the Champions League semi-finals last season but Ronaldo insists the squad has the strength to go the distance this time. And after United hit four goals for the fifth time in six games on Wednesday, there is no reason to doubt him. Ronaldo said: “United have the chance to win the Champions League every season. But this season is a really special opportunity for us."
Neil Custis, The Sun